View Full Version : 08-14-2010 - JFK - Bayswater Park

2010-08-15, 12:13 AM
Decided to go out today because 1) I haven't been spotting for a long time and 2) wanted to check out the Mounds and Bayswater - both of which I've never been. Went to the Mounds first, nothing doing then headed over to Bayswater around 5:30pm.

I'm there about an hour and it's going ok but I saw a sign that says the park closes at 7pm so I get ready to go home. As I'm about to shoot my last plane, I hear a Park Ranger on a bullhorn telling people the park is closing in 30 minutes. I turn around and see park patrons walk up to the Ranger in his tractor and point to me.

At this point, I know what's coming next...

Ranger: Hey you, do you have a permit?
Me: A permit, no. I didn't know I had to have one. I guess if I do I can stop. (I walk closer to him so he doesn't have to come all the way out to me)
Ranger: Why are you shooting?
Me: Airplanes (thought he asked what am I shooting)
Ranger: No, why are you shooting? You professional?
Me: Oh no, for hobby.
Ranger: (sizes me up, at this point my shades are flipped up) You wouldn't be lying to me?
Me: No man.
Ranger: Ok, you can keep shooting. The park closes in 30 minutes.
Me: Ok, I'm leaving now anyway. Thanks.
Ranger: Thanks for understanding.

As I'm walking away, I overhear him tell the concerned citizen that he checked me out and it's ok as long as I wasn't shooting professionally...

Even if I hadn't decided to go home, I would have handled it exactly the same. It's a Saturday, end of the day for this guy and he's gotta get people out of the park. Already sucky since I'm sure people are gonna complain because it says light way later than 7 now. On top of that, someone's pointing at the guy with the big zoom lenses and is doing the whole "see something, say something" deal. And I could tell the ranger was dreading this as much as I was.

Two ways I could have handled it.
1. I could have ruined his day and mine by getting all ACLU on him and then both of us go home mad.
2. I play it cool and best case both of us goes home happy. Worse case I go home a little disappointed.

2010-08-15, 09:17 AM
I was at Bayswater park about 2 weeks ago or so, when the parks department guy that was mowing the lawn approached another spotter (John) and me asked if we had permits. I informed him that I checked out the NY State Parks department website and informed him that no permits were necessary unless you are a professional who is making money off photographs. Obviously we didn't fit into either and off he went mowing the lawn. It's getting ridiculous..........guys on lawn mower acting like they're the law or security agents! What's next?

Bottom line, as long as you're honest and up front (which I believe we all are) and leave the attitude home, it shouldn't be an issue.

I was by the mounds briefly yesterday afternoon, then I spent shooting from my backyard since they were using 13L. Will try to post some photo's later.

2010-08-15, 09:42 AM
The people who work for the park are asking questions that they are allowed to ask, however, annoying it may be to some. It seems we have given the correct answers in a friendly manner, and then are left alone. Just how it should go.