727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5724 posts, RR: 20 Posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1079 times:
I will never go there again!!! Some people on this forum said it was better, so I went for the first trip since Sep.11. One of the RR tracks that stretches all around the perimeter, the were only 7 cars. Gee, guess where the were located,--El Dorado parking. That made it tough for photography on 9R. There is a building,some loading dock, just 200 feet or so southeast from the famous holes at 9L/12. This is where I,ve always sat with NOOOOOOO problem. I'm there for about 20 min. One cop goes by without stopping. 2minutes later another one comes up to me. Here's the exchange:
cop: "They don't want people sitting here watching planes."
cop: Appreciate it buddy."
And with that exchange, ended a 7 year relationship.
Me and MIA. Somebody on this forum said that they spent all day at thje holes without a problem. Well that's not what I experienced. I'm not going to waste my time and money driving 4 hours down and 4hours back just to be told to "get lost". Since 1995, I've visited that area 40 times, spent my money at local eateries, hotels and gas stations. NO MORE. F*** 'EM!!!!
On a favorable note: FLL was great. The park is open and full of aviation spotters again. I took many pictures throught the fence with no problems. They do, understandingly(?) have more frequent patrols.
727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5724 posts, RR: 20 Reply 2, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 878 times:
I just stuck my lens up to the fence. With the 300mm zoom, the fence rarely shows up in the picture. I saw several people using ladders against the fence. An airport maint. person drove by and didn't stop them. Then again, I don't know if the cops would've been that nice.
N178UA From United Arab Emirates, joined Jan 2001, 1626 posts, RR: 69 Reply 3, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 860 times:
I said it before, I was there have no problem all day (MIA) but it really depends on the cops mood and some cops were ok, some just don't understand. If you get any hard stuff from them, bad luck that's all, may be sometimes later things will ease!
Db777 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 885 posts, RR: 49 Reply 5, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 790 times:
I'm really dismayed over hearing reports about kneeJERK reactions against spotters and photographers like this. We usually have hundreds, if not thousands, of photogs come here during the winter from other parts of the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia because of the great weather, great sun angles, bluer skies, Eddy Gual's slide orgy in mid-January, etc. These law-abiding folks spend money on air fares benefitting a hurting airline industry, and they pay higher winter rates for hotels, in addition to renting cars and pickup trucks, buying most of their meals in restaurants, buying ladders, buying film, etc. etc. It would seem to me that threatening our visiting spotters and photographers with arrest is the last thing this county government should be doing during this lousy tourist season.
Anyone in charge of an airport's security or airport police enforcement function who thinks that spotters and photographers are a threat to airport security should be removed from office for either being totally ignorant of the facts or for using the situation to further build an empire on phony premises. If anything, spotters and photographers ENHANCE the security perimeter of an airport because they usually carry cell phones and would immediately call 911 if they observed individuals going over, through or under an airport security fenceline.
We used to have prisoners released from the county stockage at NW 37th Street and Milam Dairy Road (northwest of MIA) and due to lack of transportation they would walk home, sometimes across the airport in a southeast direction rather than around it. No one knows how many made it undetected over the years but I know of two who were caught (I caught one) after pilots reported "pedestrians" near or on the runway they were landing or taking off on. You can bet your butt that spotters/photogs would have been calling on their cell phones if they saw individuals dressed like bums crawling over the airport security fence.
I am totally perplexed as to how police officers can legally arrest spotters/photographers for taking notes, photos or videos on PUBLIC property outside the airport's fenceline. The FAA Region in Atlanta says that the FAA has issued no prohibitions on spotters and photographers outside airports, yet I've heard reports that police officers blame it on the FAA. (It's always "the FAA" or "they" don't want you here - who the hell is "they"? They never say you are in violation of Ordinance #01-6969 or whatever.)
