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Thread: 3-31-14 SAT

  1. #1
    Senior Member RWB's Avatar
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    3-31-14 SAT

    I had an encounter Monday afternoon with a ops. person and an security supervisor that left me dumbstruck. First a little history, the main runway was recently closed for repairs, this will last about 3 months which leaves only 1 runway for large aircraft, 4/22, at the approach end of 22 it has always been acceptable by Airport Police to watch/photograph aircraft as long as you park away from the perimeter fence. Plus there is a new greenway walk/bike trail just off the end of 22 which is good for spotting. So I started out there weeks back checking out the different areas along the trail and roadway, no issues, I noticed quite a few people viewing aircraft from the roadway so I started parking there with them, last Friday a total of 4 persons were there, APD drove by, waved and departed, another day earlier an Officer had stopped just to ask what I was doing and departed.

    Monday a Operations 'agent' called me to the perimeter fence and asked if I was taking pictures, I stated I was, he asked if I get the tail number and what do I do with it, before I could answer fully he starts in with "you sell them to Airliners.net" I tried to tell him no one 'sells' photos to them, as far as I know, and tried to tell him that the APD is well aware of this area and my activities but he wouldn't even listen but before leaving he said something about there's an "angle" for why I'm there and he's gonna get to the bottom of it?. LOL give some one a badge and their gonna save the world!

    20-30 minutes later I saw him talking to one of the airport security persons, he took off towards the main part of field and the security vehicle started rolling in my direction, I flagged it down and a lady who IDed herself as the Airport Security Supervisor stated I'm "tracking aircraft" and that is a security issue? She actually listened to everything I had to say but would not budge on her opinion, and that is all it is, an opinion! She couldn't back it up with any real ordinance or rule. Even when I told her about the top level of the parking garage being listed on the airports website as the official area for spotting, "still can't do it". So she asks me to leave, I told her no, I'm waiting on the Alaska Disney plane to come by. One thing I argued with her about was Google driving around documenting every fence, gate, and area of the perimeter and posting it, she wasn't aware of that, just my "tracking". I asked for her supervisors name which she provided and her business card so I could email her links to actual 'tracking sites' and sites like 'ordwatch' to try to show her everything she had told me is total BS and for her and the ops guy to "be careful" about making assuming accusations and violating peoples rights. She asked again if I would leave, again I told her no. About 20 minutes later APD comes out and shrugged his shoulders, said he had to come out because she called, talked to the other person that was eating dinner and watching planes then departed, no action.

    Her supervisor is new here, according to the airports website he came from DFW/DAL, so I'm sure he is well aware of the hobby as DFW has Founders Plaza and I can't see someone like that coming here and implementing the mindset of these two. So a email went to him explaining what happened and I expressed concerns that some re-training for the two should be done and an apology is in order.

    No answer from either email as of now, but I was out there in the same spot 4-1-14, same time. I saw 2 different Ops. vehicles drive by, didn't even look at me or slow done, same with APD. So who knows, maybe I'll show up one day and there will be "no parking" signs posted every where? I'll just go back to the greenway!
    PANTS UP, DON'T LOOT!

  2. #2
    Senior Member RWB's Avatar
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    Well no problems yesterday for several hours. Got a email response from the new Security Manager that's positive...
    I want to thank you for emailing me your concern. First and foremost, I want to apologize to you for the inconvenience this has caused you. Iím very familiar with aviation enthusiast doing photography at airports. I worked at DFW and DAL for years; itís my experience this is a hobby that many people enjoy doing and come from all around the world to take pictures of aircraft. Also, itís been known for several years that aviation enthusiast have helped airport security and law enforcement in detecting and reporting suspicious activities at airports. As an airport security professional, I sincerely appreciate the help with keeping airports safe and secure.

    Please allow me time to research your concern here at SAT. I want to check if SAT has a preferred location (similar to DFW) for such activities to take place. I will provide you a response within one (1) week.

    Also, do not hesitate to contact me via the contact information below if you need anything else. Again, I apologize and hope to have a resolution to your concern real soon.
    PANTS UP, DON'T LOOT!

  3. #3
    Senior Member MarkLawrence's Avatar
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    Nice to have someone pretty much on your side to start now!!!
    Mark Lawrence - KFLL
    Davie, FL

    Community Manager NYCAviation.com
    email: [email protected]

    http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=1538
    http://amateuravphoto.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    Bravo, sir! So glad you refused to be inappropriately run off. You handled that real well, without getting out of hand about it and everything

  5. #5
    Senior Member RWB's Avatar
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    Bravo, sir! So glad you refused to be inappropriately run off. You handled that real well, without getting out of hand about it and everything
    Thanks! Talking to that lady was like talking to a brick wall!
    Nice to have someone pretty much on your side to start now!!!
    It's very good with his experience with spotters, hopefully he can change some things!
    Mark, I see a watch group just got started at MIA http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/201...dale-hollywood looks like that's becoming a trend, a good one!

