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DFW Airport Incident/Help Requested  
User currently offlineJayDavis From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 16
Posted (10 years 6 months 23 hours ago) and read 4227 times:

Hi guys,

We were thrown out of the LH Cargo facility yesterday, Feb. 22, 2004, by an extremely rude DFW police officer. We have never been thrown out before, only questioned and had our drivers license ran through a computer.

I tried to tell the officer that photography of airliners is not against the law and we were not trespassing. He wouldn't listen to any of what I had to say and I thought it was best not to argue with someone with a gun and handcuffs Smile !!

I need some help from everyone on this board though. I am going to try and arrange a meeting with some officials and administrators with the DFW Airport and the Public Safety office. Can someone please send me either links or copies of letters you and/or others have received from the TSA explaining to people that it is not against the law to photograph airliners? This police officer even told us that we needed to get a permit to photograph planes at DFW. Not true, he just made that up. However, if it takes getting a permit to be out there, I'd gladly pay for one !!

Any help, suggestions, thoughts, would be greatly appreciated.


My personal e-mail is jaydavis8@comcast.net
if you want to write me off this site.



Jay


44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAa61hvy From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13977 posts, RR: 57
Reply 1, posted (10 years 6 months 22 hours ago) and read 4181 times:

Jay- if this meeting occurs during the summer, and you want some DFW people there, Ill go with you.


Go big or go home
User currently offlineThomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3938 posts, RR: 22
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 21 hours ago) and read 4162 times:

Not to rub salt into the wound my Dallas friend but it seems you and I were discussing his very topic just last week in regards to the LH Cargo area. Now you see my point. That being said, from what I have read, I get the feeling that you might have had the bad fortune of running across a cop who may have been in a bad mood or he may simply have been someone who wanted to push his weight around. Perhaps an employee at the LH facility called you guys in. Was it open? Aside from the suggestions that you have made, I suggest just doing what we here in Houston have been working at for the last year by bombarding the various authorities, city officials and agencies with e-mails and phone calls. It seems to have worked.

As much as I like ribbing you, I certainly would not want to see DFW go the way of IAH.

Good Luck,

Thomas



"Show me the Braniffs"
User currently offlineJayDavis From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (10 years 6 months 21 hours ago) and read 4157 times:

Hi Thomas,

Nope, I appreciate your comments and your ribbing........I know it is all in good nature, just like when I rib you..........

I think we just got a hold of a bad cop yesterday and he was tired of it. He said they had been receiving numerous calls on us, even from pilots that were taxiing by. Whether that is true or not, who knows.

You would "think" that the people at LH Cargo would realize that we are always out there.........maybe they call because they don't like us out there? I don't know but it gets very tiresome.................

Do you have any examples of word documents or communication you have had between yourself and IAH authorities? Any help would be great!


Jay


User currently offlineAa61hvy From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13977 posts, RR: 57
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 20 hours ago) and read 4147 times:

Funny part is we are that close to LH cargo, and its always empty, at least when I am there.


Go big or go home
User currently offlineThomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3938 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (10 years 6 months 19 hours ago) and read 4134 times:

Well, I personally don't have any 'word' documents pertaining to this subject as I have recently upgraded to a Mac G5 and I have yet to upload 'Office' to my new machine but I will see if any of the guys at 'IAH Spotters' can help as several have been very active on this issue.

As for e-mails, well, I basically explain who I am a bit of the history of aviation spotting/photography along with a link to A.net as well as other Av photo sites. I also suggest that spotters can be a benefit as it is always helpful to authorities to have an extra set of eyes out along the parameters where law enforcement can not always be. Try to strike up a correspondence the safety director, PR head or other ranking individuals at the DFW Board. Offer your work/services for a nominal fee or (and I will probably get slammed for the following comment and I frankly can't believe that I am actually suggesting it) even dare I say, for free  Wow! ! Houston Airport Systems have used a number of my shots on their website over the years and it has generated new sales and visibility and it can build good will between you and the Airport system. It's all a delicate dance and requires a great deal of patience but if you are persistent and diplomatic it may over time work to your advantage.

On a side note, while I have never been to the LH Cargo area at DFW, it stills sounds to me as this might be private property. If that is the case you or one of the local spotters might want to speak to the station manager there and see what arrangements might be made.

