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Spotting Horror Stories  
User currently offlineKoryo From Vatican City, joined Feb 2009, 285 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 5 months 19 hours ago) and read 6035 times:

We all have our great spotting days, but some days just don't go well from Rent-A-Cop encounters to equipment malfunctions fell free to share your stories.  bigthumbsup 


This forum is as good as you make it. Never post a message in anger. Take the high road and others will follow.
61 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 months 18 hours ago) and read 6014 times:

Only bad days are when the weather doesn't cooperate and every photo is ruined by heat haze.

The security people around Sydney are no problem - they are usually friendly and will leave you alone. Only encounter I had with them was on SQ A380's inaugural flight into Sydney.

They were interested in my camera and lens and were quite incredulous when the crowd parted to make way for me.  Smile

It's surprising how many times you'll be asked by travellers for photo advice/help - the classic being, my camera did this - how can I stop that from happening.  Wink


User currently offlineChukcha From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 1977 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 months 14 hours ago) and read 5964 times:
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Quoting Cpd (Reply 1):
The security people around Sydney are no problem - they are usually friendly and will leave you alone.

We are really blessed here in Australia - the paranoia of seeing a potential "terrorist" in every aviation enthusiast never really caught on in Oz.


User currently offline777MechSys From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 350 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (5 years 5 months 14 hours ago) and read 5959 times:
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Skybus' first flight into BLI. Royal and I waiting to take pictures of them departing. The airport manager knew where we would be. Unfortunately, it was next to a hangar being used as a base of operations for Homeland Security. Needless to say, it was not a good day for us.

User currently offlineDazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2887 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (5 years 5 months 13 hours ago) and read 5951 times:

I can't say I've had any bad days. You are there to enjoy a day out and hopefully grab a few nice photo's so you make the most. It beats working!

I've only had a couple of issues in the last few year. Maybe 'issues' is the wrong term. I've been stopped at Manchester a couple of times by Police but they're generally a friendly bunch and you just have a chat about things with them and they go on their way. I've been searched once because they thought my monopod may have been a weapon!! I've no problems with the police because they are only doing their job; and that's to keep us safe.

My latest run-in with them was when I was working in the northeast in January. While I was driving up there (it's not somewhere I normally get to), I stopped at Humberside airport on my way past. Movements and access are limited so I only stayed about 30 minutes, but got a few nice frames. While Iwas parked there, a police officer started to walk towards the car while on his moble phone. I was sure he was coming to talk to me. He just walked straight past. I heard nothing more until I got back home later in the week and I had a message to call Humberside Police. Very strange I though. Anyway, the officer who walked past me had PNC'd me (car registration) for my details and check-up on who I was and wanted to know what I was doing and why I was there. Why he didn't just ask me on the day is bejond me. Well, I had to give a formal statement to the police as to the reasons for my actions as they had me on CCTV for 30 minutes acting 'suspiciously'. It wasn't a problem, there was no action taken (not like I was doing anything wrong) other than having to give the statement. That was more of a hassle than anything, and I can appreciate they are only checking up and keeping people safe. But I couldn't understand why the officer didn't just ask on the day and it would have prevented the rest.

I suppose I had a bad day last thursday; I stopped off at Blackpool to get a photo of the lunchtime Dublin flight (bear in mind that is the only highlight of the day!) and I missed the ATC chat on the radio somehow and it was too late to get out the car by the time I realised it was 5ft over the runway  banghead 

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlineStealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5678 posts, RR: 45
Reply 5, posted (5 years 5 months 12 hours ago) and read 5926 times:
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Quoting Dazbo5 (Reply 4):
because they thought my monopod may have been a weapon!!

Like most at SYD, had few horror days but once when the 16L approach mound still existed the Security guys (inside the fence) asked if I would mention to the folks parked up on the mound that they shouldn't park there vehicle up there.
The driver responded by demonstrating that his vocabulary was limited to four letter words but his passenger felt that a more physical response was warranted... only by changing the grip on my monopod and making it into a weapon(a Manfrotto 457B with video head) did he back down.

