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lottie
02-28-2008, 11:28 PM
This doesn't actually pertain to me or my situation, but....i thought that someone out there might answer my question or it might be useful for someone.

Okay, so i've just had a look on Virgin Atlantics website and went on the sports equipment page and they mention about scuba tanks - that it has to be empty to ensure safe handling.

But, I'm sure i remember reading in my dive manuals that it's not a good idea to have a tank completely empty as it can cause internal condensation.

So what do you do...have the tank completely empty for the airline? or have just a tiny bit of compressed air in it? :confused:

One confused Lottie :confused:

The Publisher
02-29-2008, 04:59 AM
No compressed air at all, travelers must remove the valve too. They will not take a cylinder with a closed valve on it. They think it will be full of a bio-weapon, and divers will unleash it upon unsuspecting holiday travelers. ;)

Airlines are quite dry environments, it is when you release the air to empty the tank too quickly that you can get condensation. Likewise, if the tank is cold, and you take it out empty with no valve into a warm, humid environment, you could theoretically cause condensation to occur.

BamaCaveDiver
02-29-2008, 02:33 PM
Do the airlines allow the plastic plugs to be inserted? I know the valves must be removed, but if someone was careful draining and plug it, chances are it would be okay for air fills until they returned home where they could do a proper cleaning. I see it as easier to just rent cylinders at the destination, but I have always been curious about plugging one.

The Publisher
02-29-2008, 03:32 PM
It is hit or miss on plastic plugs. I had a Transportation Insecurity Administration type tell me that I could not pass my empty capped 13cf pony tank through check in, as if I open the cap, I could release a bio-agent. I told him the same could be said for when I open my same pelican case, but reasoning with these guys is a waste.

Bill22
02-29-2008, 05:55 PM
I don't know if I know anyone who has ever flown with tanks. As has already been mentioned you have to drain the tank and remove the valve, which increases the risk of damage to your tank (ie.. corrosion). At least in the states, I think most dive shops are going to want a VIP before they will fill the tank, if it's empty, just to be on the safe side. Between the cost of that and the weight (in this part of the world you only get 20 kilos) it just makes more sense to rent when you get there. Renting I think is relatively cheap most places compared to what you're paying for everything else. Just my two cent's ;)

Mountain Dog
02-29-2008, 05:55 PM
If you empty a tank and remove the valve, haven't you just invalidated the visual inspection? Which means to get it filled you would have to get a new viz at your destination, and then another one after your return flight home?

I have never flown with my tanks either. Given this issue, coupled with the soaring cost of getting luggage on a plane, taking your own tanks is not even an option. I wish it wasn't so. I would much rather dive my steel 100's than the ubiquitous al80.

Mountain Dog

BamaCaveDiver
02-29-2008, 07:20 PM
It is hit or miss on plastic plugs. I had a Transportation Insecurity Administration type tell me that I could not pass my empty capped 13cf pony tank through check in, as if I open the cap, I could release a bio-agent. I told him the same could be said for when I open my same pelican case, but reasoning with these guys is a waste.

That is pretty much what I would expect, but then I have heard of those who taped their cylinders and they allowed them to pass through. I personally would not trust taping to prevent much more than large particles entering, but it is some protection.


I don't know if I know anyone who has ever flown with tanks.

I have known a couple of RB divers that have done, but they were enroute to very remote locations where the cylinders they required (or at least something close enough to suffice) just were not available. They did clean their cylinders upon arrival, as best they could.


If you empty a tank and remove the valve, haven't you just invalidated the visual inspection?

Technically yes, but you have to remember that cylinder inspection is an industry standard; it is not law. Some locations outside the US will follow along, others will not; some remote locations will scare the crap out of anyone with an ounce of common sense, but true junkies will always do what they must to get their fix :eek:

Bill22
03-01-2008, 07:03 AM
It is hit or miss on plastic plugs. I had a Transportation Insecurity Administration type tell me that I could not pass my empty capped 13cf pony tank through check in, as if I open the cap, I could release a bio-agent. I told him the same could be said for when I open my same pelican case, but reasoning with these guys is a waste.

Those guys really irritated me the last time that I was in the states. I was coming home after spending almost three years in the middle east and could not believe the total lack of commonsense they had. I was especially irritated when I saw them making a young Army guy who was in uniform take off his boots. My youngest brother who just left the Army has done 3 tours in Iraq. What a slap in the face this is. I was treated worse in the US than anywhere else that I have travelled including the middle east. :mad:

hbh2oguard
03-01-2008, 08:25 PM
That's sad to hear but it's now a fact of life. If someone in a uniform (army, or what ever) isn't checked just like everyone else on a commericial flight then the "terrorists" will exploit that.

Bill22
03-02-2008, 07:42 AM
That's sad to hear but it's now a fact of life. If someone in a uniform (army, or what ever) isn't checked just like everyone else on a commericial flight then the "terrorists" will exploit that.

Intrestingly when I was traveling through commercial airports in the middle east, my US Military ID card got me waived through. Obviously not the case in my own country. At least in the middle east they understand that members of the US military are not going to hijack civilian aircraft and fly them into buildings.

