CO2 on planes - it makes no sense

The old discussion of taking CO2 cartridges on the plane in your bike box has reared it's ugly head again. Here's my take.

Just drop the c02 cartridges down your seat tube, stuff a long piece of rag down to stop them rattling. Job done.

Mostly when you check-in you should ALWAYS be asked if you have any of the following items which include pressurized and gas canisters, lying as result is a criminal(not civil) offense.

The deal is the canisters could burst under pressure. Most all large modern planes has pressurized luggage holds, so it a non-issue. Things do and can go wrong though. Many old turbo prop planes, and some older jets do not have pressurised cargo holds. Your bike mike get put on one of those as a connecting flight. However, none of these planes fly at high enough altitude to exert enough pressure on the canister to cause it to explode, unless it was faulty from manufacture.

Even if the cannister did burst during flight, it doesn't have enough pressure to break through any material that planes are made from, unless it went off right next to a fault in the planes construction.

So, net net, theres a very small chance of it causing damage. However, thats the reason why planes generally don't crash, the airlines don't take calculated gambles. It's no consolation to the relatives of a couple of hundred people should it set off some form of chain reaction that caused the plane to crash.

Putting the cartridges down the seat tube will ensure that if it does explode mid-flight, it will not cause any further damage. A C02 cartridge doesn't contain enough pressure to blow through a steel, aluminum or carbon frame and then cause secondary damage.... unless....

Hey, and if you quote me, I'll deny it and claim my computer was hacked.
I took CO2 cartriges in my bike box over to Europe and just had them in a little baggie taped near the top of the box in case they x-ray'd my bike box and decided to grab them - I made it convenient. The way I rationalized it was that the CO2 cartrige has something like 2000 psi of pressure in it. The difference in air pressure at sea level is like 15 psi, and at 30,000 feet is like maybe 3 psi (probably more). So at sea level, it's a pressure differential of like 2000 - 15 psi = 1985 psi. At altitude it's something like 2000 - 3 psi = 1997 psi. But then, at altitude it's cold, so the gas will be exerting less pressure on the inside of the canister so... I feel like I have equally probable chances of the cartridge blowing as it's in my saddle bag on a hot day as taking it to (really cold) altitude.

I think they have the rule because they just don't want any pressurized anything on the planes because it's a policy nightmare. "Why is my hair spray not ok, but the CO2 cartridge is?" So they just make it less of a headache for themselves (not the consumer, surprisingly...).

Interestingly, their policy allows CO2 cartridges if they are with a personal floatation device and in your carry-on (and therefore in the passenger cabin where they have much more ability to do harm), so they understand it's not a safety concern, it's just easier to have that rule...

So I took them on the plane with me and said, "fuckit."
And for those of you
who feel the need to follow the rules no matter how inane, Julia and I usually just buy CO2 cartridges at a bike shop or REI wherever we go and either return them or drop them off with the mechanic to give to someone who might want them. Easy karma.