Camera/Lens in unpressurized/unheated private jet cargo area. Is this safe???

Started May 25, 2012 | Discussions
ArinA
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Camera/Lens in unpressurized/unheated private jet cargo area. Is this safe???
May 25, 2012

My company is purchasing a new citation private jet and will require me to carry my gear in an unpressurized and unheated tail and nose cone baggage area.

Temps will go from ambient temperature (50-110F) to (-40F) and from sea level to 43,000 feet.

Does anyone have any experience with these extreme conditions?

I'll have my Nikon D4 and other nikon f2.8 zooms and 400 MM f2.8 lens in these areas.

Thanks!

-Arin

Nikon D4
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DrGoon
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Re: Camera/Lens in unpressurized/unheated private jet cargo area. Is this safe???
In reply to ArinA, May 25, 2012

I would tell your company that they can bring their own camera gear or compensate you for the insurance on yours or renting on location. If you're bringing the camera gear for your own pleasure while on business, consider taking a smaller system that you can carry on board. While your camera gear will probably survive, especially if placed inside a sealed Pelican case or similar, it will also likely suffer from the effects of condensation after you land.

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Christian Wagner
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Re: Camera/Lens in unpressurized/unheated private jet cargo area. Is this safe???
In reply to ArinA, May 25, 2012

Arent all baggage areas unpressurized and unheated? I really dont know the answer but I assume that they are and don't pros (with tons of equipment) check stuff all the time?
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DaniDR
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Re: Camera/Lens in unpressurized/unheated private jet cargo area. Is this safe???
In reply to Christian Wagner, May 25, 2012

Christian Wagner wrote:

Arent all baggage areas unpressurized and unheated? I really dont know the answer but I assume that they are and don't pros (with tons of equipment) check stuff all the time?
--
Chris

Most commercial aircraft have pressurized compartments for cargo, and at least part of the compartment is normally heated, they have to as animals are sometimes carried there and would not resist the temperature.

I'm no expert in this, but the temperature change could pose a serious problem, not only during the flight but also once you land because of condensation.

What is the reason you can't bring them onboard?

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MichaelK81
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Unpressurized?
In reply to ArinA, May 25, 2012

I was under the impression that all of the citation jet is pressurized. Baggage areas certainly aren't heated, but not pressurized? I'd double-check that.
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mlewan
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Re: Camera/Lens in unpressurized/unheated private jet cargo area. Is this safe???
In reply to DaniDR, May 25, 2012

DaniDR wrote:

I'm no expert in this, but the temperature change could pose a serious problem, not only during the flight but also once you land because of condensation.

My guess is that the camera easily can handle a trip like that. However, you probably have a point that the temperature change isn't particularly good - especially if there are repeated changes, like if the plane makes frequent stops or if the OP makes several trips a week.

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anotherphoto
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ArinA - step back and think about your question a minute
In reply to ArinA, May 25, 2012

Just think about it. Unless your happen to live in Japan, in order for your gear to arrive with you, it will have seen the inside of an aircraft hold on more than one occasion, as well as the inside of numerous lorries and courier vans. If you're lucky it might have also seen the inside of a container ship.

Nikon will have taken no special precautions other than the packaging in which you received your camera (they just stack up all those camera boxes onto pallets for ease of bulk handling).

I wish people would stop treating their gear like cherished pets when it comes to travelling.

The fact of the matter is all you need to do is ensure your gear is securely packed in a manner that will resist the worst of the baggage handlers. After that, sit back and enjoy your flight on the private jet.

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Dennis DH
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Re: ArinA - step back and think about your question a minute
In reply to anotherphoto, May 25, 2012

I always hand carry my gear with me.

the expansion and compression going from -40 to +80 will be huge. I would not subject my lens to this, besides condensation it could actually crack a lens element.

Nikon usually ships freight by sea and most of us get equipment shipped by ground not air.

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anotherphoto
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Re: ArinA - step back and think about your question a minute
In reply to Dennis DH, May 25, 2012

Nikon usually ships freight by sea and most of us get equipment shipped by ground not air.