To the best of my knowledge there is no Florida law or Miami-Dade County ordinance prohibiting spotting and photography outside the airport. So how can a police officer arrest someone if they are not violating a law? Can you be arrested for not complying with an officer's order to move from public property, even if that order is not backed up by a law that says you can't be there? Can you be arrested if the officer orders you to kiss your own ass and you can't? Do you see my point? I'm not a lawyer but something really smells fishy here and I'm not near the ocean.
727LOVER's comments about FLL being far more hospitable are absolutely correct. I've been shooting from the top of the new garages six times in the past two weeks and I've only been questioned once and that was by three National Guard troops walking around. After I produced photo ID and the sergeant wrote down the information, they left. Police officers drive by once in a while and don't even stop.
I think it's time for spotters and photographers to start raising hell by writing letters to editors of newspapers, airport directors and elected officials of cities and counties that operate airports. These are PUBLIC airports funded by PUBLIC dollars and photographers and spotters are members of the PUBLIC. Airports might not suck up local property tax dollars but virtually every airport uses federal funds that are generated by user fees and taxes on travel.
Photographing aircraft since the Earth was flat and on Airliners.net since #338
Zoomer From Netherlands, joined Dec 2000, 209 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 756 times:
Right on Don. As I have said on an earlier post some weeks ago, I don't understand why all you American enthusiasts don't form something like the American Aviation Spotters Association and then use the muscle of hundreds, maybe thousands, of members to educate aviation authorities on the difference between spotters and terrorists. I have for many years advocated the fact that aviation spotters around the perimeter is an airport's first line of security. The sad thing is that many of today's airport management teams, aviation executives and aviation security executives/administrators are NOT aviation minded, and this doesn't the spotters cause.
727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5724 posts, RR: 20 Reply 8, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 751 times:
You know whats interesting? I was about the same distance from MIAs fence as I was from FLLs fence. At FLL I'm a spotter, at MIA I'm a terrorist.
I'm curious, why did they cut down all the trees on the south perimeter by the WWII resteraunt? Were terrorists hiding in the bushes????
I guess airports can vary somewhat. Here in Tampa, we have actual airport police, not county or city police. I think this makes a tremendous difference. They only bother you in the areas that specifically have "NO PARKING OR STANDING" signs. The problems I usually have around this airport are from non-airport police.
Chris28_17 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1439 posts, RR: 11 Reply 9, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 746 times:
it's a power trip and it's stupid... But, dont just blame the cops; society has succeded in belittling the authority of our police. No one respects cops and authority in general like we once did, so now police feel the need to re-emphasize themselves by these power trips that recent events have allowed them to take.
Perhaps this belongs somewhere in the non-aviation forum but this is getting ridiculous when i have to fly 5000 miles just to go shooting, so i figured i would let you guys in on the deeper reason for all this crap. You can thank our liberal society for teaching kids not to respect their parents, and in turn not to respect any authority.
I sound nuts? put some thought into it... the year 2001 had the highest number of LEO's killed on duty than any year in history, and the number is rising exponentially every year. Why is that? First of all, cops are scared as hell to draw their gun for fear they might shoot a black man with a toy gun and live the rest of their life shunned by society and labeled a racist. Thanks to Jesse Jackson for that. Second, and once again, no one respects them; listen to popular music these days, it's cool to think that cops suck and are stupid.
So the instinctive reaction? A power trip; it's inevitable. DONT get me wrong, i am ALL FOR raising hell by writing letters to editors of newspapers, airport directors and elected officials of cities and counties that operate airports but this is only a quick fix to a much deeper social issue. Forcing cops to accept spotters will only stem the tide for now, it doesnt address the root cause or provide a permanent solution.
I apologize if i stepped on anyone's toes with this post, (or sounded uncharacteristically corny) but i'm just as pissed off as anyone else here; i cant even spot at an airport that i work at; i cant spot at ORD, where i once had a ramp badge... actually, it is easier for me to get onto the ORD ramp than shoot the perimeter; how stupid is that?
anyway, i welcome your comments, I know i'm right though j/k
H. Simpson From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 949 posts, RR: 3 Reply 10, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 722 times:
That's why I don't like cops. I had no idea why they HATE Plane Spotters, as a airport police, they should know we(the community) DOES EXIST in this world. And try to understand it instead of harassing and throwing "FBI" sh*t on us.
