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Flying with trombone

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:16 pm
by herrerabone
Of course, it's obviously better to have your trombone with you in the cabin of an airplane, but what if the staff makes you check your instrument? How can you ensure your horn's safe flight? Also, I've heard about putting Styrofoam cones in the bell--would a practice mute serve this same purpose?

(Sorry, wasn't sure which category this fits under.)

Re: Flying with trombone

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:24 pm
by Matt K
The reason the styrofoam cone works is that if the case is dropped from a distance, the bell wont' move. Most of the damage comes from the weight of the valve section being put on the flare of the bell in most cases. With modular instruments, you can also detach the valve section to drastically reduce the chances that the bell is damaged as well. Doug Yeo's website is, as far as I know, one of the first internet sources to recommend that. You can find the post here:

http://www.yeodoug.com/resources/faq/fa ... ravel.html

Re: Flying with trombone

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:23 am
by boneagain
Matt K wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:24 pm
The reason the styrofoam cone works is that if the case is dropped from a distance, the bell wont' move. ...
Well, if the practice mute reaches to the end of the case, the bell won't move either.

BUT

with a long drop, the styrofoam will deform; the mute will not.

Re: Flying with trombone

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:54 am
by Matt K
boneagain wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:23 am
Matt K wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:24 pm
The reason the styrofoam cone works is that if the case is dropped from a distance, the bell wont' move. ...
Well, if the practice mute reaches to the end of the case, the bell won't move either.

BUT

with a long drop, the styrofoam will deform; the mute will not.
Much better stated than how I said it! :biggrin:

Re: Flying with trombone

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:39 am
by boneagain
Matt K wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:54 am
boneagain wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:23 am
Matt K wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:24 pm
The reason the styrofoam cone works is that if the case is dropped from a distance, the bell wont' move. ...
Well, if the practice mute reaches to the end of the case, the bell won't move either.

BUT

with a long drop, the styrofoam will deform; the mute will not.
Much better stated than how I said it! :biggrin:
Nah. Your point about where the inertia to wrinkle the bell is the meat of the matter!

(puts on old-fahrt hat) Back in MY day, makers provided cases that capture the bell brace and kept the bell AWAY from the end of the case entirely.
(takes off old-fahrt hat) but serious, folks, it's all about controlling that mass Matt lays out so clearly. If you understand that "why" of bell protection, you're in much better shape to get the "how" so it achieves your goal.

Speaking of which, flyers with horns in the belly of the beast need to realize that TSA is intitled to open ANYthing, and are NOT required to repack the way they found it. This means making any horn protection you add to your case as "foolproof" as possible. If the bits inside can only go back in ONE way, that's one less opportunity for sheet metal or linkages to get bent.

Re: Flying with trombone

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:48 pm
by AndrewMeronek
Travelling with a carry-on soft case may be viable in a lot of cases, as long as the case only includes the trombone and isn't bulky (i.e., not a bass trombone). I've been able to carry on a soft case to an airplane, partially for the simple reason that soft cases take up less room than hard cases. I also have had good luck with Southwest Airlines, especially if I can manage to board earlier.

Re: Flying with trombone

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:45 pm
by Matt K
Hey just wanted to clarify for those reading as I think I may have misinterpreted boneagain's comment. The reason the styrofoam cone works is because it will deform instead of the bell. If you check the lower half of the article, Doug mentions some of the other things he has tried over the years and it includes metal mutes (flush variety and straight) and both of them caused problems because they did not deform at that crucial moment.

The full article is definitely worth a read!

(Note: I contacted Doug about the use of the content on his site and he says he is perfectly okay with us providing links to the site though would prefer if we note quote large amounts of it and so in respecting that wish, I have paraphrased the content and highly recommend checking his site out, particularly the article linked in my previous comment, because it is a treasure trove of information!)

Re: Flying with trombone

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:36 am
by boneagain
Matt,

You interpreted my first post correctly.

The point of my second post was the importance of your comments on reducing the mass available to deform the bell.

Re: Flying with trombone

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:38 am
by Matt K
boneagain wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:36 am
Matt,

You interpreted my first post correctly.

The point of my second post was the importance of your comments on reducing the mass available to deform the bell.
:good:

Just wanting to make sure! Clarity is not always easy over text.

Re: Flying with trombone

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:46 am
by LeTromboniste
Given the current FAA regulations that require all US carrier to accept instruments that physically fit in the cabin storage spaces, and the very good musical instrument policies of several airlines, I don't have a need to check an instrument very often and neither should most trombonists. If you have only one instrument/case, do take it as your carry-on, and don't worry too much about the staff "making" you check it. In the US and soon Canada, regulations are on your side - carry a copy of the FAA Final Rule on carriage of musical instruments with you when flying to show them if they try to argue.

Now when you need to carry more than one horn is the problem. I put my horn in its Marcus Bonna case, with mute in bell and extra padding , then the case inside an SKB golf bag flight case, packed with clothes and/or padding. Not really advisable when flying to/from/via the US though, as the TSA can and will open both cases and repack the instrument wrong if you can't be present at the inspection.

Re: Flying with trombone

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:22 pm
by bimmerman
I have had good luck carrying on my tenor as well as a backpack. I've used both a Marcus Bonna bass case and a Pro-Tec tenor case without issue. I'd be wary about bringing a soft sided case-- on the last flight I carried on the horn, other passengers were not careful at all about trying to shove their luggage into the overhead bin in/on/next to my horn. The hard case helped much more than my protestations did.

I haven't tried to carry on a big bass, but I was able to carry on the MB bass case on international flights. The Pro-Tec case works fine in 737 sized bins. I haven't tried the bass case domestically.

Re: Flying with trombone

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:35 am
by DakoJack
Thanks tor the thread Im looking at buying a new gig bag and this is influencing my decision does any one have pictures of the protective measures they use with the horn in the case.