They will ship by sea to the nearest port for the region (EMEA, N. America etc.).

From there, the shipment gets broken down and sent to the regional distributors, who then sell to the resellers, who then sell to you.

I betcha it doesn't stay at ground level all the way to your door ! Somewhere along that chain of custody it's going into an aircraft hold, and probably more than once.

Getting from one side of America to the other, or getting from one side of Europe to another is simply not economical or time effective to do all by road.

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anotherphoto
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Re: ArinA - step back and think about your question a minute
In reply to Dennis DH, May 25, 2012

the expansion and compression going from -40 to +80 will be huge.

If it happens suddenly, yes. But we're talking three degrees Celsius (5 Fahrenheit) per thousand feet.

Also, as others have pointed out, its unlikely that the cargo hold is not pressurised because that's the way things work... you pressurise the whole of the aluminium tube, not just part of it.

Therefore, by virtue of its pressurisation there's going to be a degree of temperature control because the pressurising air gets fed through aircraft systems. The difference is due to the lack of insulation in the hold... so it's probably 10 - 20 Celsius lower down there than up in the cabin. But still nothing to worry your mind about I would say.

Just think about it... have you ever carried bottles of wine in your checked luggage ? If the hold was that cold, the contents would freeze and the glass would shatter. Have you ever encountered frozen items in your luggage ? Thought not !

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anotherphoto
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Re: ArinA - step back and think about your question a minute
In reply to Dennis DH, May 25, 2012

Nikon usually ships freight by sea

Oh, and just so we can put that one to bed, see this UPS case study :

http://www.ups-scs.com/solutions/case_studies/cs_nikon.pdf

Kentucky to California is not really viable by UPS ground. Kentucky to Canada or Kentucky to Latin America by ground on the back of a lorry is almost definitely not gonna happen.

Infact, this article makes the supply chain answer explicit :

http://mhlnews.com/distribution/outlog_story_6710/

I quote (my bold) :

From the Far East, Nikon's freight is directed to Louisville, where it is either kitted with accessories such as batteries and chargers, or repackaged according to retail store display specifications. And then, since UPS' Worldport global air operations are located at the Louisville airport, the packages can be shipped to anywhere in the world.

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ArinA
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Re: Camera/Lens in unpressurized/unheated private jet cargo area. Is this safe???
In reply to DrGoon, May 31, 2012

DrGoon wrote:

I would tell your company that they can bring their own camera gear or compensate you for the insurance on yours or renting on location. If you're bringing the camera gear for your own pleasure while on business, consider taking a smaller system that you can carry on board. While your camera gear will probably survive, especially if placed inside a sealed Pelican case or similar, it will also likely suffer from the effects of condensation after you land.

The camera equipment belongs to the company.

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ArinA
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Re: Camera/Lens in unpressurized/unheated private jet cargo area. Is this safe???
In reply to DaniDR, May 31, 2012

DaniDR wrote:

Christian Wagner wrote:

Arent all baggage areas unpressurized and unheated? I really dont know the answer but I assume that they are and don't pros (with tons of equipment) check stuff all the time?
--
Chris

Most commercial aircraft have pressurized compartments for cargo, and at least part of the compartment is normally heated, they have to as animals are sometimes carried there and would not resist the temperature.

I'm no expert in this, but the temperature change could pose a serious problem, not only during the flight but also once you land because of condensation.

What is the reason you can't bring them onboard?

There isn't enough space onboard for the camera gear.

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ArinA
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Re: ArinA - step back and think about your question a minute
In reply to anotherphoto, May 31, 2012

anotherphoto wrote:

Just think about it. Unless your happen to live in Japan, in order for your gear to arrive with you, it will have seen the inside of an aircraft hold on more than one occasion, as well as the inside of numerous lorries and courier vans. If you're lucky it might have also seen the inside of a container ship.

Nikon will have taken no special precautions other than the packaging in which you received your camera (they just stack up all those camera boxes onto pallets for ease of bulk handling).

I wish people would stop treating their gear like cherished pets when it comes to travelling.