Jderden777 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1747 posts, RR: 33 Reply 11, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 713 times:
what's kinda humorous is when a gate agent comes up telling you that "you can't take pictures at the airport, it's new FAA regulations"...which is BS...albeit very good BS...but it's frustrating when a national guard dude comes up to you and cusses you out for taking pictures...but did THAT stop me? NO WAY!!! we've all got a right to take pictures...there is nothing against taking pictures and being on public property outside the fence...next time I encounter some power trippin' cop tryin to run me off of public property, it's gonna be tough for them to get me to leave...they can kiss my shiny white thumb! i agree with Don completely; spotters act like a pair of watchful eyes, making sure everything is going ok...so the airport management should appreciate us keeping an eye out for them...it's a waste of time to run spotters off, we're only there watching/photographing planes...don't they have something better to do? like make sure people don't get through security with explosives in their shoes? it doesn't make any sense to me...they feel that they are doing what is in the best interest to the people by running us off...we are apparently some sort of 'security' threat...it is absolutely ridiculous! we aren't doing anything wrong, there's nothing threatening about it...we are just different and that's enough they need to kick us out...::sigh:: :\
we all should form some sort of national group - it would be cool! i'd be willing to be a part of it! like the beastie boys, let's fight for our right to spot!
Skymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 12, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 706 times:
Great to hear that you're fighting back. I said you should be doing this a few weeks ago, and I'm pleased its starting to happen. IRA mortar bombing of LHR hasn't stopped us in the UK, and neither should any jackass terrorist in the US. The best way to get back to normality is to remind them that you're there, and that you have a right to be there.
PS: I will be in Miami in to take some pics in about a month or so...!
C-GRYK From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 751 posts, RR: 41 Reply 13, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 698 times:
Don, that was a brilliant post! If we had more people like you standing up for the hobby, we would be doing just fine, but I think too many people don't question the authority and just "move on." Luckily in Toronto we aren't hassled (much).
United_Fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7162 posts, RR: 8 Reply 14, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 686 times:
Well,I was hassled for the first time in my home airport,ROC. I was sitting in the same spot that I always sit in my car,reading the new Airliner World , when I glanced in my mirror and saw a Monroe county sheriff walking up the my window with his hand on his sub-standard Glock - like I'm public enemy #1. Anyways I was asked to leave because 'watching planes is not allowed anymore' . I cahallenged the a$$hole by asking nicely-since when ? I come here all the time and I was told Sep 11. I said there are no signs,to witch I was told-there are signs that say no trespassing- I returned asying that those signs mean inside the fence. Well,this a$$hole knew he was beat and very rudely told me to leave immediately. So as I rolled up my window I called him an asshole-he heard me but did nothing! I'll be back again this weekend. I also e-mailed th sheriff's dept as to why this is illegal and recieved no response.
'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
Db777 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 885 posts, RR: 49 Reply 17, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 670 times:
As a follow-up to my previous post, I shot today (gorgeous blue skies and bright sunshine all day) from the garage at FLL. Soon after my arrival, John K. Morton (aviation photographer and author of numerous airliner books) from West Yorkshire, England came up with his wife. I've met John previously and it was good to see him again. He told me that he's been coming to MIA on three-week holidays for 25 years now and has never been treated so rudely as this year and that he may never come back here unless things really improve.
He's been run off from MIA several times on this visit and was so pissed off that yesterday he went down to the area's tourist development authority, got a meeting with an executive, and told her what is going on at MIA and how they are killing visits to this area by numerous spotters and photographers.
