I may find myself in a situation where my camera equipment will have to be checked into the baggage compartment on-board a small regional jet. Any worries about low temperature storage limits for the camera, batteries, chargers, etc.? I expect it to be exposed to the low temps for about two hours. Should I try some form of insulation, or am I worrying about something that I shouldn't be?
Depending upon aircraft type, most baggage holds are climate controlled to a certain extent. I'd be more worried about the protection of said equipment, either from pilferage or being crammed/slammed into the hold as luggage is shifted to meet center of gravity and other loading issues.
We carry pets in cargo all the time, although I would never do that to my dogs. I can't think of an RJ that doesn't have cabin air ducted through the baggage compartment on the way out. I would however make sure that your bags are tamper proof. Keep the expensive stuff in a carry on and check tripods and such. I work and fly for an airline and that is what I do.
Fri 08-Feb-13 06:52 PM | edited Fri 08-Feb-13 06:54 PM by AZ Nikon
Thanks for the input. I called the airline and they said the cargo compartment is NOT climate controlled or heated. I asked about pets shipped in the cargo area and basically got an "I don't know" answer. So I think I will assume it's heated, and be ready to remove sensitive gear. It's valet check-in on the tarmac for the carry-on bags, so hopefully I will get a chance to ask the flight crew about climate control. Items that I do place in the cargo area will be in a locked bag.
I have gate- (valet-) checked my gear literally hundreds of times, since I fly out of an airport that has relatively few "big" planes. Whether or not it's heated, the gear has survived it. That includes gear such as a D100 and 18-55VR as well as a D3 and 400/f2.8. If it goes that way it is in a fairly durable ThinkTank International bag, but that's no different temperature-wise than any other bag after 15 minutes.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
How much gear are you taking where you have to check camera bags? If valuable gear is really needed to be taken and it exceeds the carry-on limit the normal process is to buy another ticket. When has not been possible, I have given up my seat and took the 2 day train ride instead. Of all the easily identified x-ray'ed items that pose the highest risk of theft it has to be photographic gear. I have flown many countries, 86 so far, and the most losses have occurred when originating in US TSA controlled airports. Regarding small jets and climate controlled holds, they all have controlled environments, by regulation. But regional jets are not that small. A small jet was my Citation II that even had a controlled hold. If at all possible (if you have theft prone gear), reduce the size and weight and carry it on. There are many regions of the world where i can't take my full lens bag on a plane due to weight. Stan St Petersburg Russia
Seems funny that someone from Arizona would be worried about LOW temperatures With all of the photos you see from very cold places, I would think your camera would be fine. The battery would be the thing I would most be worried about though.
Unpressurized, unheated cargo holds on most passenger craft are NOT the same -60oF temperature as the outside air. I was told on several occasions that they are around 50oF. That's not particularly cold. Cheers, Dave
"Stupidity is a gift from God, but one mustn't misuse it" - Pope John Paul II