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CO2 cartridges on airplanes(13 posts)

CO2 cartridges on airplanesPaulCL
Jul 10, 2001 5:25 PM
I would have never thought of this...but a friend questioned my taking a half dozen CO2 cartridges on an airplane. I would hate to have them explode mid-air. Is he nuts??
can happencarbonguy
Jul 10, 2001 10:30 PM
I have heard that can happen dont try it. FAA doesn't like stuff like that:)
Jul 10, 2001 10:31 PM
let the air out of your tires they can expload too.
don't be sillyracer-x
Jul 11, 2001 12:52 PM
Think about this for a minute. Say you have 100psi in your tires and you put your bike on a plane. Even if there was a complete vacuum in the cargo hold, that would only be the equivalent of adding 14.7psi to your tires (since the air pressure at sea level is about 14.7 psi and you have just removed that pressure from the outside of the tire). I don't know what the actual air pressure is at cruising altitude (30,000 to 35,000 ft I believe) but it's less than a full vacuum, that's for sure.

The upshot is that you don't need to let the air out of the tires unless you think they are going to blow up by adding another 10psi or so.
that one's "Cycling Myth No. 2436"...Jofa
Jul 11, 2001 1:18 PM
... yet it crops up from time to time, still. Five minutes thinking about it and it can be seen to be irrelevant, as you showed.

I understand that this has been put about so efficiently that some airlines now make a point of asking passengers with bikes to keep the tyres inflated, in order that their baggage guys don't ding the rims; presumably in response to cyclists diligently letting the air out before they fly...
Careful....mnky grz
Jul 11, 2001 1:39 PM
The new-age-sensitive-roadie-pricks are going to take exception with your tone. ;-)

Yup, I was going to debunk that one also, but I'm often critcised for being a critcal know-it-all. Still, I guess it's better than being a critical-know-nothing-'cause-I-can't-think-new-age-sensitive-roadie-prick (CKNCITNASRP for short).

Atmospheric pressure at 18,000' (also called Flight Level 180) is one half of sea level (1032 mm HG = 29.92 in. Hg = 14.7 psi = 1 atm.) However the change is non-linear so it's not zero at FL360 - if I had my handy dandy MB-6 circular slide aviation rule I could come up with the number - I used to fly for the US Navy.

One fact is that the FAA has strict rules about transporting hazardous cargo and pressurized gas cylinders fall into this category. A quick call to any airline (well maybe not those guys in Florida) should get you the regulation(s).

I'm also of the attitude that once you have several grand invested in a bike what is $300 for a hard shelled travel case, or renting one from a shop. After seeing what has happened to my skis and surf borads there is no way I'm going to trust those guys with a nice bike in a cardboard box. Plus they usually make you acknowledge and sign a form that says your bagage is in adequately packed and they are not liable for any damage....
can happenLazy
Jul 10, 2001 11:04 PM
CG is correct about the FAA. There's plenty of places here in CO to get them. LBS's and Wal-marts on every corner it seems.
There's an exception,TJeanloz
Jul 14, 2001 10:16 AM
It's not legal to ship CO2 or any pressurized gas by air, but you can bring it (I believe the wording is "a reasonable amount") with you for "personal use". Hence bringing cans of shaving cream and deoderant on board is legal. The thing is, the cargo hold is pressurized at the same level as the cabin (~6000 ft), thus the cartridges would only blow up if the plane lost cabin pressure, and if that happened, I think blowing up CO2 in the cargo hold would be the least of the crew's problems.
I have the official answerPaulCL
Jul 11, 2001 1:55 PM
I called Delta. CO2 cartridges are specifically forbidden on flight: hazardous cargo. I'll buy some in Colorado...

By the way, just to get an exact number....Delta charges $80 each way for a bike box. I complained that golf clubs, conference material, etc. fly free. The agent even chimed in that skis are free too and the charge for bikes is unfair. Now I will have to make the descision whether to try to 'overtip' the curbside check-in guy or pay the $160 but have the $2500 insurance on the bike if destroyed.
Option1 grzy mnky
Jul 11, 2001 7:12 PM
Get a hard case - specifically the compact one where you do a partial disassembly of the bike, the size of the case is such that you will NOT get charged. I've done it. Plus, if your bike is damaged it'll put a dent in your riding plans (ok, bad pun). So you'll have to pay $160, not ride your bike, make an insurrance claim and pay the deductable. I figure this scenario will cost you more than the $300 to buy a case or the $50 to rent one from a shop. Now, the next time you go to travel you'll be more willing to take you bike b/c you'll either own the case or know the drill on renting one.

Know what you mean about the CO2 cartridges - in the Navy we sometimes used to have to strip down our flight gear and remove all flares and CO2 cartridges to fly in the military transports - it was at the descretion of the pilot in command. Sometimes all of the hazardous stuff had to be up in the cabin so we could jetison it if things got ugly. No way the FAA or the airlines are going to take a risk with public flying safety. Especially after the "event" in Florida.
Own onePaulCL
Jul 11, 2001 7:49 PM
Bought the Trico case for Christmas. I rented one from my LBS last year for a trip to Napa - cost me $120 to rent for 9 days. Whoa! Much more economical to buy one (on sale) for $250. I'll try to "tip" my way onto the flight without paying the $160. If I have to pay the money, fine, its' the cost of having a fun eight days in Colorado doing nothing but riding, riding, drinking, riding, sleeping and riding some more!
I had to pay to fly my bikes with a case.nuke
Jul 12, 2001 2:49 PM
I just got back from the Boston Great Mass MS150 ride. And I thought I could get away with my Performance bike case as being "a samples case" or something other than a bike. The skycaps outside wouldn't check it because they considered it "oversized luggage". Inside, they said that even if it wasn't a bike, it was still oversized and I had to pay $75 each way to fly it on Continental.

Their definition of oversize is that it must be less than 60 inches when you ADD the length + width + height. Heck, I probably have a suitcase that wouldn't make that standard.

I've had friends get their cases on without being paid some months ago, but I think the airlines are getting much stricter with their baggage enforcement rules. Anyone else have any specific luck recently?
Nope, they pulled them from my carry-on at the X-ray before (nm)trijjj
Jul 17, 2001 3:03 PM