The tourism exec called an airport contact and set up a meeting with someone in the public affairs division. The employee there told John that shooting was allowed in four designated areas and showed him on a map where they were. John said sorry, but you must be mistaken, the cops ran me off from this area, that area and that area. She then placed a call to a police Lieutenant at the airport district and told him about the problems the photographers and spotters were having. The LT said that people shouldn't be run off from the approved areas. The Lieutenant talked to John and gave him his name and number to show cops in the future if they try to run him off again.
As a further aside and one that really struck home with me, John says they have commercials in the UK with our President Bush telling everyone to come to America, everything is back to normal, and after John spends the equivalent of $5000 US for a three week vacation he feels like he's in the damn former Soviet Union because of gestapo-like cops threatening him with arrest. As an almost life-long resident of this area, I am just astounded that very highly paid officials of this county can be so damn stupid to cause such a valid analogy from a valued visitor. It's time to get our "the buck stops here" county Mayor involved in my opinion.
Aric Thalman came up to shoot shortly after John told me his stories and Aric said he had been run off from MIA yesterday. He said a cop drove up on the inside road by the shooting spot at Customs, honked his horn at him and yelled "get the hell out of there!" He too, without hearing John's previous comments, said that he felt like he was in Russia or somewhere and we all laughed when he heard that John had said the same thing. He was glad to be back at FLL where there are no hassles.
Reference someone's comments about the trees being cut down by the 94th Aero Squadron - it's probably related to some stupid effort by some government organization to eliminate a species of pine called the Australian pine because it isn't "natural" to our area. They are doing it all over the place which really pisses me off because they are the tallest trees in the area, they're nice dark green in color and they provide plenty of shade. This county is lacking in shade already and to cut down these pines is a real insult, particularly when all the ugly strip shopping centers, signs all over the place, garbage, etc. aren't "natural" either and no one is making an effort to eliminate them from our landscape. I suppose they'll spend a lot of taxpayer dollars to replace the lack of foliage with oak trees that take 30 to 50 years to mature but that's too good to be true - they'll just leave the weeds.
Another point that Aric, John and I talked about today is that if a law-abiding spotter/photographer is wrongfully arrested then you can file a lawsuit against the county for wrongful arrest and seek monetary damages. Of course you have to go through the court appearances, hiring a lawyer, etc. hassle but it might be a way to supplement one's income if someone's interested in trying.
Photographing aircraft since the Earth was flat and on Airliners.net since #338
Invader From Netherlands, joined Feb 2000, 324 posts, RR: 11 Reply 18, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 646 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW DATABASE EDITOR
Very well said Don. But for foreigners the situation is even more difficult. I am a national of a small European country (the Netherlands), and thus most of my photographing is done in foreign countries.
I have had my share in the past (before 9/11 already) of law enforcement authorities in several countries (including the USA) sending me away from places where I was sure they could not send me away, but try to explain that. I have even been arrested, had guns pointed at me, and have been detained for interrogation, but was always sent away again without a fine or anything else after a while, because there was nothing they could charge to me. But as a foreigner you are always in a very weak position, even when you are 100% sure to be within the boundaries of the law.
I have spent several three-week long holidays in Florida on my own, but also with my wife and kids, spending thousands of dollars. I choose Florida because of the attraction of spending also a few days at MIA. I think we will go somewhere else now, with the apparent hostile attitude to photographers in general, and foreigners in particular. Read on:
According to the newspapers, there are now some new regulations in the USA, which make it even less attractive for a foreigner to visit (they are meant for terrorists, but can be applied to everybody):
The INS can detain a non-citizen who has committed no crime – and who is not in any way suspected to be a danger to anyone – for an unspecified period of time without even charging the non-citizen with an immigration violation. The regulation does not limit this power to high level officials; it could allow individual INS officers (read: cops) to decide whether there is an "extraordinary" or "emergency" situation.
Under these regulations, an INS trial attorney is allowed, in essence, to overrule an immigration judge's decision to release a detainee on bond. There is no requirement that the individual be suspected of a crime or terrorist activity. As the appeal process is very prolonged, non-citizens will remain detained for substantial periods of time.
Foreign detainees have been told they can only make one telephone call a week to find legal counsel.