Apparently a flight crew uniform gets more respect than a military uniform. Flight crews who are in uniform are not made to take off their shoes. I was running late for a flight once, and they took me through the flight crews entrance. They just showed their ID, walked through the metal detector and picked up their bag on the other side of the x-ray. No one had to take off their shoes.

amtrosie
03-05-2008, 03:10 AM
No compressed air at all, travelers must remove the valve too. They will not take a cylinder with a closed valve on it. They think it will be full of a bio-weapon, and divers will unleash it upon unsuspecting holiday travelers. ;)

Airlines are quite dry environments, it is when you release the air to empty the tank too quickly that you can get condensation. Likewise, if the tank is cold, and you take it out empty with no valve into a warm, humid environment, you could theoretically cause condensation to occur.



Believe it or not, it is easier to transport a bottle by air than it is by truck. I recently moved across country and was dismayed to discover that a scuba tank will not be transported, period!! Removing the valves will not alter that edict. This apparently is something new from the DOT. Shipping is still allowed. Go figure!

hbh2oguard
03-05-2008, 09:06 PM
now that doesn't make sense at all. I'm assuming you mean in a moving truck that you couldn't put them into??

amtrosie
03-12-2008, 04:24 AM
now that doesn't make sense at all. I'm assuming you mean in a moving truck that you couldn't put them into??


Correct!

Having just been through a Hazardous materials class, I can only presume that transportation for commerace has something to do with this.

Papa Bear
03-12-2008, 04:54 AM
It can be moved once certified empty! This might be helpful!
http://www.lentztransfer.com/_fileCabinet/Customer_Pre_move.pdf

Papa Bear
03-12-2008, 04:57 AM
Also this one is put out by the government and is the rule for the military when moving!
http://www.usap.gov/logistics/documents/LO-A-100.pdf
Again they must be "Certified Empty"!

littleleemur
03-12-2008, 06:47 PM
When moving house a few years back, the moving company did mention our scuba tanks, but since we were planning on diving along the way it didn't become an issue.

I am curious though, what are the steps to get them to move my tanks if I relocated to the west coast?

Papa Bear
03-12-2008, 07:32 PM
Read at the links I posted! They have to be "Certified Empty" with out the valves! Our LDS did just that, "Certified them as Empty" and plugged them with plastic caps! The US Air Force logistics moved them after that by moving van to Key West for my friend!

littleleemur
03-12-2008, 09:29 PM
oops. my mistake. I missed the Lentz link. :rolleyes:

Thanks PB!

amtrosie
03-13-2008, 04:36 AM
Read at the links I posted! They have to be "Certified Empty" with out the valves! Our LDS did just that, "Certified them as Empty" and plugged them with plastic caps! The US Air Force logistics moved them after that by moving van to Key West for my friend!


Given the information I cited was a Federal Regulation ( I'll retrieve it tomorrow at work), not a directive from a moving company, I am going with the regulation. As for the pamphlet for the military, that does not constitute a federal reg either, and they may have an exemption, that civilians can not enjoy.

I know the reg is in CFR 49 part 170's though for the rest of the law-abiding population. (I'll not divulge how I finally got my tanks to me)

Papa Bear
03-13-2008, 04:48 AM
That's why the tanks have DOT on them! They fall under (When full) compressed gas regulation (haz-mat)! The military uses civilian van lines! They don't have green moving & storage trucks! I have been around the trucking industry for 56 years and I have it right as to the moving of SCUBA tanks that are certified empty! How do you think they get them to the wholesalers and the shops? By truck! The regulations you cite are about any gas cylinder on interstate highways and also subject to some local state laws that most chips, smokies, and cops have no idea about! So if a "Moving company has a policy I can tell you it is one that has been well researched!

Sounds like you had the wrong company! Period!

amtrosie
03-13-2008, 06:40 PM
Seeings as hazardous material comes under the perview of several agencies, DOT, Dept. of Commerace, OSHA, etc., what works for one may very well be in conflict with another agency. The Federal Government is a confuluted beast!

As I indicated before, this a new wrinkle in the reg. and a persons ignorance of the law does alleviate the penalties under the law. Face it, to be in the scuba industry for as long as you say, and now the trucking industry for 56 years, I am amazed you have time to sleep.

The regs apply to ALL high pressure cylinders, regardless of current state of pressure (or lack thereof). I did not say it made sense, just that it was.

How they are shipping them is unknown to me, but ignorance of contents is not going to be an excuse much longer.

Papa Bear
03-13-2008, 07:25 PM
By regulation it has to be certified empty! The moving company link is because they do it! I don't sleep much that's why I am on this stupid computer at all hours! I was born into the trucking business, brew up with it, drove truck in collage, and still have many friends and some clients in it! My father drove diesel until he was 81! I have hauled chemicals between LA and Oakland in the 70's! I have been involved in the process of "Certifying a tank empty" and it is a joke, but once certified it is no longer a gas bottle and can go common carrier including bed bug haulers!

littleleemur
03-14-2008, 01:24 AM
I don't sleep much that's why I am on this stupid computer at all hours!

Yes you are on at all hours! :p No matter where in the world I am and no matter the time zone, you're always on! :eek:

Here's from one pain-ridden insomniac to another - ;)