View Full Version : Panera Parking Lot 02/26/2011

2011-02-27, 01:32 PM
So today we welcomed a new Nassau County PO to the hobby. A Female officer positioned had been parked right next to the garbage disposal container at the newly opened Panera Bread for about 15 minutes when she then drove her RMP towards us who were standing next to our cars closer to the entrance than to Panera.

She smiled politely and I immediately approached her on her driver's side window. She was visibly concerned with our actions. I said hello, she said hello,,,

PO: What are you doing?
Me: Taking pictures of planes
PO: Why?
Me: Because we love airplanes and photographing them.

By this time Mark had also come over.

PO: Well, don;t you think that's kind of strange given what's going on?
Me: No, not really, what's going on?

She and I exchanged some more small talk regarding the hobby and how widespread it is etc. etc. but she never ever answered my question about her suggestion that 'something was/is going on"

So, it ended up with a request for IDs which we immediately produced. She then asked:

PO: What about them other two? Do they have ID?

We called Kaz and Chris over who also quickly produced valid ID. Chris was questioned as to why he was here from Maryland to which Chris responded 'I am ALSO from Brooklyn and then she quickly let that go (she seemed intent in finding something wrong or odd with our behavior.) Mark did ask her if someone called us in which she said "Yes" which figures why she came over in the first place after observing us for quite some time.

The Officer then left without saying much. Other officers usually ask us to report anything wrong if we see it before they leave us.

Other Nassau County officers and RMPs simply drive past us all the time knowing about us already and there is even a Sub Station within earshot of our usual location.

To round out the day, we moved over to The Mounds as JFK switched RWYs and there were two NYPD RMPs chatting with each other while we were spotting until we left. When I left, I waved goodbye which they reciprocated.

2011-02-27, 02:25 PM
The cops showing up are completely fine, and it IS important for them to ask us some questions, even if they are a little odd or seem irrelevant, just to feel us out as being true enthusiasts. Although I really don't like that "with what's been goin on" line that we get a lot, as if there was a trror attack last week or we need to stop our lives and hobbies for a decade.

2011-02-27, 02:47 PM
Phil that line comes out of a quest to keep things smooth from their end. If people don't do this while tensions in the ME are high we won't get as many calls, why don't you just stay home as to not attract attention and make us do more than we have to etc. It's a means to an end. I have found telling them that I won't let fear of Jihad deter me from doing what I want is enough. They are trying to make their lives easier is all.

2011-02-27, 03:04 PM
I did not mind it one bit, I am all for the interaction. I have nothing to hide since I am not doing anything wrong (other than loitering around a parking lot LOL) although I did patronize the newly opened Panera! Totally awesome...

RECOMMENDED: Caesar Salad Sandwich!

P.S. I did ask her if she meant the Mirages that defected from Libya to Malta and she looked perplexed by my question ...

2011-02-27, 03:54 PM
"Why what's going on? Did they switch runways!?!?!" *hop in car and zoom off*

2011-02-27, 11:39 PM
"Why what's going on? Did they switch runways!?!?!" *hop in car and zoom off*

LOL can see the headline now "Aviation Spotter Arrested After Evading Police Due to Runway Change!" Followed by "Film of spotter being tasered while taking photograph at 11."


2011-02-28, 01:22 AM
"Why what's going on? Did they switch runways!?!?!" *hop in car and zoom off*

LOL, good one Phil, I have to use that one one day!

I was at Costco last year (our Costco) getting a couple of emergency film (2 8GB CF cards) as I left my CF Card Case at home like an eeeh deeh ohht and I took my cam on my shoulder with me. Everyone was staring at me of course but one guy comes up to me all jolly and screaming "Hey you take pictures of planes right? I see you guys all the time out there... ahhhhh ahhhh... " I mean he was like screaming at me.

I told him, no, I am shooting "flying birds" ... LOL. You had to see his face, he was so disappointed. He really thought he "caught" me. I was not technically lying!

2011-02-28, 10:18 AM
Wow, that's pretty much the exact opposite of what happened yesterday at the same spot with Mark and Chris- cop drives up and with a big smile says to us "You guys are a day early!" I brought my Mom along yesterday because she wanted to "see what we do". She had a blast. She was talking to the cops too.

We also got to meet one of Evergreen's 747 captains, Tom, who happened to be going into Panera. Very cool dude.