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Thread: Things Could be Worse!

  1. #1
    Senior Member JHNA57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Things Could be Worse!

    Having Homeland Security show up at your door doesn't seem so bad when THIS could happen!


    Planespotter Guilty - Found Guilty of Using Scanner Receiver - South Africa
    Court finds planespotter guilty
    2011-08-06 07:54

    Johannesburg - The Boksburg Magistrate's Court on Friday found planespotter Julian Swift guilty of illegally possessing a radio receiver and using it to listen to air traffic communications, the editor of the SA Flyer magazine said.

    "He was found guilty on the two charges...and ordered to pay R5 000 or spend 10 months in jail," Guy Leitch said.

    Swift, 52, was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport in February last year after officials saw him taking photos of landing planes.

    He was found with a radio receiver that cannot transmit but is still illegal without a radio license under the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act.

    The Independent Communications Authority of SA requires an operator of a receiver to qualify as a radio amateur.

    Leitch said air traffic communications were easily accessible via internet live-streaming or at the High Flyers Bar at the end of OR Tambo's airstrip.

    Swift, therefore, was accessing information which was freely available and should never have been charged.

    Planespotting is the observation and logging of an aircraft's registration numbers as a hobby. In many countries, planespotters co-operate with police in reporting anything suspicious as a measure to target terrorism.

    story at:

    Swift found guilty - August 5 2011 at 03:38pm

    Local forum topics from that country.

    charged: possessing and using an Albrecht AE308 Airband Receiver

    Update on Julian Swift Court Case (JNB)

    Julian Swift: Counts 1 to 6
    The state has dropped 11 of the 17 charges against Julian.
    he still has to defend 7,8,10,12 16 and 17.

    The curious case of Julian Swift

    Julian Swift is a planespotter and not a criminal

    Plane spotter in court on communication charges - Published: 2011/04/07

  2. #2
    Program Coordinator
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    That's making me think twice about spotting while I visit...

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Nashville, TN
    Quote Originally Posted by jerslice View Post
    That's making me think twice about spotting while I visit...
    Well, from the sounds of it, as long as you don't have your scanner with you, you'll be fine...
    Steve Furst

    View my work @

    Furst Edition Photography

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    1,984 pay the equivalent of $722 or spend 10 months in jail? Hard decision.

    Makes me want to double-check scanner laws the next time I travel abroad.
    Last edited by Cary; 08-07-2011 at 02:56 PM.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member MarkLawrence's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    1 Miles NNW of NOVAE - KFLL - Davie, FL
    Jeremy - You'll be fine - I wouldn't take your scanner in the present situation, but spotting will be fine.

    I can tell you that there are a huge amount of resources in SA currently working on appeals, etc - I can't give more details because of the sensitivity of some things there - but - the conviction is a laugh and ultimately it's going to be made as such....
    Mark Lawrence - KFLL
    Davie, FL

    Community Manager
    email: [email protected]

  6. #6
    Senior Member darlyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Screw everything about that. Outlawing scanners...that's insane. I wonder what their radio regulations are in general. Thank FSM that I will never be visiting it anyway (unless prawns land).


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