Good luck,

Thomas



"Show me the Braniffs"
User currently offlineRelayze From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 115 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 15 hours ago) and read 4114 times:

Hello everyone,

I am new to the forums and to the world of spotting. I live in DFW and had so far only one patrol car blocking me while at Founder's, maybe checking my reg plates.
Anyways, I went to the LH Cargo facility for the first time today (after the rain stopped) and parked facing the fence. Awesome place to take pics from I thought. I waited for like 30 minutes trying to be bothered by a cop or anyone from LH but no one showed up.
Do you have problems for just being in their parking lot?
As far as I know, I didnt see any private parking or employee parking only signs, so I guess its ok to be there.
Do you think going to airport police department and giving them a list with names and DL #'s of regular spotters and asking for "permission" to be at LH, AMR Eagle and maybe even the cemetery (by the way, can anyone please tell me where is its entrance)
would be a good idea? If you need signatures Im in. I wanna be able to enjoy this hobbie without anyone thinking Im a terrorist or Im doing wrong.
Thanks for the time and happy postings

Miguel

[Edited 2004-02-24 01:56:56]

User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2046 posts, RR: 22
Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 15 hours ago) and read 4082 times:

In digging around the dfwairport.com website, I did find one email address: nbushland@dfwairport.com

He (or she) is in charge of recruiting officers, so there is a little bit of rank there. I think I'll send him a friendly note and see if he can tell me where best to voice our stance.

Feel free to join me.



II Cor. 4:17-18
User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2046 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 14 hours ago) and read 4076 times:

OK, here is the text of the email I sent him (or her):

Sir: (if you are a ma'am, please forgive me)

Perhaps this email needs to be re-directed; if so, please give me the more appropriate recipient.

I am one of a group of airline photographers who occasionally have interaction with your officers. Most of the time, these have been polite and pleasant. But apparently on Sunday, an Officer Tittor (Badge 274) went a little overboard with some fellow photographers and it became more a matter of harrassment than routine checking.

Our position is that we want to abide by the law and certainly don't want to compromise safety at the airport perimeter. We are also aware of the post-9/11 times in which we live where vigilance is the order of the day.

But we contend that we should be treated as allies of the public safety officials, not opponents. When we are doing our hobby, we are extra pairs of eyes as it were, scrutinizing the area constantly. Of course, we are looking for aircraft to photograph, but we would quickly notice someone or something that would warrant further checking.

We would love to arrange a meeting with those in charge in order to create a positive dialogue and to clearly state our position. Our goal would be to work out some means whereby we can safely pursue our hobby without compromising your task at hand.

Again, if I need to be sending this to another officer or department head, please forgive me and give me their name and email address.




II Cor. 4:17-18
User currently offlineMia777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2002, 1165 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 14 hours ago) and read 4067 times:

I would check the grammar of that message one more time just to make things a little more "official."


MIA777
User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2046 posts, RR: 22
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 13 hours ago) and read 4060 times:

Ryan: Not to be self-serving, but I have a degree in English and I teach grammar (among other things). Is there something specific I should change, in your opinion? Uh, I'm not above making mistakes and will welcome input.


II Cor. 4:17-18
User currently offlineMia777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2002, 1165 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 13 hours ago) and read 4043 times:

I'm sorry, I'm messing with the wrong person  Smile. While not incorrect, I really don't like the sound of sentences beginning with conjunctions and specifically 'but.' Most children are taught incorrectly that this is unacceptable and the recipient may think so. Anyways, no big deal and sorry about that!


MIA777
User currently offlineJayDavis From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 12 hours ago) and read 4039 times:

Thanks for the replies guys!
I am going to send a letter similar to Ryan's above.
I won't copy it word for word, so it will look like I actually took the time
to write all those deep thoughts (grin) down...........

I am also going to send it to Jeffrey Feagan, who is the Executive Director of the DFW Airport. Might as well go to the top !!


Jay


User currently offlineJayDavis From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 12 hours ago) and read 4023 times:

This is what I wrote to Alvy Dodson, VP-Public Safety...........

February 23, 2004

Mr. Alvy Dodson
Vice President – Public Safety
DFW Airport Board


Dear Mr. Dodson,

If this email needs to be re-directed; if so, could you please give me the more appropriate recipient?

I am an employee for XXX Airlines as the Regional Sales Manager for the DFW area. I am also one of a group of airline photographers who occasionally have interaction with your officers while pursuing my hobby. A great majority of the time, all of these officers that I have come into contact with have been extremely polite and pleasant. However, that certainly was not the case on Sunday, February 22, 2004. I had the unfortunate occurrence of meeting Officer P Tittor, whose badge number is 274. I strongly feel that this officer went a little overboard with me and some other photographers that were with me and it became more a matter of harassment than routine checking.

