View Full Version : Non-Aviation Police Stop Turns to Planes

2005-10-18, 05:54 AM
I met up with an old friend from high school last night. A brief chat in her car by Herman MacNeil Park (Point D on the LGA Spotting Map).

We sat in her car overlooking the skyline and 22 arrivals. Nothing romantic, not a "Lover's Lookout" or anything.

A cop car comes out of the park in front of us and stops in front of the car, blocking us from leaving if we so intended. Two officers get out and walk to either side of the car.

I squinted to prepare for the light that would be showing on my face. Instead, I see the light first shining on the my crotch, obviously checking for some kind of "inappropriate" behavior.

The first cop asks her what we're doing. Instead of just saying "hangin out" or "talking", she says "Watching planes". I was surprised that she said that,a and the cop didn't really care for it. "You know, in this day and age after September 11, that's really not a good answer to give me."

I couldn't believe I was in this situation without my camera. I didn't know what else my friend would say that might lead to a further grilling of me. I expected her to say "No, it's ok, Phil spends all day taking pictures of planes," but thankfully she didn't.

They asked a question or two and glanced at our IDs and left us be.

The light on my crotch was the highlight of my evening, and the most attention that area of my body has received in quite some time. haha

Matt Molnar
2005-10-18, 10:27 AM
I guess you didn't get the memo, Phil.

In addition to still and motion photography which were declared illegal on 9/11/01, it is now illegal to cast a brief glance at, or to even think about airports. And along with briefcases and other large containers, as of July 22nd, male packages are also subject to random search by the NYPD.

Tower Air
2005-11-01, 08:41 AM
the searches went to court yesterday didn't they?

2005-11-01, 08:14 PM
the searches went to court yesterday didn't they?

What are you talking about?

2005-11-01, 08:22 PM
the searches went to court yesterday didn't they?


Alex T
2005-11-01, 09:02 PM
Phil- Must admit I wouold have thought the same thing :lol:

She seemed cool about it, but hey its the police, they want the truth, they gonna get the truth from me. If I am watching planes, I am watching planes. However, in this event maybe "getting ready to have sex" might have been more appropiate or expected answer haha.

glad everything turned out ok.


Matt Molnar
2005-11-02, 01:10 AM
[quote="Tower Air":fd28e]the searches went to court yesterday didn't they?

What are you talking about?[/quote:fd28e]

I think he means the NYCLU's suit against the city over the random subway bag searches which I sort of brought up in my silly post.

2005-11-02, 10:45 PM
The NYCLU really is a Criminals lobby isn't it?

I mean, a school security guard notices the likely bulge of a gun in the jacket of a "youth" entering public school in the Bronx. searches the kid - and turns out to be RIGHT... and they effectively argue to a Peoples Republic of New York judge that the guard violated the youth's rights.

God save the Bronx.

2005-11-12, 11:39 AM
The Elizabeth Police in NJ will tell you "they don't want people even looking at the airport"


Tower Air
2005-11-12, 12:32 PM
What's with this you should hold a protest saying airplane spotters are not harmless!

2005-11-12, 02:33 PM
What's with this you should hold a protest saying airplane spotters are not harmless!

Say what? Bro, spotters are harmless.......

2005-11-26, 05:22 PM
I was at my favorite nook at EWR while making deliveries out of the airport to certain locations in the tri-state area when an El-Al lady lacted like a complete jerk to me saying she was airport security asking me what I was doing which I said I am on lunch waiting for a package to deliver and while doing so I advised her that Spottin was a hobby of mine and had my scanner in the car also listening to Traffic. She first tells me that listening to air traffic in the USA is illegal secondly she threatened rto call the Port Auth if I didnt show her my Drivers License and copied my license plate down. Litte did I know at the time there was an EL-AL departure waiting on the runway in the process she tells me she is all the authority that needs to tell me to vacate the area. Where I was was in the north cargo area of EWR off Brewster RD where you turn in at Delta Dash cargo and go to the end where you can see both arr and dep off the 22's and landings on 11/29. There are now signs that indicate there shall be no unauttorized vehicles there anymore. I even told her that If there was anything suspicious that I would report it immediately which she laughed. She left as soon as the EL-AL 747 turned northward after departing 22R. What is upo with El-Al Personnel and why are they sooooo rude and quick to judge everybody. She was in a van that had a NYNJ PORT AUTH blue plate and a laminated el-al id which she said was a police ID. I just gave her my license and she gave it back and said was i still going to be parked here nd i said yes and she left. Can el-al personnel do this ?????

2005-11-26, 07:52 PM
I dont know how much "authority" the El-Al personnel have, but I do know that they take their security VERY seriously. There is usually a vehicle that "escorts" every departure & arrival. When the aircraft is taxi-ing, one of their security vehicles follows along either via taxiway ot airport road, as close to the aircraft as possible. They are ARMED.
You have to remember that El-Al although with no incidents, feels they are the most targeted airline in the world, hence the extra security. Could she have detained you, I doubt it, but if she were to have gotten the real authorities involved, it probably would not have been a very fun day for you.

