Shipping A Paramotor: Violation
June 07, 2014 |
Supplement to Section II, Chapter 8: Common Sense & The Law |
Chapter 31 Traveling
June 07, 2014 It's always been a crap shoot to check paramotors on airliners but even
I didn't realize how bad it could be.
A pilot had shipped his paramotor for an overseas adventure and when he
got back the paramotor arrived sans its engine. Then, some weeks later a
letter arrived from the FAA. They were handing him a noose.
The letter (shown below) asked for information "about a potential
violation of 49 CFR Section 171-178" and further said that the paramotor
engine is regulated and should have been presented as "Engines, internal
combustion, flammable liquid powered, Class 9, UN3166". The letter was
redacted to remove information that could identify the pilot. He was
gracious enough to let me publicize this affair so others could learn
I recommended an aviation attorney in this case, especially since he has
a regular pilot's license. Hopefully I'll get updates and share what
happens. He gave me permission to share his story.
The most obvious takeaway is don't check paramotors as luggage. I've
advised people to take the motor apart so it can justifiably be called
parts but this episode makes me even wonder about that.
2014-June 15 Chris, the pilot
who helped pack this engine, offered some details. He explained that they
cleaned and packed the engine separate from the frame, using the same
box the engine was originally shipped in. Chris added that he had a
similar problem with a chain saw in about 2012. One TSA returned it to
the airline for pickup by Fed Ex. It all depends on the individuals
As an aside, if there are fumes or liquid gasoline, like in the carb, it
*IS* hazardous materials (HAZMAT) and cannot even be shipped via Fedex
without acknowledging that fact. It may still be able to be shipped but
at a much higher cost.