Our position is that we want to abide by the law and certainly don't want to compromise safety at the airport perimeter. We are also aware of the post-9/11 times in which we live where vigilance is the order of the day. However, I have had contact with the TSA and have received notification from this agency that airline photography is not against the law. Officer Tittor would not listen to anything I had to say about the situation, stating that we had to have a permit to take photos. I have been taking airliner photographs at DFW Airport for over six years and no one has ever told me that I need a permit to take photographs. It is also my understanding that where we were taking photographs is not private property. It is a public parking lot. Officer Tittor told us to go over to Founder’s Plaza as an alternate location. That is an acceptable place for morning shots, yet in the afternoon, we would be shooting straight into the sun, which is not good for these types of photographs. I would also like to point out that I have been published in many airliner magazines, along with having my photos posted on sites such as www.airliners.net and www.jetphotos.net

As a whole, our group believes that we should be treated as allies of the public safety officials, not opponents. When we are doing our hobby, we are extra pairs of eyes as it were, scrutinizing the area constantly. Of course, we are looking for aircraft to photograph, but we would quickly notice someone or something that would warrant further checking.

We would love to arrange a meeting with those in charge in order to create a positive dialogue and to clearly state our position. Our goal would be to work out some means whereby we can safely pursue our hobby without compromising your task at hand. If we need a permit to take photographs at DFW Airport, we would gladly be subjected to a criminal background check and be willing to pay for a yearly DFW Airport recognized ID as an airline photographer.

Again, if I need to be sending this to another officer or department head, please forgive me and give me their name and email address. I am looking forward to your reply.


Sincerely,




User currently offlineGocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4339 posts, RR: 21
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 11 hours ago) and read 4014 times:

Should be interesting. I'll be doing some spotting at DFW from Feb. 24-29 at Flounder's and perhaps the LH Cargo area. Hopefully I will run into officer P. Tittor and see what BS he will say. If so, I'll be sending them an email too.

Thanks for the updates.

Kevin


User currently offlinePaulinbna From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 1114 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 9 hours ago) and read 4001 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I had the same kind of thing happen here at BNA about a month ago: This female officer (Airport Police) came up and told me I could not take pictures at the observation area and was very rough sounding about it. Anyway after about 2 minutes of trying to explain it to her. I told her to call a supervisor. Then she told me to go and sit in my car, after about two minutes she told me to come over and she rolled down her window and " you are allowed" in a rough voice and drove way. Since then I have not even had a visit.

So any way maybe this is what happened.

I have found out if you just ask them to ask a supervisor it wont hurt.



Canon 50D user; 100-400 MM L IS 10-22 MM, 60MM Macro
User currently offlineJayDavis From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 16
Reply 16, posted (10 years 6 months 1 hour ago) and read 3970 times:

Hi Paul,

I did not even think about asking to speak to his supervisor.
Good idea. The guy was just a TOTAL jerk. I think he thought if
only one of us wrote in to complain about him, no big deal. If we
can get everyone that was out there to complain about him, maybe
we can get the ball rolling.


Jay


User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2046 posts, RR: 22
Reply 17, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3962 times:

Jay: Let us know if and when you get a response. I will do the same.


II Cor. 4:17-18
User currently offlineAa61hvy From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13977 posts, RR: 57
Reply 18, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3960 times:

Good email Jay. Let us know bud


Go big or go home
User currently offlineJayDavis From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 16
Reply 19, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3936 times:

Here is the reply I received from Alvy Dodson................

Mr. Davis,
I have forwarded a copy of your e-mail to Chief Tom Shehan (Assistant Director/Chief of Police Services) and I am sure that he will be glad to discuss this situation with you and inform you of the procedures that are required to file a complaint against one of our police officers. We expect all of our officers to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times and we take seriously any allegation that one of our officers failed to do so.

Alvy Dodson
Vice President Director
DFW Airport DPS



User currently offlineThomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3938 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3910 times:

Nice going, Jay. Seems that e-mail got someone's attention. However you might have to keep nagging as bureaucrats tend be be somewhat slow to follow through.

Thomas



"Show me the Braniffs"
User currently offlineJayDavis From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 16
Reply 21, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3892 times:

Believe me Thomas,

I'm going to nag and nag and nag and shake a few cages to get this situation resolved. I am SICK SICK SICK of getting questioned by the authorities !!

Do we (airline hobby photographers) look like terrorist? Geesh !!