  6. #6
    Senior Member RWB's Avatar
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    Received an email this morning as promised...
    This is a follow-up to the email I sent you last week. I did some research in regards to approved locations at SAT for plane spotting and do not believe the area you were taking pictures of aircraft on March 31st is an issue. As you are aware, airports operate in an environment to ensure the security and safety of the traveling public and its airport users. This requires law enforcement officers, airport operations, and security personnel to perform regular inspections of the perimeter fence line ensuring the activities along the fence line will not compromise the security and safety of the airport.

    I want to assure you, I have reviewed your concern with Airport Police, Airport Operations, and Security staff. I have another follow-up meeting in the next couple of weeks with Airport Police and Airport Operations to discuss plane spotting and review the current designated areas at SAT.

    Should you have any further concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member MarkLawrence's Avatar
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    Nice reply from him!

    Yes - the MIA watch is slowly getting off the ground - the official announcement is 4/30 when it will formally be introduced - watch NYCA as it will be covered here by a certain local who is also a member of the watch team!! ;)
    Mark Lawrence - KFLL
    Davie, FL

    Community Manager NYCAviation.com
    email: [email protected]

    http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=1538
    http://amateuravphoto.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member RWB's Avatar
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    A couple from last evening before the sun set, all taxiing to 22 for departure.






  9. #9
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    Obviously photos taken by a suspicious individual who should probably be closely watched by the TSA, NSA, BSA, and maybe even the SPCA...

    Nice shots. I didn't know Southwest still had any of the "Herb-Turd" paint jobs left, or is that a retro paint job?

  10. #10
    Senior Member RWB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snydersnapshots View Post
    Nice shots. I didn't know Southwest still had any of the "Herb-Turd" paint jobs left, or is that a retro paint job?
    Thanks! I've seen a couple of the retro-style, one with the white borders around the windows, N714CB says "Classic" on the nose and another I've seen has Herb Kellers name on the nose but no white around the windows, N711HK

  11. #11
    Senior Member RWB's Avatar
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    Jan. 11,2017 update, Ofc. Boone of APD ran off the person with children watching aircraft parked behind me, then ID'ed me and ran me off after stating the reason has been in effect for over 10 years? I tried to have a conversation with him pleading my case that it is a public area approved by his supervisors, but he had his mind made up and I had to leave which I did, but did call APD and ask for a supervisor on duty. after 10 minutes a Sgt. came on and stated the same rule and said "Have you seen the news lately?"

    Did something happen that I missed?

    So another e-mail to the security director was sent asking for an explanation. What really pissed me off was when I got home I remembered I had a copy of the e-mail from Lt. Griffin stating i could be there at that location above my visor in vehicle
    PANTS UP, DON'T LOOT!

  12. #12
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    If it's a public place like a city-owned park and the officer fails to provide an actual ordinance/law that you're breaking (the specific rule, not "have you seen the news lately?" or "because 9/11" or "the rule has been in effect for over 10 years"), you're under no compulsion to do anything.

    Of course following through with a functional 'you can go screw yourself, officer' is another matter. It's exactly the type of thing you can wind up in a squad car for with a resisting arrest because you "talked back".

    I'd take it up with the city and once again clarify with the airport. Or just show up with a printed (more than one, in case they take it from you) copy of the email from Lt. Griffin and see what happens.

    https://vimeo.com/87121992
    Last edited by jerslice; 01-12-2017 at 01:21 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mateo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RWB View Post
    Did something happen that I missed?
    The Maine, Pearl Harbor, Cuban Missile Crisis, 9/11, ordered his burger without onions and got onions? Each of them are equally valid excuses and totally invalid at the same time. A police officer is never ever ever going to admit that he's wrong, so in 99.9% of cases discretion is the better part of valor.

  14. #14
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    Yeah...to add to that...if you're at the point where a LEO has told you to go or to move, you've almost certainly already lost. Nothing wrong with presenting your case politely and respectfully - I've won a few over that way, so it can be done. But most of the time (90%) it's already over. Call it a day and live to shoot for another one.

    But the downside to spotting is that we always like to go to our same spots, and it's not uncommon for the same cop to have the same beat. And that's where it can become more problematic - they start to know you and you them. And so you get those "we've had this chat before, you can't be here...if I see you here again it'll be a citation for trespassing or an arrest". And if you do get either you should win in court down the road, but it'll come at a cost but personally (an arrest record) and financially (lawyers, court fees, etc). So I'd venture that approach the PD and the city and the airport is your best course of action. Contacting the ACLU can be a big help too.

  15. #15
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Yeah, you really gotta pick your battles, or at least your methods of them. What happened to you is total bull. But you have little to gain and everything to lose when pressing back against an actual cop (security can be another story). Often best to get outta there and follow up with their bosses or other officials.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

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