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Hassled At SAT Today  
User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2046 posts, RR: 22
Posted (10 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 2136 times:

A lot of maintenance and refurbishment occur at the San Antonio airport. This brings in a lot of interesting aircraft; so when I visit my son there, we always check out the latest arrivals.

Today we were in luck. A Saudi Arabian Royal MD-11 (HZ-HM7) and a totally white 747 (G-VRUM) were parked very close together, and were just behind a fence adjacent to a public road.

I got several shots of the Saudi, then was in the process of getting pics of the 747 when my son hollered at me that security was running toward me. A guy ran past the '47's landing gear toward me. I could hear a voice crackling over his radio saying, "Detain him. Get his license number and ID."

Now get the picture here. I'm on public property with no signs posted on the fence. The street I'm on connects a rental car company with the rest of the airport. The guy breathlessly runs to the fence and calls for backup. A larger security man appears in the distance behind me, also running.

To shorten the story, both guys had patches on their uniforms that said "San Antonio Aerospace Security". Guy #1 told me that the Saudis did not want people taking pictures of their plane. I said that I would have gladly complied but that there was no sign saying such.

The voice on the radio interrupted: "The Saudis want to get the film. If it's a digital camera, he must delete the pictures in your presence." I knew there was no legal right to demand such, but I didn't want a lot of trouble, you know. So I started pressing buttons on the back of the camera. What I did was to save every other shot I had taken. I would then hold the camera so that Guy #2 could see the me delete the pics that I did not save. I deliberately worked so quickly that to a novice, it appeared that I was clearing the deck.

I then asked him if it were OK to take pictures of the 747. This is classic. He said, "You have to have permission from Boeing." Now since I didn't want this to escalate into somethng ugly (even though I had done nothing wrong), I refrained from getting smart-alecky with this guy. My son told me later that I should have told him that I DID have Boeing's permission.

Guy #2 took all the info from both our drivers licenses. He seemed to understand the silliness of all this and that we were not threats to the nation's security. He even said, as we parted, "Sorry about this."

Since I'm away from home, I haven't had a chance to refine the shots I took. Hopefully they will slip through the screening process so I can share them with you later.

Somebody please spread the word: Cameras are not guns!"


II Cor. 4:17-18
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFireguy274 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 299 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (10 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 2108 times:

I had an experience at BOS last week. Someone called the police about a suspicious person photographing aircraft. The officer was very polite and took my name and soc...I can understand the concern people have with what's going on in the world. I think we just need to be patient and hopefully things will settle down in the future. The law enforcement community must be on edge right now...Stay safe Artie

User currently offlineDb777 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 885 posts, RR: 44
Reply 2, posted (10 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 2107 times:
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I would never let private security guards order me around on public property, nor would I let them dictate anything to me about my photos or take any information from my driver's license. If the Saudis don't want their aircraft photographed then they shouldn't fly them in public airspace to public airports. If police officers don't have the right to take your film without a warrant then private security guards sure don't have the right. I realize you didn't want to get into what you consider to be a confrontation but sometimes you need to stand up for your rights so these clowns don't try it on other photographers.

Don




Photographing aircraft since the Earth was flat and on Airliners.net since #338
User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2046 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (10 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 2105 times:

Don: You're very correct. In retrospect, I had so much going my way that a winnable lawsuit was there for the taking. They were messin' with my First Amendment rights, by golly.


II Cor. 4:17-18
User currently offlineFireguy274 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 299 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (10 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 2103 times:

Don I totally agree with what your saying except if you pushed it with Security or Police right now you will LOOSE. There is no question in my mind about this. It is not worth spending an afternoon at a station getting questioned for nothing. Security definitely does not have any right to take your info or pictures but if they call the police its really not worth it. I think SleekJet played it smart. You stay safe.....Artie

User currently offlineDb777 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 885 posts, RR: 44
Reply 5, posted (10 years 7 months 15 hours ago) and read 2095 times:
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Fireguy, from what I read above, these were private security guards who have no law enforcement authority whatsoever.

When you say that "if you pushed it with Security.....you will LOOSE (sic)" (the word is spelled "lose") you are not correct. Let them call the police - he hasn't broken any laws by taking photos on public property, especially when it isn't posted. If the police show up before he drives off, the worst that can happen is that they will check out your tag number and driver's license number, which is probably what the private security guys did.

I don't argue with real police officers because they can arrest you for failure to obey a police officer and that would suck, even if you weren't breaking the law to begin with.

Don



Photographing aircraft since the Earth was flat and on Airliners.net since #338
User currently offlineFireguy274 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 299 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 15 hours ago) and read 2092 times:

I hear what your saying and I don't disagree with you. I just think being around an airport at all right now you can easily come under scrutiny. I just hope it all goes away real soon..... Artie.

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29791 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (10 years 7 months 11 hours ago) and read 2051 times:

Well, I would like to think I would do the ballsy thing on public property and tell him to call a real cop.

But I don't think I would have. As somebody said, the deck is currently stacked against sanity.

But I would have told him that destruction of any of your property would require a court order.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineRyangooner From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 969 posts, RR: 23
Reply 8, posted (10 years 7 months 8 hours ago) and read 2028 times:


Its crazy, security RUNNING towards you - lol

if you were a terrorist would they still be running towards you!!!!!! think not!

You photog's over in the US of A really have to contend with 2-bit twats who have $5 per hour security jobs - jobsworths

on a serious note - they are trying to do their job but as always dont realise the laws they are playing with, In england i guess we would have said get me a real cop (he may talk sense!) but the stories posted in these forums about US police at airports makes you think "where will i end up today - downtown!"

keep taking pics and making these people think they are doing their jobs!

Ryan Hemmings



ooh to ooh to be ooh to be a gooner!
User currently offlineDufo From Slovenia, joined May 1999, 798 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (10 years 7 months 6 hours ago) and read 2003 times:

Welcome to the modern free world!

Remember.. safety comes first  Big grin



I seriously think I just creamed my pants without any influence from any outside variables.
User currently offlineBruce From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5047 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (10 years 7 months 2 hours ago) and read 1957 times:

I can understand the fear over a Saudi aircraft. Relations aren't too good now; there is a fear that the next terror hit could involve Saudi nationals or aircraft - dont forget that most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi.

In Nashville, those guys shoot Southern Air and China Airlines 747s as well as Swiss aircraft going to the Embraer plant and nobody says anything.....

bruce



Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
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