Posted by Rick Denney on June 30, 2003 at 16:47:02:
In Reply to: Do flight cases really work? posted by Mary Ann on June 30, 2003 at 15:57:50:
It's a matter of risk management. I have heard of cases where the instrument was damaged even in a Walt Johnson case, and other cases where it survived without damage in a gig bag. It's just that the risk is a lot higher with the gig bag.
In addition to maintaining the integrity of the outside of the case, you have to worry about the momentum of the instrument within the case during impact. The bell is most vulnerable to that sort of damage. Charlie Krause has suggested that a soccer ball placed inside the bell and then inflated enough to lift the bell away from the case will protect the most fragile part of the instrument in case of impact. I'd be tempted to do that even with a Walt Johnson case.
Some cases look stronger than they are. Personally, I think it makes sense to use one that looks weaker than it is--the gorillas are more likely to treat it based on how strong it looks.
You are probably reasonably safe with the Meinl-Weston flight case and the soccerball trick, though there is always risk. So, you manage the risk the same way you manage it elsewhere when you can't eliminate it: You buy insurance. For example, I have the Clarion insurance that protects the instrument completely against all sorts of damage except rot.
Rick "who risks tuba damage driving to rehearsal" Denney