On another, non Av, occasion I was photographing harbour lights around the Sydney Opera house.
When using a tripod I tend to carry it with camera attached and semi collapsed in the crook of my arm somewhat like a hunting rifle. I was approached by a police officer who understood my interest and was indeed going to return on his next free night to photograph the same scene but respectfully asked if I would, in future, carry my equipment less like a weapon.

Cheers



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineConoramoia From Ireland, joined Oct 2007, 499 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (5 years 5 months 11 hours ago) and read 5895 times:

At a small airport in Ireland(Galway) I was spotting in a field of which I knew the owner and after about an hour a fire brigade jeep and truck made their way to the fence.They both stopped for a minute then the jeep continued for a bit and it had to stop again because it nearly got stuck in mud,so the man came out and asked me what I was doing,but it came as no surprise.....I'd do the same if I saw a fifteen year old standing in a field pointing a long lens at a plane.It turned out that a couple of years before that people entered the airfield and obviously got caught.He told me that ATC had noticed me.I told him that I knew an ATC controller(truth!!)and so he asked me security questions and went on his way!!
I was just surprised that they sent out the fire brigade!!


User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Reply 7, posted (5 years 5 months 10 hours ago) and read 5879 times:

Quoting StealthZ (Reply 5):
Security guys (inside the fence) asked if I would mention to the folks parked up on the mound that they shouldn't park there vehicle up there.
The driver responded by demonstrating that his vocabulary was limited to four letter words but his passenger felt that a more physical response was warranted... only by changing the grip on my monopod and making it into a weapon(a Manfrotto 457B with video head) did he back down.

Ah yes - the Manfrotto monopod, they are so useful.  

My 685B is similarly robust (and has a pointy end on it). I imagine it could be a nasty weapon if needed. Fortunately I've not had any encounters like what you've described.

I do dislike the jet-ski riders on the water who go blasting past at close range.  bomb 

[Edited 2009-03-01 04:25:59]

User currently offlineFlyingfox27 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 424 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 5 months 10 hours ago) and read 5865 times:

The only disaster i had while spotting at Gatwick was when i left my scanner behind and found out when i got home!..... D'OH lol, luckily i was planning on getting it replaced anyways back then.

User currently offlineStealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5678 posts, RR: 45
Reply 9, posted (5 years 5 months 10 hours ago) and read 5855 times:
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Quoting Cpd (Reply 7):
I do dislike the jet-ski riders on the water who go blasting past at close range.

LOL, I use them for panning practice... do get some nasty looks in return though!!

Cheers



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineDazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2887 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (5 years 5 months 9 hours ago) and read 5838 times:

Further to my post above, I've just been stopped by the police driving home from work! Aparently, after the Humberside airport incident I mentioned above, a marker has been put on my car registration and it triggered an ANPR alarm when I drove past his police car. He stopped me to ask what I was doing, where I'd been etc and check on my details. I explained everything has been dealt with and there's no problem so he's asked for the marker on my registration to be removed otherwise he said I'd get stopped everytime I drive past an ANPR equiped police car!

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlineLh526 From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 2351 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (5 years 5 months 8 hours ago) and read 5822 times:
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Quoting StealthZ (Reply 5):
On another, non Av, occasion I was photographing harbour lights around the Sydney Opera house.
When using a tripod I tend to carry it with camera attached and semi collapsed in the crook of my arm somewhat like a hunting rifle. I was approached by a police officer who understood my interest and was indeed going to return on his next free night to photograph the same scene but respectfully asked if I would, in future, carry my equipment less like a weapon.

Had the same thing happen in a governmental / parliamental district. My Manfrotto was malfuncitoning at this time with one leg lock being loose and so allowing for the leg to extend by gravity ... i shouldered the tripod with a strap like a rifle unaware that one leg went loos rendering the Manfrotto to look like a snipers rifle from a distance .. I soon got approached by 3 soldiers and yels, I was thrown to the ground and had 200lbs of marine manforce on my back ... the misunderstanding turned out second splits later and I was free to go  Smile

Mario
LH526



Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...
User currently offlineDaleaholic From UK - England, joined Oct 2005, 3207 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (5 years 5 months 8 hours ago) and read 5824 times:



Quoting Dazbo5 (Reply 10):

What a pain in the ass!

