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Thread: JFK 5/30/13, and my epic spotting fail

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    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    JFK 5/30/13, and my epic spotting fail

    Last Thursday was shaping up to be a nice day despite the heat and haze. I had just gotten USAir's 2nd America West heritage from my back deck, which completed the US specials for me before they get repainted


    Then I see that CS-TLO is coming to JFK for a 4:35 arrival and I still needed that one. So I jumped in my car at 1:30, figuring I had plenty of time to get up there. I got as far as the Staten Island Expwy when the traffic stopped dead. I considered turning around but I had already paid the Outerbridge Crossing. So I started the weaving in and out and riding people's asses. The Verrazano was pretty open, then the Belt became a whole other mess. I was sweating bullets, checking my watch every couple of minutes. I got to the field at 4:25 and saw they were on the 13L/22L split. I couldn't find approach while I was driving so I dialed in Tower as I made u-turns on Brookville Rd, knowing I only had one shot at this. Finally I headed to the Mounds just as they checked in- for 22L. I jumped out of the car and ran across the soccer field just as Euro Atlantic came into view. Exuberent, I blammed off 15-20 shots of it before fist pumping and hollering like an idiot. Then I looked at my shots.

    In the last mad dash, the Mode dial had somehow gotten twisted away from Aperture Priority. Not to Shutter, or even Programmed Auto. To Manual. All the shots were taken at 1/200 @ f/8. I had driven like a maniac for three straight hours, picked the right runway, and gotten into position with great lighting, only to be left with a series of horribly-overexposed images. As they say, 'even the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray'.

    This is the best I could do to recover the blown highlights


    I had to take some more shots to get my mind off what I had just done






    I had no idea about the Norwegian Air Shuttle coming in, so I headed over to Bayswater to get some 13R takeoffs. The distortion from the heat haze was ENORMOUS, I could actually see it shimmering through the viewfinder


    Saw this parked on the Evergreen ramp and wondered what it was. I love unmarked 747's


















    I had the pleasure of meeting the Bayswater gatekeeper, as she was locking up for the night and had to escort me out. Her name is Jocelyn and apparently she only does this during the week, with a different resident making the rounds on weekends. She is a very nice lady and said she has seen us out there before, but she didn't think my scanner was legal. At that point I was too sunburned, bug-bitten, and aggravated at my earlier folly to discuss it.

    Taken on my way out

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    Scanner is perfectly legal provided its not being used in a car. Nice stuff William.
    R.I.P. Matt Molnar 1979-2013
    #DeleteThePickleSmoocher
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    Senior Member Gerard's Avatar
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    Wow what a friggin MANIAC!!!! I was dazed just reading your story!!
    BTW according to Manny that 747 is Ex-Korean Air still in their colors now being used by Evergreen!!

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    Member Dabbey's Avatar
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    Please educate me on that. I've never heard of a scanner being illegal in a car, except maybe in trying to avoid police when committing a crime.

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    Member ATAIndy's Avatar
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    I think you did a pretty good salvage job on the euroAtlantic.

    Are the US specials for sure going away? I only managed to grab a couple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dabbey View Post
    Please educate me on that. I've never heard of a scanner being illegal in a car, except maybe in trying to avoid police when committing a crime.
    So long as it is CAPABLE of receiving signal from the police band, operating a scanner in your car is technically illegal. NYSVTL section 397. Ultimately it's up to any officer to use their discretion should something like this in the arena of spotting occur.
    R.I.P. Matt Molnar 1979-2013
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    Senior Member Zee71's Avatar
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    Considering the circumstances you did a great job recovering an image. That happened to me as well when the dial rotated to manual mode. Lesson learned ..... Check your setting before hitting that shutter and settings.
    Mark
    Queens, NY

    My website: http://mbsphotography.smugmug.com
    My photos at: JetPhotos and ANet

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    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    As Manny had explained several months back and Kenny has reiterated, the scanner is legal as long as you don't use it in your car. I think you would need your ham 'ticket' to have radio equipment in the car, and the scanner counts even though it does not broadcast, it only receives. As you have said the idea is to deter the use of scanners that could potentially aid one in the commission of crimes, this being the reason why no distinction is made between transceivers and receivers. It still doesn't make much sense to me, since many trunked emergency communications networks are becoming more and more encrypted to where you can't receive them anyway. Plus, to me it's like gun laws- even if they are outlawed, criminals will surely still have them.

    And thank you folks for the comments. This site is surely the only one that can understand the pain of planespotting fails lol

  9. #9
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATAIndy View Post
    I think you did a pretty good salvage job on the euroAtlantic.

    Are the US specials for sure going away? I only managed to grab a couple.
    I am not as well-informed as many others here when it comes to fleet movements/mx issues like repainting, but I have to assume they will be repainted into AA colors, sooner or later. Maybe someone else here knows more.

    And thanks Mark! I thought I learned that lesson after doing the exact same thing with the Air Berlin Oneworld during UN week, or with the NCPD Bell helo @ the Jones Beach airshow last year. Amazing how getting worked up can make you forget the simplest things.

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    Senior Member Gerard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerard View Post
    Wow what a friggin MANIAC!!!!
    In retrospect you brought back a lot of memories of me doing the same thing back in the 90s when I was a wacked out helo spotter!! Like racing from Teterboro to the Bronx to catch Northstar medevac landing at an LZ
    in a park or racing from Westchester County Airport to the East 34st heliport to catch LifeStar medevac coming in!! In that case they actually flew over me as I raced down the Hutch!! Success in both cases it must be noted!! Ah good times!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wunaladreamin View Post
    Scanner is perfectly legal provided its not being used in a car. Nice stuff William.

    What is the deal with the car? Like you're gonna get into approach's airspace?

    Disregard...I saw the post above explaining the issue... I have to agree--if they outlaw scanners, only the outlaws will have scanners.
    Maybe they'll give you a 7 frequency limit. As long as it weighs 16 ounces or less. Oh, wait--that's the limit on drinks, right?
    Last edited by snydersnapshots; 06-03-2013 at 10:42 PM.

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    Senior Member Aviation.High.Guy's Avatar
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    Really nice set William. I know your pain. I can't tell you how many times I have blown a shot because I inadvertently twisted the dial. It happens more with my 7D, than my 5D. Seems the 7D dial moves more freely. I don't understand why Canon doesn't have a lock, or more tension to keep it in mode.
    -Don B.

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    It's because Canon sucks :)
    R.I.P. Matt Molnar 1979-2013
    #DeleteThePickleSmoocher
    LETS GO CAPS!
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    Senior Member Jared Blech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wunaladreamin View Post
    It's because Canon sucks :)
    I love my canon 7d but they seriously need to do something about that!
    Probably the youngest spotter ever to walk up the face of the mounds.
    Jared B. -Boces Aviation Ops Student, Jericho NY

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    Senior Member 727C47's Avatar
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    you guys rock,looking fwd to starting my next tour out of JFK, looking fwd to the LOT 787s, saw an Airindia 787 in Delhi last month prepping for service,while we were shuttling to our ship,impressive airplanes,Boeing will work the wrinkles out.
    The beehive hummm of the JT9D and GE CF680C2,the thunder of the JT8D-17,the rumble of the PW1830 and the high ,thin whine of the PW 545A are all music to my ears!

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