InnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 13 Posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 6035 times:
On 8/5, I was up there about 2 1/2 hours before my wife's flight was to come in from IAH. I usually camp out on the NE corner right above the HP gate. I was all strapped on with my scanner/headphones and my binocs - no camera this time since the wife had it on her trip. After a few hours, an Omaha cop comes up and asks me what I'm doing (note that this was a special trip since there were only 2 cars on the roof). I show him my ID, etc. and he asks where I got the printed lists of the arrivals and departures - of course, I tell him they are straight off of Eppley's website (duh). He was quite impressed that I could hear the ATC as well (again with the "duh").
Anyway, I told him that I was an enthusiast and that, since my wife was coming in on the flight from Houston, I showed up early to watch/listen/enjoy. He took down her name and flight info so he could check it. After that, he left. About 20 minutes later, he comes back with his supervisor and tells me "there is no one by that name on the flight". I told him (in a nutshell), "well, you're wrong". I figured I would have heard long before if she had missed the flight for some reason. He tells me Continental told him as much. *shrug*
He also adds that the tower was getting very nervous by me being up there (boy is THAT a load of crap!) and that they were looking right at me, etc. Well, she was due in about 20 minutes so I agreed to pack up and head downstairs.
I went straight to the CO desk and asked the lady... "I need to find out if a person is on the flight coming in from Houston." She gives me this line about not being able to give that information out. I told her that some cop was giving me a hard time because "YOU told him my wife, [insert name], was not on that flight". This got her attention... because she recognized the name. She asked the agent next to her who had actually handled the request. Apparently, CO 2178 from IAH to OMA continues on with the same flight number to EWR... and they had checked the OMA-EWR leg for my wife's name.
I don't know whether the miscommunication was between me and the cop, him and the agent, or what... but I was not pleased. I happened upon the supervisor immediately afterwards and told him, in kind of an annoyed voice, that they checked the wrong flight and that she WAS indeed where I had told his buddy she would be. He shrugged it off like he hadn't really inconvenienced me at all.
Anyway, while I was waiting, I looked northwest out from behind the Omaha Steaks display (where you can see the approach to 14R) just in time to see an EMB peeling off the approach and heading back NW. I knew that it was hers and I was dying to know what happened! If I had my scanner on - and if I had been on the roof, I would have known if the tower had called a go around or if the pilot had declared a missed. *shrug* My wife said the approach was wobbly (there was a wind from about 100 and gusty) but I don't know what the answer was.
Anyway, that's my adventure. I would love to find that dude on here who is the OMA operations guy and have him talk to the tower people about what happened. I know that the lady controller was on duty at the time. Oh, well.
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
IDISA From Italy, joined Jun 2004, 264 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5836 times:
Hey guys, this is another example of how paranoiac sometimes people may become.... in the name of safety (what safety??) I've seen in many airports the most unbelievable things you can imagine and many similar stories...
People on the tower becoming nervous because of your presence??
That's simply tragi-comic.....
Lambertstl777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 218 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5761 times:
Small airports like OMA always pull stunts like that. Their security/police like to think that they'll be able to stop some terrorist, and make it on the news or something. You were doing nothing wrong, but those cops have nothing better to do..
Triple shifts everday 6/19 - 7/1..Won't be on much
Freshlove1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5726 times:
It took this cop this long to come up there and bother you??? I could understand if you were up there 10 min and he rolled up but a few hours?? He probably had nothing better to do like most cops and he wanted to make himself feel important by harassing you. Are there any signs that say you can't do what you were doing?? If not I would have pointed this out to the cop and told him to leave you alone.
BandA From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 342 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5668 times:
The only decent airport with good traffic near me is SEA and since they have pretty much gotten rid of all the good spotting areas around the rwy the only place I could see anything was from the garage top... The last three times I was at SEA thats where I was on the garage and ATC is quite visible from there... I had my cameras etc as well... Since I am brown... the thought of being asked to leave did cross my mind... but to my surprise I was'nt bothered at all...
I am not saying that you are complaining about your experience, you are probably just mentioning it. But I think of it this way - just put yourself in the ATC or Cops shoes... if you were responsible for making sure that the people you are serving arent threatened or hurt by terrorists... I would expect you to behave the same as the cop did in your case... he is just trying to do his job as we all expect him to do...