Good of him to get it removed for you though!



Religion is an illusion of childhood... Outgrown under proper education.
User currently offlineBrasila684 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 98 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 5 months 7 hours ago) and read 5801 times:

I was spotting F-16's taking off at KFAT, and a cop pulled up. Ok, I thought, there just going to ask us what we are doing and leave us alone. WRONG. He told me he did not care what I was doing, if I didn't leave he was going to confiscate my camera and put me in handcuffs.



Brasila684


SkyWest Baby!!


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (5 years 5 months 6 hours ago) and read 5782 times:

I drove out to MAN (from Stoke) last week for the KLM retro-jet, giving myself plenty of time. I arrived at the viewing park 20mins before the due time, only to see it taxiing off the runway just as I got through the gates. Needless to say, I wasn't in a position for a photo and the damn thing was in full sun!

Karl


User currently offlineG-CIVP From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1314 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (5 years 5 months 5 hours ago) and read 5750 times:

One from LHR. I was waiting with my then partner in crime, for the Air New Zealand B744 in the 'Lord of the Rings' scheme on the northside of LHR. It was near the 3.00pm runway switch, so we were trying to decide whether it would take 27L or 27R, by counting these aircraft in the queue for take-off, calculating that there would be a 2 minute gap betwen departures and doing the maths.

Needless to say, there was a lot of 'will it, won't it'. Got no idea why we weren't listening to a radio (although this would be illegal in the UK) but if I recall correctly, we were gambling on a 27R departure. As we both worked Monday to Friday, it was now or never as the 'Lords of the Rings' scheme was quite elusive at the weekend.

Anyway, we saw the Air NZ head towards the southside on the outer taxi-way, at which point, we ran like possessed men across the perimeter road, get in the car and tear around the perimeter road to Cains Lane and cross the A30 to get the shot on 27L.

Did we succeed, yes and no. There was moderate sun and those photos which did have sun on, had a touch of glare! So a half victory but one of the more memorable near misses and the obligatory 'why do we bother' conversations.


User currently offlineSpencer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1635 posts, RR: 17
Reply 16, posted (5 years 5 months 4 hours ago) and read 5717 times:

Only real nightmare was the final day the three Concordes landed at LHR. The security wouldn't let us near the fence which was kind of weird considering the locations some people managed to access! Anyway, these guys really were rent-a-cop jobsworths and dressed in their all-powerful, big-I-am yellow vests made it quite hard work getting any decent ground shots. Truly another waste of British tax-payers money! We was even told to get off the grass verge that backs onto the perimeter fence!!
Spence.



EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
User currently offlinePetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3353 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (5 years 5 months 3 hours ago) and read 5677 times:

One day-trip to Berlin resulted in the following list of problems:
1) Leaving by bike at 5 in the morning to go to the nearest train station 7 kms away to catch the first train to Arnhem. Only arrived barely in time to buy my return ticket due to head-wind.
2) Once in Arnhem take the bus to the Gelredome to collect the shuttle bus to Niederrhein. Waiting time over an hour since there where only 3 shuttle busses as day to NRN!
3) Flight NRN-SXF delayed by 4 hours due to fog.
4) Two hours of spotting, back to check-in again.
5) Flight SXF-NRN delayed due to fog.
6) Arrived half an hour later then the last bus back to Arnhem, thus forcing me into a hotel in Weeze.
7) Day later take the bus to Arnhem and take the train. Forgotten that my return train-ticket had expired. Had the first ticket inspection in almost 2 years (I drove that route daily for school). Needless to say I got fined.
8) And to finish it off, the bike had been stolen from the train station!


The funnier side of spotting is having a junior German police officer ask a background check over the radio. He did the full phonetic alphabet (Papa, Echo, Tango, Echo......). Me and the senior officer where laughin our heads of, as my full name if well over 40 letters long! The senior officer mentioned they wanted to arrange some sort of initiation ceremony for her, but he felt that would no longer be required!