2005-12-21, 05:22 PM
El-Al security have absoulutely NO authority. All they can do is ask PAPD to remove you.

You should write to El-Al corporate offices in NYC and ask for an apology.

I did this with El-Al in London after an incident in Frankfurt with someone who I was travelling with. I got a very nice apology along with a book about the history of the airline.

2005-12-21, 07:05 PM
Some of the guys were at my place the other day before the Xmas party and we saw a video from JFK in 2000 with an El Al 744 departing with an El Al security Armored Personel Carrier racing along with it on the taxiway.

2005-12-21, 09:40 PM
Phil, I half expected to see the car take off too. That would have been sweet!

2005-12-21, 10:14 PM
haha. That hunk of metal certainly does not fall into the "lighter than air" category.

I'm surprised we don't see those more in the post-9/11 world.

I recall a buddy having a run-in ON THE RAMP with El Al security. Maybe if he reads this, he'll share his story. :)

2005-12-27, 05:59 PM
Good ole EL AL ...............

It was 3 years ago I was doing some shooting at "the holes" in MIA , when a North American 767 taxied up... she was flanked by a EL AL service truck.

I was in the company of 8+ others. Doing just what we have done all day, plenty of cameras pointing at the planes taking pics.

Then the EL AL guys, no bull, take out some sort of small machine gun and give it a shake. It was not pointed at us, but showing off sideways, going in an up and down motion showing us to "drop it"

Everyone lowered our cameras, then they chased the 76 on take off.


All EL AL personal goes ape $hit during every movement.

PS---for those that don't know, North American sole business is feeding EL AL flights for them in the US, so its an entity of EL AL.

Tower Air
2005-12-27, 06:20 PM
don't forget they "THINK" they are the airport police but they have no authority but they have to call airport police to get you out i think you should go for the apology

Matt Molnar
2005-12-27, 08:00 PM
You have to remember that El-Al although with no incidents, feels they are the most targeted airline in the world, hence the extra security.

No airside incidents. El-Al security did kill that jihadist nutjob who started shooting people in their LAX terminal on the 4th of July a few years ago, thereby justifying their existence. That does not give them the right to harass photographers, but there's nothing that will change their mind.

2005-12-27, 08:13 PM
Mike, that is horrible. I would have lost my mind, and probably have been killed.

2005-12-29, 03:25 AM
PS---for those that don't know, North American sole business is feeding EL AL flights for them in the US, so its an entity of EL AL.

Actually, North American is currently owned by World Air Holdings, parent company of World Airways. Only scheduled service is to Accra and Georgetown, no more scheduled domestic service. They still do pax and military charters though.

That's pretty ballsy to pull the gun out in Miami.....they think they own the place?


2005-12-29, 10:21 AM
Sometimes things can be taken way way to far. I understand the need for security but that is just out of hand. Unless they were wearing a Police uniform or a uniform of the U.S Armed services I think the middle finger would have been appropriate.

2005-12-29, 10:42 AM
Thanks for the up to date fine tuning , interesting.

True Tommy, but it was just so shocking at that instant....I still can hear the gang gasping once the hardware was exposed, scary! Was piss off after they left, lol.

BTW, same deal, one could tell this was not some official truck, just a quickie magnet sign.


2005-12-29, 08:03 PM
Last year, I was on the TARMAC at JFK, WITH a PA OFFICIAL and we drove all around the ramp and runways taking photos.

But as soon as we rolled up to the 747 on the apron, some little ElAl chick approached us too, demanding IDs.

Now, she was no bigger than Shosh but could probably break me in half. Seriously.

Asked for our ID and tried to infer to the PA official I could not take photos. But, I have to say, she sheepishly tried but didnt get away with it. Got my pics.

In your place, I would have called the PA Police myself and called her on it. IN other words, I would have jumped on the threat. "hold on honey, I''ll call them myself and tell hem yo are harassing me." and maybe even phone my lawyer. PS carry your lawyer's number on your mobile phone.

Of course, like Tommy, I agree they have reason to protect their planes but not impinge on our rights.

And, actually, I believe ElAl DID have one terrorist incident many years ago.

2006-03-06, 05:06 PM
Screw EL-AL security people. If you don't do anything illegal they can kiss your ass.
In 2004 I was spotting from the observation deck at WAW airport when EL - AL security lady came to us (I was there with local spotter) and said that we have to stop taking pictures right away.
We burst in laugh, and that was it. We've told her that if she wants to use her power she can go 10 yards away and harras 10yo boy taking pictures with his point and shoot film camera. And thats what she did! :)
When I get home tonight from work I will post picture from that day - you will see why she didn't want anybody to take pictures.


2006-03-06, 11:58 PM
Here is the reason why she came to us at Warsaw. They landed almost back to back