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Thread: KSAT March highlights, good times, bad times

  1. #1
    Senior Member RWB's Avatar
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    KSAT March highlights, good times, bad times

    Greetings again, another interesting month came and went here at San Antonio. Starting off with a rare visitor, Czech Air Force A319...


    Departing the next day, no idea what it was doing here, my buddy at Landmark couldn't get any info out of them or a look inside of it.


    American started sending B738s twice a day about a month ago, so it was just a matter of time till they sent the Retrojet, was checking the tail# daily to see if it was scheduled...


    Interjet has been sending quite a few Sukhoi Superjets here, sometimes 3 a day...


    Dallas Mavs arriving in the always sexy looking N801DM...


    Brand new Gulfstream G450 for a local flight department here.


    Fairly new Citation X based here...


    Went out one Sunday to catch a Canadian Falcon 900, on the way I noticed a guy with a Canon zoom doing some spotting at the adult book store near 12R, after I got my shot I went back around and pulled in and met Frank from Cape Town, South Africa of all places! He was in town for a biz conference and doing some spotting before heading back to the other side of the world. He had seen the black T-38s that had arrived moments before the Falcon and wondered why they came here to a non military site, I sent a text to my bud at Landmark telling him a spotter from far away would like to check them out, he was like sure come on over. So we head over and even though this one cloud kept blocking the sun for the entire time we were on the ramp, it was probably one of the best spotting times I've ever had, Frank was in awe that we could just walk out there and our escort should be the Aviation God of the year, I mean the guy is just finishing up his shift, takes the time to take us out for almost an hour and when the other crew was having problems with the air-start cart on one of the T38s, he runs over and takes care of the problem, off duty! Something to do with a valve, but you could see the pilot wasn't too happy after the first two attempts. One of line guys brought his HD out for some photos with a T38...




    Went back later and was trying to get a shot of the remaining T38 in the sun when two vans pull along side the sidewalk and about 12 or so guys with cameras jump out and start shooting from the fence! They said they were on a 'spotting vacation' from Europe, talk about a super day, SAT seemed to be a spotting epicenter at least for a day.


    And then we have the last Friday of March, wasn't a good day all around, went to the Pilot Shoppe in the late afternoon for the regulars and while sitting in my vehicle a guy approaches and asks some stupid question about looking for work, I was puzzled and just said I'm always looking to make money, what do you got? He says he's just making sure I'm not pointing lasers or guns at airplanes. I'm just shaking my head, reach back and pull out my 70-400 and hold it up, it just takes pictures I told him. He goes on about this and that, I see he has a lanyard around his neck that says "Texas Rangers" with the logo (not the MLB team) so I ask him who are you with and he pulls out a what looked like a wallet with the FAA logo embossed on it, I said FAA? he said uh huh, never showing me a badge or ID. Told me he trying to think of a better spot for me to be at?? I told him I do just fine right here. Told me he was looking to rent a plane to fly his family to Florida, I asked what type, 'uh I don't know'. Said he flew for the FAA, I asked if he ever flew N1, he said 'it's parked parked over on Wetmore rd at the moment' , my BS meter is pegging red at this point, so I tell him I wonder why it would be there when Landmark (right across the street) has the government contract?? 'uh uh I thought you meant something else' Then out of the blue he says I should go to the Valero hangar and ask to take pictures, I told i did in 2008 and they said they didn't like their aircraft photographed, then his whole nice coy attitude changes and he tells me angrily 'thats why they call em PRIVATE AIRCRAFT' and starts walking towards his vehicle, I raised my voice 'maybe they should fly them to a PRIVATE AIRPORT ON PRIVATE LAND' snapped a few shots of vehicle as he left and went to talk to the owner of the Pilot Shoppe and she said he was weird, asking a bunch of questions about me, stated he was FAA but never showed her a badge.

    So I go to Airport Police and talk to one of the Officers I always see and told him what happened, he was very interested in this, wanted full details for the report and a photo of the vehicle w/plate#, went to get a statement from the Pilot Shoppe owner, and after a couple of days this was the answer I got...
    "Richard,

    I did get to the bottom of that with the help of several three letter agencies (who all know about this person now).

    I cannot give you any of his info ofcourse, but he does work for the FAA. I do not believe he had the authority to do what he did and if that is correct, that is being handled by the proper authorities.

    This should not be an issue any longer, but if it happens again or anything similar, please let me know.

    I apologize, I was actually going to call you today but got swamped with a bunch of calls.

    I appreciate you bringing this to my attention."

    Had some other knuckleheads randomly stop recently and ask what I'm doing, one claimed to be a FedEx pilot based here and wanted a photo of one of their planes landing, he said he flew the MD-11, I asked about the MD/DC-10s he said just the 11s, 'the 10 is a whole different plane' I thought that was weird because all the DC10s were converted to two person cockpits for crew flexibility. i think from now on I'm going to be a little more cautious and private about what info I give out, maybe I'll just tell them 'I'm minding my own business maybe you should try to do the same'
    PANTS UP, DON'T LOOT!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Zee71's Avatar
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    Firstly, great catches and awesome light! Interesting exchange with the individual.
    Mark
    Queens, NY

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

  3. #3
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    I thought that having a mental illness that caused you to act like that would keep you OUT of the FAA. Oh well....you tolerated him better than I would have.

    Excellent catches in there!!! I had the 2-vans-full-of-foreign-plane-spotters-thing happen when I was @ MIA last month. It was crazy!

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