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Thread: KPHL Atlantic Aviation Spotting Still Allowed?

  1. #1

    KPHL Atlantic Aviation Spotting Still Allowed?

    I was at Philadelphia Int'l Airport (KPHL) today at the Atlantic Aviation FBO's perimeter on the intersection trying to picture UP's Super King Air. I climbed the rock wall for a quick picture and within 10 seconds of my climb, 2 cops came and surrounded us making me miss my shot. I took it as a fair warning and calmly walked back to my car. But the one cop, who I never met before started grilling me and my father for details. He asked me "What are you doing?" I told him that I was a flickr photographer trying to get the UP King Air sitting on the ramp. He didn't believe the Flickr part so I showed him a selfie that I took with an airplane and he finally believed me! He told me "Oh, your a plane spotter, aren't you! There are quite a bit of them that come here." He told me that he would escort me down where I'm allowed to spot from (I already know that spot!) but he had to do his job so he escorted me to the George C. Platt and I-95 Intersection (LOL) and just disappeared (LOL!)

  2. #2
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    Be very careful, and discreet, when photographing around Atlantic. You will naturally attract a lot of attention from the police by parking near, and then climbing up, the rock wall. Yes the police are aware of us here, but using good judgement is key. You will also not want to park on the fence side of Hog Island Rd, and ladders are a big no-no.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriStatePlaneSpotting View Post
    I was at Philadelphia Int'l Airport (KPHL) today at the Atlantic Aviation FBO's perimeter on the intersection trying to picture UP's Super King Air. I climbed the rock wall for a quick picture and within 10 seconds of my climb, 2 cops came and surrounded us making me miss my shot. I took it as a fair warning and calmly walked back to my car. But the one cop, who I never met before started grilling me and my father for details. He asked me "What are you doing?" I told him that I was a flickr photographer trying to get the UP King Air sitting on the ramp. He didn't believe the Flickr part so I showed him a selfie that I took with an airplane and he finally believed me! He told me "Oh, your a plane spotter, aren't you! There are quite a bit of them that come here." He told me that he would escort me down where I'm allowed to spot from (I already know that spot!) but he had to do his job so he escorted me to the George C. Platt and I-95 Intersection (LOL) and just disappeared (LOL!)
    How many cops at PHL have you met, you just started.

    Climbing those rocks wasn't necessary. And would attract way too much attention. Especially with the increased patrols of the perimeter.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Steven Holzinger's Avatar
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    I'd be VERY careful about photographing near Atlantic Aviation. Only time I utilized Atlantic for more than a few minutes was when the Blue Angels were in town last year...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Holzinger View Post
    I'd be VERY careful about photographing near Atlantic Aviation. Only time I utilized Atlantic for more than a few minutes was when the Blue Angels were in town last year...

    But there was safety in numbers then. Of course, you know, I do it all the time. But I make it very quick and actually have a routine. But the one advantage I have is the most of the PD know me, in case one happens to pass. But climbing the rocks near Atlantic is just asking for trouble.
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  6. #6
    I would really like to thank everyone for the responses. Now to answer your questions:

    - megatop: Well I don't use a ladder although I usually try to make that trip up the rock wall short and sweet!

    - runway27r: Probably 2 ever sine I started flickr. One while I was picturing the Brussels Air A332 and the other with the UP King Air. And I didn't just start, I have been spotting since I was 3 (in fact, i'm 14 now!) I've had a good rep with the cops and knew all of them up until I started flickr. Before then, the last time I got questioned by a cop was when KPHL used to have 4 daily 747s (British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, and UPS!)

    - Steven Holzinger: I remember persuading my parents to let me skip school to watch the Blue Angels arrive. Things turned out good and I saw them and the cops let me get any angle I wanted on them!

    P.S. I never get any attention when either the Antonov or a cool diversion (besides Brussels) are here!

  7. #7
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    "A flickr photographer" ? That is really funny. If I were the cop I would have harassed you much more for that bit of silliness than anything else. There is no such thing as a flickr photographer. That's like saying you're a NYC Subway Riding Engineer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzalu View Post
    "A flickr photographer" ? That is really funny. If I were the cop I would have harassed you much more for that bit of silliness than anything else. There is no such thing as a flickr photographer. That's like saying you're a NYC Subway Riding Engineer.
    Haha!
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  9. #9
    Relax everyone, I'm just trying to tell the cop why I'm taking the pictures to try to avoid further questioning.

  10. #10
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    I just hope the work I put in right after 9-11 to make PHL spotter friendly isn't compromised by doing foolish things like climbing the rocks at Atlantic.

    I had quite a number of visits to the police brass and countless other phone calls to make it the way it is now at PHL.

    (I normally don't pat myself on the back)
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  11. #11
    Well next time, I will not utilize the rocks at Atlantic, and will try to come up with a better idea. I would like to thank runway27r a lot because now that I am on flickr, I have been doing crazy things and you are telling me what really is illegal. Thanks a lot for your effort, runway27r, KPHL would have never been KPHL without you. Oh just as a heads up, Southern Air is going to start taking the DHL route. I don't care whether they bring a 747 or a 777, but it will be nice to see the 747 back to KPHL!

  12. #12
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    Yes, I have to pat Paul on the back here because he doesn't normally do that but it's well deserved. He's done a lot of work to make sure that PHL is spotter friendly. Although I've been approached at times, I've never had any major issues and no doubt, this is due to Paul's efforts. So don't go climbing rocks down there- lol. Stay away from the fence side on Hog Island, don't photograph the oil tanks and basically just comply with the signs. Usually at least once when I'm there do I see a car parked literally next to a "NO STOPPING" sign on the fence. I'd hate to see one random act dismantle Paul's efforts there.
    Anne

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Anne View Post
    Yes, I have to pat Paul on the back here because he doesn't normally do that but it's well deserved. He's done a lot of work to make sure that PHL is spotter friendly. Although I've been approached at times, I've never had any major issues and no doubt, this is due to Paul's efforts. So don't go climbing rocks down there- lol. Stay away from the fence side on Hog Island, don't photograph the oil tanks and basically just comply with the signs. Usually at least once when I'm there do I see a car parked literally next to a "NO STOPPING" sign on the fence. I'd hate to see one random act dismantle Paul's efforts there.
    Anne
    OK, just to let everyone know that it was a mistake when I wasn't thinking before acting because I thought the UP King Air was just to nice to pass up! I'm going to leave all of the Atlantic stuff to you all so I don't make it worse! If there is anything there that I like, I will just wait for it to depart for my pictures! Oh and by the way, a week later the same cop stopped by and asked me how I liked that spot under the tree and he told me to stick to arrivals and departures and now whenever he passes me, he always waves and the cops are still just as cool as when I did this so I am just going to stow my camera where I can't reach it when I'm passing by Atlantic so I can't be tempted to do anything stupid (lol!) So to wrap this up, I am no longer doing ground shots unless it's an Antonov or something like that because the cops never bother us when something like that happens!

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