"They [Terrorists] never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." - GWB
Leneld From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 606 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5654 times:
That's amazing! I spot all of the time from the garage at PDX and not once have I been harrassed by the cops. Maybe since Omaha is a small airport, that police officer really did not have anything else better to do with his time.
PHLapproach From Philippines, joined Mar 2004, 1259 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5637 times:
Freshlove-"Are there any signs that say you can't do what you were doing??"
At FLL a cop gave me a problem, I had said the same thing to him as you said above. He then threatened me with Federal Prison, and how close I am from going. Because i'm violating a federal law which "Prohibits pictures at the end of a runway". "But you can go to the viewing area and take pictures on The Side of the Runway!!" Ok buddy you can't tell the difference between a threatening individual and a 16 year old with glasses and braces, HAHA.
You are right on the made up stuff about ATC being nervous. I know many ATC's at PHL and they do not have the time to be looking for people. I don't know how high OMA tower is, but it's very hard to see someone from a tower.
Pe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19340 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5613 times:
His reaction certainly seems over-the-top - paranoid, perhaps - in relation to the incident. He probably knew precisely what you were doing - spotting, that is - but just bullying you into answering his predictable questions.
This excessive behaviour is also what happens at ORD: if you stand looking through a hotel window (I believe it could be the Hilton's) at the aircraft for a long period, someone will see you and you'll suddenly have a few people barging into your room - they don't knock - to ask what you're doing. The thing is, they know exactly what you are doing as they've done this many times before. It's simply bullying.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14441 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5605 times:
I think those cops are full of BS. I don´t think a federal law (or a FAA rule) exists, which prohibits spotting or taking photographies of planes. If a similar thing happened to me here in Germany, I´d get the duty number of the cop and he´ll get a letter from my lawyer a few days later.
The only thing they might charge you with is tresspassing on private property by entering the garage.
Qqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2307 posts, RR: 13
Reply 18, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5560 times:
That airport is partially funded by federal funds, and therefore, accessible to the general public.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
NWA757 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5544 times:
You were clearly a terrorist threat and a danger to the wellbeing of the USA (!). Who kicked you off? The TSA? I don´t think a federal law (or a FAA rule) exists, which prohibits spotting or taking photographies of planes. Everyone is paranoid of us just for taking pictures! Pictures are great. Best Wishes!!
RaginMav From United States of America, joined May 2004, 376 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5536 times:
This is a bit bizzare Fox... DSMav8er and I stood on the garrage waiting for the Super Connie for 2 hours with binocs and a camera with what seemed like a 4 foot long lense, and nobody gave us a second glance.
The reason it seems so dumb is because it is a smaller airport. I know for a fact the tower and airport cops know DSMav8er by name, as well as many of the ops guys, but he's never mentioned a problem with this here in OMA (however, an international airport 3 hours south on I-29 is another story).
If it makes you feel any better, I didn't get to go flying yesterday, the 172 I was renting failed the mag check.
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5515 times:
With all the increasingly common media stories of OBL operatives supposedly out seeking intelligence on potential targets on everything from A-Z, I think one can now pretty much expect this kind of treatment from now on.
That doesn't make it "right" of course, but look at it from the other side. Someone in the tower (or elsewhere) sees "someone" that raises their suspicion. The observer doesn't have a long-range "intent detector", so they call the police. They don't have an "intent detector" either, but they come out, ask questions, and frequently abuse their authority and/or cite bogus rules/regs in the process. It doesn't take them long to figure out that you're not really a threat, but they keep the ball rolling to disuade you from returning and "bothering" them again, or otherwise wasting their time.
Like I said, I don't like it any more than you, but I think it's now a sign of the times....
InnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 13
Reply 23, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5497 times:
"This is a bit bizzare Fox... DSMav8er and I stood on the garrage waiting for the Super Connie for 2 hours with binocs and a camera with what seemed like a 4 foot long lense, and nobody gave us a second glance."
I know... I've done it before. I've even gone out there just for the helluvit even when I'm not expecting any one. The only problem I ever had was when I was up north of 32L on Lindbergh shooting departures over my head. The cop pointed out that Lindbergh is technically airport property. I then moved to the garage at that point. (This was about 16 months ago, I think.)
Someone needs to drop my name to the tower crew and the airport police and tell them I'm cool.
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!