Jay


User currently offlineAa61hvy From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13977 posts, RR: 57
Reply 22, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3877 times:

I don't know Jay, between you Umphrey and Joe... You guys look kind of suspicious  Big grin


Go big or go home
User currently offlineJayDavis From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 16
Reply 23, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3850 times:

Yeah, yeah, yeah..........we have a ton of camera gear around our necks, binoculars, scanners, etc.........we really look like terrorists!

jay


User currently offlineLindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3841 times:

We had similar situation here at IAD 2 years ago. We were chased from the airport and from around the airport daily. Couple of members of our group filed complain with the airport police and one guy spoke with Washington Metropolitan Airport Authority spokeperson. After that they calmed down little bit. Also, we were lucky that that time, staff writter from Washington Post was interested in writting article about "plane spotting" in Washington DC area. He was like messanger between our group and people responsible for the security at and around the airports in VA and MD.
Spokeperson for WMAA stated clearly that we are not doing anything illegal and we can continue with our hobby as long as we dont traspass.
Here are some of the lines from Washington Post:


"The FAA say plane spotting and photography are legal, but boundary enforcement is up to local airports. Spotters say some police officers at Dulles are rude and condescending toward them and their hobby, even when they pursue it lawfully. ["Anywhere that is public is open to plane spotting,"] said Marty Clarke, a duty operations chief at Dulles. ["If there is something we don't particularly like, we will investigate."]
Two local spotters said an officer at Dulles threatened to arrest them a week ago Sunday on a hill near the airport and told them they needed a permit to be there. Hamilton said NO PERMIT IS NEEDED.
Spotters said BWI and National are much more spotter-friendly than Dulles, mostly because of their designs, which feature designated areas where people can watch planes. Officers at BWI will question spotters near fence lines, and a spokesman said they want people to use a picnic area and bike trials near the airport.
["We certainly try to humanize the airport to the people who have to live with the daily operations, WE SEE IT AS POSITIVE THING FOR THE COMMUNITY." said John White, a BWI spokesman.]"

Like I said, the best way to tell them that you are on their side is to go there in a group and talk to them politely.

Good luck,
Rafal


25 JayDavis : Here is the reply from the Chief of Police............ Mr. Davis, If you desire to discuss this matter further, please give me a call at 972-574-5564.
26 Post contains images Aa61hvy : I'd like that Jay.. If I could attend that would be great.. If not, then I will like Josh Smith speak in my place Ill bet out at DFW a few times betwe
27 JayDavis : Well the main thing is that we are beginning some sort of dialogue between the police department and our group. It has just gotten ridiculous out ther
28 Sleekjet : Thanks, Jay, for turning a negative into a positive. This looks encouraging. If there is a meeting, count me in.
29 A340Spotter : Jay, If you need any help or links, I may be able to help, though I am up in IAD this week attending an ATC conference. Side note, Rafal, if you were
30 Post contains images Lindy : Jeffrey, Tony is our main man at IAD in movement logs and biz jets. That airport should be renamed Washington Orr Int'l. I was at IAD with Tony, Sunil
31 JayDavis : Well we need MORE people that spot at DFW to come forward and help me with this...........I don't even spot/photograph as much as many, but I am SEVER
32 Post contains images Gocaps16 : Well, as for my update. today, 26feb, I was at the LH Cargo for about 5 hours with KAUSpilot. I was also using a step ladder thanks to eric for lettin
33 JayDavis : Hi Kevin, Maybe they (DFW police) just don't patrol as much during the week? I don't know but it seems like every weekend we get hassled at least once
34 JayDavis : Well just an quick update. I did speak with the Chief of Police and he was very nice about the entire situation. In order to file a formal complaint a
35 Post contains images Aa61hvy : I don't like the idea of paying for an ID badge.. Why should I pay to take pictures at DFW? Pay a membership so I don't get harrassed? Heck no. I am w
36 JeffM : Ryan, Who should pay for making your badge? Taxpayers? If checks are going to be made on your background, someone is being paid to perform that task,
37 Aa61hvy : Jeff good point! Then the hell with the badge. I just don't think I would pay for something like that...
38 Sleekjet : First of all, thanks for the great job, Jay. Sounds like you handled it perfectly and that this guy is helpful. I'm ecstatic that they have people wor
39 Paulinbna : Jay Don't forget about the visitor's you might get (Me). Please put a previsions in that plan for people that might like to just come for a weekend. P
40 JayDavis : Good idea Paul! Maybe we could also be allowed to "sponsor" one guest at a time, similar to a country club!! There we go, all of us spotters and photo
41 L-188 : I wonder if you fired off a letter to the TSA director at that airport, what his response would be. Being the negative thinker that I am, I would susp
42 Tpk : Hi Guys, I'm going to be heading to DFW today for a conference. I was planning on doing some photography on this Thursday afternoon before heading hom
43 Relayze : Hi all, Has any of you guys ever checked the airport administration's parking lot by rwy 35?? I went there last week to check it out, seems its a nice
44 JayDavis : I don't know where you are talking about Relayze, but would be interested. However, that is awfully risky, right next to the Administration building..
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