View Full Version : Has anybody ever been hassled at Planeview Park ?

2009-12-06, 03:17 AM
It seems that this is really the only place in the city where you can hang out all day with a camera and tripod snapping away at planes without the cops coming over to question you. But I'm curious has anybody ever had any problems or had any police encounters while photographing there ?

2009-12-06, 04:51 PM
Ive had a few problems there but not too bad, Most of the problems Ive had there was from the PAPD. Sometimes they will get calls that a person is snapping pictures of the planes from Planeview or sometimes there are calls that people are taking pictures while standing on the benches, Ive never had any issues with the NYPD there but the PAPD could be ball breakers. Just as always make sure you carry ID at all times..

2009-12-06, 05:12 PM
on one occasion josh akbar and i were observed by two NYPD officers who passed by and saw us, on another we had an sergeant pull into the park and ask for ID. nothing major either time, especially when i presented my employee badge. when air force one came in with mr. bush onboard a few years ago we were in planeview though under the watchful eyes of PAPD and secret service.

2009-12-06, 06:19 PM
I don't spot there as frequently as at JFK, but I've never had a problem. A few years ago, I was advised (probably by someone on this forum) to call the PAPD desk at LGA and let them know you were taking photos, so they would have a heads up should they get any calls, but I haven't done that in ages. The couple of times I did, the desk sgt. didn't really understand what I was doing, but eventually caught on. I gave him my name and cell phone number, and an approximate time I was staying. I've never had PAPD or NYPD visit while I was shooting there. I don't know whether it would be helpful or harmful to make a call like that on a regular basis.

Matt Molnar
2009-12-07, 12:49 AM
I've never had any problems at Planeview. I've gotten plenty of curious glances at Landing Lights, since it's closer to the road, but no encounters there either.

2009-12-07, 08:37 AM
I was one visited by NYPD, who didn't ask for ID and waved and moved along. Then five minutes later, a PAPD officer showed up telling me to leave.

Other than that, we've had occasional run-ins, but nothing serious. One fellow spotter did have a rough time from Secret Service or someone when Air Force 2 was coming in, and was told to leave.

It happens.

2009-12-07, 09:43 PM
Unfortunately there are a couple of non-uniformed civilian weirdos that "patrol" around Planeview as well as the World's Fair Marina Park. Typical tactic at Planeview is to scurry around and scribble down the license plates of those they imagine are the offenders/terrorists/law breakers.

I am sure alot of people have been harassed for any number of perceived "problem" behaviors having nothing to do with Cameras, Aircraft or spotting, thanks to these busybodies.

I also suspect their behavior (IN-Direct Confrontation such as "suggesting" you could get in trouble, be arrested etc.) and scribbling down license plates because the local enforcement entities are hip to these neighborhood cranks....

Of course there was that debate between the New York Times Photographer and NYPD a few years back, while NYCAv was being filmed. It doesn't seem to hurt one's chances to have NYTimes ID....


2009-12-09, 05:14 PM
I was a victim of one of the civilian "wierdos" back in 2005 at Planeview. The guy was in a green van and was watching 3 of us. Then he drove away at which point 4 or 5 PAPD units arrived and had us out of the car, patting us down. Eventually the lieutenant showed up and explained that one of the sergeants had a problem with spotters. He sent most of the "fleet" away but by that time they had called for the detectives.

We were allowed to continue writing down numbers while they ran our details through the JTTF database. Once we came back clean they left. All the time the guy in the van was parked near the bus garage watching the proceedings! The good thing was they ran all his details as well!

Matt Molnar
2009-12-09, 06:25 PM
The good thing was they ran all his details as well!


ISP Pilot
2009-12-10, 12:59 AM
I had a run in about 6 years ago just before the start of the second Iraq war. A bunch of feds and PAPD showed up and asked everyone spotting for ID and what we were doing there. One of the PAPD cops said "After 9/11, we shouldn't be even looking at planes". :x :shock: :x I was asked about my scanner and he wanted to know if I could pick up the PAPD frequency. I answered it probably is capable of picking it up but I have no interest in listening to the police channels. Eyebrows were raised when I explained the layout of the LGA runway configuration. I was asked for my name, ID and SS# and what my job was. A more senior fed in a suit seemed to realize we were harmless and didn't seem as fazed as the PAPD officer. I voluntarily complied because I didn't want to cause any problems for myself but really didn't want to give my SS#. After all was said and done, we were cleared and all asked to leave. I'm sure on that day, everyone was on heightened alert being the day before bombs were to fall on Baghdad so now I avoid spotting when big events such as this are going to occur.

2009-12-10, 02:19 PM
quote "I was asked about my scanner and he wanted to know if I could pick up the PAPD frequency. I answered it probably is capable of picking it up but I have no interest in listening to the police channels."

Be carefull how you answer that question, especially if you are sitting in your car with it. As in NY State it is illegal to just have in your possesion a scanner capable of picking up police bands while in a motor vehicle.