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Last year there was an avalanche where those with out the ABS packs died, so
when I went to BC my wife made me buy one.  Here is what I learned with my
BCA pack:

The canister needs to have the seals replaced every time it gets discharged.
 It is a fairly easy thing to do. (There are youtube videos that show you
how to do this.) So I fly with my canister empty to avoid any hassles at the
airport.  Any where that can fill a scuba tank can fill.  BCA approved
places change the seals.  Since I do that myself,  I can go to any scuba
shop.   It costs about $6.

As I get ready to fly home, I discharge the tank before I get to the
airport.  It does make a loud noise when it first discharges.  After the
tank is empty, it is simple to take the top off of the tank.  

I have been playing around with mine a lot.  I have inflated the bag and
then repacked it myself.  Then I refilled the tank and tried it again to
ensure my packing job worked.

I used my BCA ABS pack as my carry on luggage.   Nobody even looked at the
tank.  I will still empty mine because I  think at some point somebody might.

John

On Sun, 4 Nov 2012 15:36:58 -0500, Leigh Daboll <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>PSA here:
>
>I was at one time thinking about buying one of the new ABS packs for
>backcountry use and specifically for the cat/hel trip this year. I was
>shocked, however, to discover that attempting to carry one onto a US
>aircraft (either checked or carry on) without specific prior approval can
>result in immediate arrest, and upon conviction, a jail sentence measuring
>in years and a fine running well into six figures.  Yes, really.
>
>So that puts a bit of damper on my plans to buy one of these packs (as well
>as the extra weight and the sky-high price).
>
>Partial international regulatory pdf is here,
>
>https://s3.amazonaws.com/BackcountryAccess/content/product+pdfs/IATA_regulat
>ions2012.pdf
>
>This doesn't tell the whole story, including how your trip/life could be
>ruined by an overzealous TSA staffer (the US regs are much stiffer) I
>couldn't lay my hands on a exact link, but here is recent online quote that
>appeared on the Aspen Expedtions website, from an TSA explosives expert:
>I am an Explosives Specialist for TSA, and I want to clear up some bad
>information in this article.  First off, regarding travel restrictions:
>
>No avalanche rescue air cylinders, regardless of what you choose to call
>them, are allowed through TSA security unless screeners can visually verify
>that the cylinders are empty.  For ABS systems, that means a punctured burst
>disc.  For others, the cylinder head/valve must be removed to show an empty
>cylinder. Additionally, ABS trigger handles are not allowed through security
>if they contain a live explosive cartridge.  Only expended handles are
>allowed. Determination of whether or not they have been activated can only
>be made by an Explosives Specialist, not a screener.
>
>
>Leigh
>
>
>
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