View Full Version : November 6 - KSTL

Matt Schuette
2009-12-03, 09:32 PM
Hey guys, new to this forum, im liking the site, I really wish we had something for St Louis like this.

OK, anyone who knows KSTL knows that it is very spotter...UNFRIENDLY!

I got into this hobby because I am an aviation NUT, I love planes of any type, and plan on getting my private pilots license within the next 5 years...god willing

I had been spotting at STL for about a year, off and on, generally once a week or so. I had been told to leave my spot off of 12R one time, the police officer didnt get out of his car, just honked his big horn and waved me on...ok no problem. After that I was kinda spooked and laid off for about 3 weeks, then got the itch again. so 6 months go by and I dont see anything, no sign of a cop or anything like that so I feel pretty good about myself...
Now, my spot that I had is pretty well known with spotters around here, its a road right next to Berry Hill golf course, Duncomb Drive I believe it is called. Please note that this spot is about a half a mile from the perimeter fence of 30L/12R, and about a quarter mile from the perimeter fence of 11/29. I like this spot because it has a pretty commanding view of the airport as a whole, and with a good bair of bino's I can see everything really well.

I was coming home from school one evening and I decide to go check out whats goin on at good ole lambert. HOWEVER this time I decide to get a little closer, so I take a road that goes right next to 12R, its a public road off of lindbergh and goes off to some airport admin building. about 20 minutes in i'm ready to go and next thing I know 1 airport cop shows up, and approaches me, I say to him very friendly "Hello officer, How are ya", I hold out my hand to shake his (this is how i greet people) and the cop looks at my hand like its a gun thats ready to kill him. so after a few seconds I retract my hand and just write it off thinking that the guy's just being cautious, whatever. he askes me what im doing here and I tell him honestly " I'm just watchin em land sir, im tryin out my new scanner".

Matt Schuette
2009-12-03, 09:40 PM
He tells me that I am "trespassing" and that I am on airport property. Im way outside the fence at this point but im willing to concede that I may be a little close from where I usually sit. I talk to him for a minute and he is still very cautious. At this time a second officer arrives and asks me the very same questions....I answer politely and he gives me the same answer as the first one...that I'm "trespassing".... I tell him "no problem officer I will keep that in mind in the future"...After about 20 minutes of questioning he asks me if I have a problem with him running my name. I answer him "No sir, no problems at all" so 5 minutes later he comes back to me telling me that I have a traffic warrant from almost 10 years ago.....at this point im thinking "whiskey tango foxtrot" *lol*

so long story short I get hauled off to jail for 2 hours, first airport jail...jeezuussss...then the wanting city comes and gets me and holds me for 30 minutes till my wife gets there to bail my sorry butt out.....

now im reaaaallly afraid to go back to spotting at my original spot where I only got bothered once in a whole year.. simply because the airport police told me that duncomb drive is also airport property and that it is "trespassing" even there......ugh

My QUESTION out of this whole ordeal is that, can they really do anything to me if they come up to me any more if I decide to go back to duncomb drive and spot ? Im not mad about the traffic deal, thats my bad and from my first wife being irresponsible and not paying my ticket when she was supposed to *she handled those things*. I am however, extremely worried about getting tossed in the can on a trespassing deal, I dont need that mess!

2009-12-03, 10:32 PM
When I used to live in STL, there was a little spot just off Fee Fee Road and Lindbergh that was an open area for spotting and while I used to go there, STL airport police were always looking at people there but never kicked people out. Duncombee Drive is just off Fee Fee and as far as I know, that is not airport property - but it's been a while since I was there and with the W1W expansion, I don't know where airport police jurisdiction lies - they used to have a 5 mile perimeter from the airport is what I remember. If you go a little further up Gist Road - there is a park up there if I remember right called Freebourn Park. That used to be spotter friendly a few years ago as well. Knowing STL airport police and their attitudes, I'm not sure what to suggest apart from maybe speaking to the airport directors office and asking them where the boundaries are. Everyone will tell you here - always be respectful to Law Enforcement and I think you were that - it was just unfortunate about the "other" issue.

Matt Schuette
2009-12-03, 10:36 PM
yeah, oh well...it happens ya know ?

I may call the airport police chief and see if I can get his permission to spot out there. I dont know his name so I may have to do some investigating.

The Officers where just checking me out etc etc and where gonna let me leave with a "your too close" kinda thing.. I dont fault them for catching me on a warrant that I had...its my responsibility to take care of such things. They where just doing their job.

i will look up that park real quick and see if its still there.

2009-12-04, 04:16 PM
When I was with TWA in STL, there a great public spotting area off Lindbergh, then we also had the 94'th Aero Squandron, that had a patio that was right next to the approach end of 30R, and they would allow you to go on property to spot, even before they opened.

I would contact the airport authority, and see what the policy is to spot

2009-12-06, 04:36 PM
For the nearly four years I've been here, it seems that the Airport Authority (and by extension the Airport Police) have taken a pretty dim view of spotting on/near STL. There are several KILLER spots that would make for outstanding photography locations, and keep spotters/enthusiasts corralled... Unfortunately, they're all barricaded and posted off- limits. I think the fact that some of the immediate areas around STL tend toward being rather run down might be a contributing factor, on top of the post- 9/11 security push.

Making a call can't hurt, but I've pretty well written STL off as a lost cause... I think they've bred a culture here that doesn't take a kindly view of us, and they want us to stay away- permanently.

Alex T
2009-12-22, 02:44 AM
I always spotted at the golf course overlooking 12R/L, however when I was there I was working for Southwest Airlines. So I always had my WN ID Badge and STL badge with me in case I was ever questioned, this never happened.

Spotting at STL does indeed suck, and 94th aero squadron as mentioned before was awesome to spot at.

The cargo parking lot at Southwest Airlines at the E Terminal provided some nice ramp views as well, I never had problems spotting there, again I am an Employee so this may be why but never was I confronted there either.

It does seem to be hit or miss. It seems we have few more STL folks then I thought, we should arrange a meet up if anyone wants to see WN 737's after WN 737s come in with the occasional S80 from AA! :lol:


Matt Molnar
2009-12-22, 02:59 AM
It does seem to be hit or miss. It seems we have few more STL folks then I thought, we should arrange a meet up if anyone wants to see WN 737's after WN 737s come in with the occasional S80 from AA! :lol:

You'll have some Air China 744Fs soon. Or maybe not soon. I just read they're still negotiating? Sheesh.

2009-12-22, 02:27 PM
You'll have some Air China 744Fs soon. Or maybe not soon. I just read they're still negotiating? Sheesh.

Quick step off topic- seems like every other week the local papers cycle back and forth between stories of "deal's on, deal's off, maybe, maybe not, could be, might be..." I honestly don't think there's a market here for it, what with Chicago just a few short hours away, and the ability to fly considerable amounts of belly cargo to Asia on UAL, AAL, KAL, JAL and ANA, 7 days a week. Then there's also UPS over in SDF and FDX down in MEM to provide 1-2 day shipping capacity. I'll believe this one's a done thing when I see that big, graceful 744F on final. Until then... :| Now back to your regularly scheduled programming!