(The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), an agency of the Department of Justice, is responsible for enforcing the laws regulating the admission of foreign-born persons (i.e., aliens) to the United States).
When you are on holiday, you don't have the time and the money to bring unjustified cases to court. Also, when you are on a two- or three-week photography trip, it is sure you will be sent away a few times or worse. But I'm not going to spend thousands of dollars to be harassed everywhere. So, it might be better now to stay away from the "free" USA, which was once the photographer's mecca, as I have the impression that foreign photographers have almost to be as careful in the USA now, as formerly in Eastern Europe in the times of the Iron Curtain.
President Bush might want to give the impression that everything is back to normal, but I think that the message has not come across to quite a few of his people!
JT8D From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 170 posts, RR: 6 Reply 19, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 616 times:
My story about MIA.
Not to beat a dead horse, but I too had a bad experience at MIA (my local airport) in late December. I arrived at the 9L/27 camera holes and around 14:30 and met a spotter from the UK who told me he had spent not only all that day taking pictures without any problems, but also the last three days without so much as a boo from the MDPD!!!. I thought to myself... fantastic, things really are getting back to normal at MIA.. and looked forward to an afternoon of great picture taking.
Soon after the British guy left to catch his flight home, what should happen..... a plain unmarked mini-van stopped on the other side of the fence and the guy driving it yells out of the half opened window "Get out of here!" Not knowing who he was or what authority he had I asked why, saying that I was only here to take a few pictures of planes. The guy snapped, he threw the shifter into park jumped out and said "because I f***ing said so that's why" Only then could I see that he was a MDPD policeman. I told him I would leave, but before turning and going I told him that I was only doing what President Bush had directed everyone to do and go about our lives normally. He said "well go do it somewhere else".
As I was walking away he yelled out that if I was still around when he drove to the other side of the fence I would be arrested for trespassing. At that point I politely told him that I thought I was standing on public property and there were no signs indicating that where I had been standing was prohibited. He repeated his threat to arrest me and also said that his verbal warning was my indication that my activities were prohibited.
Needless to say I left MIA feeling a bit ticked off. I have since written a letter to the Miaim-Dade Aviation Authority complaining about the treatment from this officer (whose name I got from his uniform) and have spoken to a friend who is a Lt. with MDPD to see why the police at MIA are driving off every law abiding person. He has promised to look into the matter.
My friends initial reaction was suprize and he said the most likely explanation is that individual officers are over reacting, and it makes their shift much easier if they don't have to worry about every person who approaches the fence.
United_Fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7162 posts, RR: 8 Reply 20, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 599 times:
Just a follow up,I am planning to go to MIA for my b-day next month. I'm not sure if I wanna get hassled. I just might go to FLL , but since the fence holes have been covered I'm not sure if i can get a pic thru the fence. I was there in June,but I don't remember if the fence was the real-dense type.
I also sent the airport authority an e-mail about being haselled but have gotton no response.I won't lay down on this one!
'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
Cabbott From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 497 posts, RR: 5 Reply 21, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 597 times:
Well Guys myself and Jim Woodrow leave tomorrow morning for MIA via SFB.
I understand the Police and security have a job to do! I work in aviation and know just how important security is but there are some people who just take it to far.
No doubt they will try stop us. At least we are living our lives normally. Anyway I thought Britain and America are best buddy's now! I wonder if this could be another Greek! spotter trip gone wrong.
If the police become funny a quick flick of the switch could prove valuable.These digital cameras have some advantages, i.e a movie mode which records sound. Let them try and take this p""s out of the Brits!
We will abide by the rules but not by the American Over the top attitude. Mr Bush has asked us to get on with our lives as normally as we can and that we will do.
Jderden777 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1747 posts, RR: 33 Reply 22, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 595 times:
Best of luck to you and I'm looking forward to seeing your pics! Let us know how it goes with the MDPD down there! I wish I could go back down to MIA/FLL, but right now it doesn't sound too enticing...