The fact of the matter is all you need to do is ensure your gear is securely packed in a manner that will resist the worst of the baggage handlers. After that, sit back and enjoy your flight on the private jet.

Nikon doesn't ship equipment to the US in unheated/unpressurized compartments less than 1 inch away from the outside of the plane. I feel the question is valid.

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ArinA
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Re: ArinA - step back and think about your question a minute
In reply to anotherphoto, May 31, 2012

anotherphoto wrote:

the expansion and compression going from -40 to +80 will be huge.

If it happens suddenly, yes. But we're talking three degrees Celsius (5 Fahrenheit) per thousand feet.

Also, as others have pointed out, its unlikely that the cargo hold is not pressurised because that's the way things work... you pressurise the whole of the aluminium tube, not just part of it.

Therefore, by virtue of its pressurisation there's going to be a degree of temperature control because the pressurising air gets fed through aircraft systems. The difference is due to the lack of insulation in the hold... so it's probably 10 - 20 Celsius lower down there than up in the cabin. But still nothing to worry your mind about I would say.

Just think about it... have you ever carried bottles of wine in your checked luggage ? If the hold was that cold, the contents would freeze and the glass would shatter. Have you ever encountered frozen items in your luggage ? Thought not !

As stated in the original post, I'm not on a commercial flight. This is a small private plane for around 10 people. The extra storage compartments are essentially open to the elements at 40,000 feet, other than wind. That means extreme pressure and temperature differences from ground level.

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Sarlacc
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Re: ArinA - step back and think about your question a minute
In reply to ArinA, May 31, 2012

Pelican case (make sure you know how to use the O-Ring, its simple) or similar pressurized case.

2-3 Silica gel packs (can be purchased at REI or similar camping store) activate them and put in them in the pelican case with the gear.

You'll be fine.

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degrees kelvin
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Re: Camera/Lens in unpressurized/unheated private jet cargo area. Is this safe???
In reply to ArinA, May 31, 2012

I have used my gear at those temperatures, much less stored them. Can't see a problem. I would be cautious about bringing the gear out of the camera bag into tropical humidity until they have warmed up though.

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OleManTx
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Re: ArinA - step back and think about your question a minute
In reply to ArinA, May 31, 2012

The question could be answered by your company's Cessna rep in less time than it takes one to write on this blog; I'm sure they've answered it many times before and if there's any question about what could and could not be carried in the cargo holds they are the source for the absolute best answer. Given the amount that a new Citation costs, I'm sure they've got more than one expert available to answer it.

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bikinchris
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It has been done before
In reply to ArinA, Jun 1, 2012

NASA takes Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses into orbit and uses them in the vacuum of space. You won't have any problem. Get yourself a good pelican case(s) and don't worry about it.

ArinA wrote:

DrGoon wrote:

I would tell your company that they can bring their own camera gear or compensate you for the insurance on yours or renting on location. If you're bringing the camera gear for your own pleasure while on business, consider taking a smaller system that you can carry on board. While your camera gear will probably survive, especially if placed inside a sealed Pelican case or similar, it will also likely suffer from the effects of condensation after you land.

The camera equipment belongs to the company.

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MaxAOA
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Camera/Lens in unpressurized/unheated "pod"
In reply to degrees kelvin, Jun 1, 2012

For what its worth. This photo was taken within 10 min of engine shutdown in Aug of 1991 after my last flight (and this aircraft’s last flight). The camera and lens were carried under the wing in the travel pod which is partially visible on the left inboard pylon (completely unpressurized and unheated). The flight was from Ft. Worth, Tx to Tucson, Az. The camera was a Minolta XE-7 with a Vivitar Series One 70-210 lens which I purchased in 1977. This camera and lens were carried this way on many occasions with no apparent damage. Although Ft. Worth to Tucson was under 2hrs, it was carried like this from Honolulu to Okinawa in 1979 for 9.5 hrs. The only precaution I took then was to pack the camera in the middle of my bag surrounded by clothing.

Of course that was film and today is digital. I did not use silica gel packs then, but I would consider it now with today’s electronics.

And yes cargo compartments on passenger airliners are pressurized and heated.

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