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Winglets747
10-06-2007, 04:48 PM
Okay I just read the (locked) Cargo Plaza 10/1 thread and while I don't mean to inflate the subject anymore, I thought this would be worthy of mentioning.

Last Sunday (9/30) I was at Cargo Plaza in the late afternoon and early evening. Prior to this, I had been there about five times during the past year and was never once hassled, and during that time I had not heard of any major police activity, so I considered heading over there to be fine. I'll add that during some of my visits there, there was a dad and kid playing soccer on the grass, and another time I was with a handful of other spotters on the grass for at least two hours without getting hassled once. (For the record, I was not part of the August Cargo Plaza spotting that was previously mentioned.)

After probably about 90 minutes of being there, two PAPD cars came over (each had one officer). At first the main officer was very confrontational, saying "this is government property" and "you could be arrested". I immediately apologized and offered to leave at once, at which point he dropped the tough guy attitude. He seemed to convey that they were getting calls and had to check it out and they were more annoyed they had to drive over than they were displeased with someone spotting.

He also mentioned that "you guys can't spot near the approach. You have to use the spots around Rockaway Blvd," indicating they were familiar with us and where we spot.

On my way out I made a wrong turn and had to back track via Cargo Plaza. By the time I was there (approx. 20 mins after I left) there was a yellow school-bus-load of Orthodox Jews all around the landing lights taking photos. I don't know if PAPD ever came over to them.

Also on that Sunday, there were two guys hanging out in Cargo Plaza. I thought they might be spotters but after a good half hour of not seeing any cameras with them I decided not to bother them. As I remember it now, I'm actually pretty sure they were spotters and members of these forums. If they're reading this, perhaps they could share if they had any issues that day.

Tom_Turner
10-07-2007, 10:15 AM
He also mentioned that "you guys can't spot near the approach. You have to use the spots around Rockaway Blvd," indicating they were familiar with us and where we spot.

They couldn't care less where you go, as long as you leave their jurisdiction and they don't get called again.


On my way out I made a wrong turn and had to back track via Cargo Plaza. By the time I was there (approx. 20 mins after I left) there was a yellow school-bus-load of Orthodox Jews all around the landing lights taking photos. I don't know if PAPD ever came over to them.

Probably not; its very inconsistent.

The thing to remember is the "Cargo Plaza" is *not* a place that is guaranteed. As we know, it is not promoted by this site, notwithstanding inevitable "JFK XX DATE" threads with the obligatory card dumping of so so shots of common daily arrivals over "Cargo Plaza".

I don't know how much patience Port has with this, but not sure the hobby is going to "scale up" very nicely in this case.... Then again, the story you relate above is not any different than how things were back in 2003, in terms of consistency, so maybe no one has the
definitive answer or advice.

Tom

Gerard
10-08-2007, 07:22 PM
Just to add one thing that I saw on the original thread before it was locked down. A few threads mentioned how having your kids with you helps not getting hassled while spotting. Well I can tell you how true that was. Back when I was really out and about spotting. especially helicopters, I usually had one or both of my sons with me. At that time they were pretty young and I never once got stopped or questioned, even at JFK by the cargo area. In fact more than once I was invited onto the flight line at the old NYPD Aviation hangar at Floyd B. by the pilots to check out the ships with the kids. LOL little did they know I was more excited than my kids.