I have been flying quads for the past three years and I will be moving to Raleigh next month for good. Can I carry my APM 2.0, turnigy RC TX/RX, 4000 mAh batteries (and other essentials) on-board a commercial airline? My equipment are worth $500, I'd hate to leave them back.
Rahul, where are you flying from?
I have recently travelled with two multicopters and 6x 6800mAH 4s lipo. I carefully researched the FAA regulations beforehand, and I had to argue with security several times, and even with a pilot once. But when I showed them the regulations and the math they conceded that I was allowed to carry all those batteries.
I travelled with this equipment from Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA) to Chile and back on Delta, and to New Zealand and back on Quantas / American.
The scene with the 737 pilot was amazing. I was in the cockpit with him and the copilot was sending messages to and from Delta's headquarters on a little teletype ticker tape thing to get clarification on the batteries. They eventually apologized and gave me a piece of ticker tape that was supposed to act as a free pass in the future but sadly I lost it.
In short, the FAA regulations say:
1. You cannot CHECK lipo batteries, so you HAVE to have them in your carryon.
2. You can have as many batteries in your carryon as you want, as long as they have less than 8g Equivalent Lithium Content. 8g is 100 watt hours, according to http://safetravel.dot.gov/definitions.html . So, for my 4s 6600mAh, 14.8V*6.6Ah=97.68 watt-hours each. It's like they were tailor made to fit below the 100wh limit!
Make sure you point out that these are secondary lithium-ion batteries, NOT primary lithium metal batteries, and that they are NOT classified as "Larger Lithium Ion Batteries" because "Larger" means greater than 8g equivalent lithium.
Good to know!