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Re: [CQ-Contest] Radio as Carry-On Luggage?

To: <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Radio as Carry-On Luggage?
From: "Robert Naumann" <w5ov@w5ov.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2006 08:02:13 -0500
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Rick is on the right track.

Having documentation of what your radio stuff is will be a big help. Having
a copy of your FCC license, the devices manual, a copy of QST or CQ magazine
with last year's contest write-up (I almost said "results" but we all know
that QST doesn't print the results any more) and anything else you can think

I brought a TS-850 and my Acom 2000 to Antigua with me in October, right
after 9/11/01. I had the 850 in a small "wheelie" suitcase and it got the
usual swabbing etc. I also hand carried the transformer for the Acom in a
bowling ball bag. Since it weighs about 50 lbs, the bowling ball bag worked
out well, since it is very strong and has big, sturdy handles.

The TSA folks in Miami didn't like the transformer at all. They had no clue
what it was, and they wanted me to check it as baggage. I explained that I
could not check it and be sure that it would not get damaged, or that it
would not cause damage to other things. They were firm that I was not going
to be allowed to take it on the plane. I remained calm and said that I
wanted to speak to a supervisor or manager level person. I showed the
manager the transformer, the manual for the Acom with photos and showed him
the baggage check ticket for the rest of the amplifier that was already in
the baggage area. The manager's concern was only that it did not have any
oil or other flammable liquid material in it.(?) Well, I showed him that it
was only wires and steel and not a container of any other liquid and they
finally let me take it on the plane.

I think we need to anticipate that these people are only trying to do their
jobs, and while they may not be the "sharpest knives in the drawer", we need
to anticipate possible objections, and a possible fear of the unknown. Bring
everything you can think of that might help persuade them that you are not
bringing anything on the plane that is in anyway a bad thing. I think the
FCC license and a US Passport (even on domestic flights) is a big help too.

My opinion is that the U.S. needs to come up with a "Non-terrorist flyer"
certification program - perhaps as an "endorsement" to your passport where a
person is certified as a "good guy" and not being a threat. This would allow
the TSA to focus their limited attention on those who are actually a threat
instead of padding down geriatric grandmothers or inspecting baby carriages.

Bob W5OV

At 08:10 PM 8/15/2006, Eric Hilding wrote:
>Vladimir, VE3IAE, wrote:
>  > It looks like paddles attract some extra attention of the 
> security people...
>  > Last April my Bencher paddle really created such a headache for me...
>I'm wondering if this "paddle" issue may warrant taping a copy of the pix,
>info & price from an HRO Catalog, etc. to the bottom of the paddles to
>eliminate a lot of explanatory chit-chat at the terminal(s)?
>"Hey, look...Mr/Mrs TSA...you can buy one of these too at HRO!"
>Rick, K6VVA
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