Speaking of having fun with my full name. At LHR I was stopped and questioned by a police officer for section 44/2 of the 2000 Terrorism act! The officer was well impressed with my identification card, muttering that the UK should introduce something similar. He was so impressed the idiot wrote down my christian names instead of my family name! The ID-card is in Dutch and English so really he should have known better.

[Edited 2009-03-01 12:19:32]


Attamottamotta!
User currently offlineSketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1776 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (5 years 5 months ago) and read 5595 times:

I dont have any bad ones really....mostly just not arriving at NCL in time to view the arriving EK A330

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 15):
Got no idea why we weren't listening to a radio (although this would be illegal in the UK)

really???



There's flying and then there's flying
User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6688 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5576 times:

My only technical problem of note was with the old film camera when I managed to use the same film twice and got some interesting double exposures.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y120/oly720man/double.jpg

Of historical interest, the Tradewinds B707, G-BNGH, was operating for Air Hong Kong. The BA B747 was one of the ex-BCAL machines G-NIGB. I think the ATA B727 was operating for Air Malta. (November 1989.)

(And no, I don't seem to throw anything away... might come in useful one day.)



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineKoryo From Vatican City, joined Feb 2009, 285 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5561 times:



Quoting Oly720man (Reply 19):

Do you have more of those they look very interesting.  Smile



This forum is as good as you make it. Never post a message in anger. Take the high road and others will follow.
User currently offlineRyan h From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1532 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5537 times:

Oly720man, that double exposure looks a bit spooky.


South Australian Spotter
User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6688 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5447 times:



Quoting Koryo (Reply 20):
Do you have more of those they look very interesting.

A whole film of them!! Damn. And looking through the db there are no pictures of G-NIGB in BA colours. I'll scan some more tonight.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineG-CIVP From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1314 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5447 times:

Sketty222 - In context, I meant VHF communications rather than commercial radio. As you are probably aware, there is a law in the UK that states that the receipt of broadcasts between aircraft and ground stations by unlicensed persons is illegal, although it does go on. I think it's one of the reasons why live radio feeds via the web, e.g. for LHR ATC broadcasts, are unavailable.

I'm sure if I had posted the original post in the Civil Aviation forum someone would have gone 'tut, tut' for radio abuse, so I qualified the comment.


User currently offlineSketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1776 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5401 times:



Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 23):
Sketty222 - In context, I meant VHF communications rather than commercial radio. As you are probably aware, there is a law in the UK that states that the receipt of broadcasts between aircraft and ground stations by unlicensed persons is illegal, although it does go on. I think it's one of the reasons why live radio feeds via the web, e.g. for LHR ATC broadcasts, are unavailable.

Hehe, I know you meant VHF and that you weren'tjust listening to Radio4 or something Big grin

Is it illegal to listen to ATC via an airband radio though? I thought it was just illegal to listen to Police and Emergency Services bands



There's flying and then there's flying
25 Oly720man : It is illegal to listen in on any broadcast that isn't "public", i.e. radio stations. And it is definitely illegal to relay such information. Which i
26 Post contains links and images FYODOR : I guess I've already told about this case at forum but it was few years ago. There were Soviet times I've started with spotting (those days I'd no any
27 G-CIVP : Sketty222 - I think we would have had more luck listening to Radio 4 on that day. Now, time for another story. Peter's adventure reminded me of the ti
28 Post contains links and images Oly720man : By (popular) request.... Air Canada C-FBEM, and still flying. Cyprus A310 5B-DAS ended its days at Mojave as TC-AKP. ATP G-OLCC now G-MANH and flying
29 Post contains images Koryo : Woah those are really cool but the best part is all the planes are ghosts from the past.   You should try to get a good one into the database. Cheers
30 Post contains links TransIsland : While I've had a few unfriendly encounters with the Royal Bahamas Police Force and Airport Security, they don't really qualify as "horror stories." I
31 Post contains links Oly720man : And it's N136WA according to libhomeradar.com for the incoming flight http://flightaware.com/live/flight/WOA3101 2009/03/05 13:39 WOA3101 WO3101 N136
32 DenLaw : Not really a horror but still funny. June 10 2008 Air Force One came in in Berlin Tegel TXL. A few days later I was at the Airport fully equipped with
33 Oly720man : Few in the world of security would, I'd imagine. You're probably fortunate they didn't haul you off there and then. How many people at airport check-
34 Post contains links and images Deaphen : Not exactly a horror story, but you guys know all those nice pictures you see of aircraft turning onto A4 at BOM to get onto RWY 27? Well here is a ba
35 Post contains links and images TransIsland : Thanks. This is kinda the angle I'm missing out on - even though my lighting would not be as nice. View Large View MediumPhoto © Jens Roßbach
36 Sebjacques92 : Well it wasn't a horror story for me but it was for a friend i was spotting with. When i used to live in Prague we used to spot in a field next to RWY
37 Mclaudio : Cheers. Another one without an "horror story", but I have a small one. Back in August 2004 I went to LHR just to snap a few frames and as I arrived be
38 TransIsland : So I come home last night and tell my wife that I missed a DC-10 at the airport, and she gives me her all-knowing nod, so I say, "Do you know what a
39 TimdeGroot : I once took a fantastic image here at AMS. Then I came home and I uploaded it to airliners.net. One week later it was rejected. Truly an horrific expe
40 Koryo : Good one, even worse your acceptance ratio took a beating.
41 Opso1 : I had my camera out in Kandahar getting some Sqn photos for our homecoming briefs. The US security asked firmly, whilst raising his rifle to the aimin
42 ANITIX87 : A couple of minor stories. 1) ABE - Going to catch the inaugural Allegiant flight from FLL, I drove to a public park that sits right under the approac
43 2H4 : She should be a news anchor. 2H4
44 Koryo : That is better than most I have seen recently on the news actually.
45 Michlis : Not so much of a nightmare, but i had an amusing incident today while spotting at Pease in Portsmouth, NH. A Coast Guard Guardian flew in and stopped
46 Koryo : It is good to hear that he was understanding about the situation and did not tell you to leave as soon as he got there.
47 RG828 : Oh, nothing serious. Just held in detention once in GRU for 7 hours, after being reported by rent-a-cops in their break for ´acting suspiciously´ in
48 Drewski2112 : I was at BFI on a windy day at Midfield Airpark. I stepped out of my car with the car door in front of me to get a shot of a biz jet that was already
49 Dlednicer : -I carried a tripod for two and a half weeks through Morocco so that I could shoot the inside exhibits at Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace at Le Bourget
50 ANITIX87 : Maybe museums aren't a good idea from now on?? Just throwing that possibility out there. Haha. TIS
51 Jalap : A recurring horro was dust on hot and/or dry days. You spend a days spotting somewhere, get home, mail your kodachrome films to the lab, get them back
52 Aero145 : I had a similar problem - although I didn’t have to have it with me for such a long time, I had to carry it (I was a 12yo back then ) from the cent
53 Koryo : Do you think he brought his rifle when that happened? Cheers, Koryo
54 Tonyb : Three incidents that immediately spring to mind. First in the late early 1990's at Sofia, I was part of an aviation group (around 20 people) from the
55 Post contains links Michlis : Interesting development at Pease yesterday. A truck crashed through the perimeter fence, drove a short distance inside the perimeter and then tried to
56 Koryo : Too, bad always sucks when one complete i**** ruins it for the rest of us especially when it is someone is not even related to spotting.
57 Koryo : I have a spotting story from not too long ago at LAX I was spotting from Imperial Hill that day and the SQ Star Alliance was in town 30 minutes minute
58 Cpd : Join the club - that happened to me yesterday. As it happened, here I was trying to photograph a Qantas A380 (it's the one plane I can never seem to
59 Plainplane : That happened to me with the Emirates A380 at JFK when I went in December. The weather was gloomy for the entire trip. Hopefully the weather isn't bad
60 Murcielago4me : This happened to me last week at SJC. After shooting some 737s and CRJs, I decided to head home. On my way to the next street. I was stopped by an off
61 Koryo : At LAX I have never been bothered by the police, in fact the only time I have seen the police pay attention to spotters is at Imperial Hill when El Al
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