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Kicked Off The Parking Garage While Spotting @ OMA  
User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5830 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!
72 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTrident2e From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5675 times:

You were clearly a terrorist threat and a danger to the wellbeing of the USA (!).

User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5656 times:

Seems like your making a huge deal out of nothing.
Can't watch planes from the garage? Big deal.
Doesn't sound like they were rude--and they acted on the information that was given to them.


User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5650 times:

Oooh - off to G-bay with you, wicked man !

Was he a real policeman, or a rent-a-cop ? If he was only a security guard, CO shouldn't have volunteered any info on your wife's booking at all.


User currently offlineIDISA From Italy, joined Jun 2004, 261 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5631 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.....

Regards


User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5577 times:

"Was he a real policeman, or a rent-a-cop?"

As mentioned in the story, he was a real Omaha Police dude. Not even the traffic guys in the yellow shirts in front of the terminal... a real one.



Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineLambertstl777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 218 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5556 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
User currently offlineSwissgabe From Switzerland, joined Jan 2000, 5266 posts, RR: 33
Reply 7, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5548 times:

I was once "removed" from a parking area at LAX near this restaurant with a "bird" in it's name.

Another place I have been removed was at HNL. The cop told me, that FAA prohibits to take pictures of aircrafts (!) at HNL.



Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5544 times:

Swissgabe - it was probably because of the North Korean flag  Smile

User currently offlineFreshlove1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5521 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.

User currently online727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 6411 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5509 times:

Seems like your making a huge deal out of nothing.
Can't watch planes from the garage? Big deal.



Mind telling us why one should N O T be able to watch planes from a garage? What exactly is the threat??????????????




Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlineSwissgabe From Switzerland, joined Jan 2000, 5266 posts, RR: 33
Reply 11, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5509 times:

JGPH1A
you want to say that I shouldn't have gone there with Kim on my T-shirt?
cheers!
 Big grin



Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
User currently offlineBandA From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 338 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5463 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
User currently offlineLeneld From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 606 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5449 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.

User currently offlinePHLapproach From Philippines, joined Mar 2004, 1240 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5432 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.


User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19193 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5408 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."
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13968 posts, RR: 63
Reply 16, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5400 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.

Jan


User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5365 times:

"I don't know how high OMA tower is, but it's very hard to see someone from a tower. "

It's right on the terminal next to the parking garage. I was maybe 60 yards from it. Trust me... they could see me quite well.



Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineQqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2266 posts, RR: 13
Reply 18, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5355 times:

InnocuousFox...

In all seriousness, CO violated their own privacy policy in divulging that information to police without a warrant. I don't know what their policy is exactly, but the fact the agent told you she couldn't tell you if your wife was on the flight means she couldn't tell the cop, either. I know this is taking it far, but I am serious. At the very least you should file a complaint with CO and the Omaha Police Deparment.

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.
User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5348 times:

Qq... that's a good point. I should ask about that.


Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineNWA757 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5339 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!!


Fly High!
User currently offlineRaginMav From United States of America, joined May 2004, 376 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5331 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.


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Aric Thalman



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.


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5310 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....  Sad


User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 23, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5292 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!
User currently offlineRaginMav From United States of America, joined May 2004, 376 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5281 times:

Someone needs to drop my name to the tower crew and the airport police and tell them I'm cool

Yeah, next time I golf with my good friend Don Smithey I'll let him know. Big grin


25 InnocuousFox : (I just shot an email to "Dash 80" who works airport ops at OMA... hopefully he will jump in here.)
26 DSMav8r : I seriously have never had a problem on the garage at Eppley. However, I also try and not make myself obviously visible too. I sit in my car between s
27 MD11Engineer : If you can´t question or challenge police action, esp. if they make up bogus "laws", then the country is on it´s best way to become a police state.
28 Miamix707 : 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
29 FL1TPA : This isn't really off the topic but more to the side... I don't think the CO agent was wrong in telling the police the status of your wife's reservati
30 N0aaa : Interesting discussion. I've done this from the top of the garage at Midway (waiting to pick up my wife or some other folks), once with my son, and on
31 Miamix707 : I would imagine controllers are busy enough inside the tower to be concerned about an invdividual on the rooftop parking. The MCO tower is very tall,
32 Ryan h : After reading stuff like this I am too intimidated to visit the US. Sounds like cops are very arrogant. I just hope Australia does not end up like Ame
33 InnocuousFox : "After reading stuff like this I am too intimidated to visit the US. Sounds like cops are very arrogant. I just hope Australia does not end up like Am
34 Access-Air : Wait.....it gets even better guys!!!!! The Brits are trying to get a new item passed called the "Preparatory Act" ..... Here's and exceprt from a Civi
35 Post contains images Smcmac32msn : You were clearly a terrorist threat and a danger to the wellbeing of the USA (!). Do you really think somebody would miss Omaha, NE? I'm sure thats th
36 Tpk : After reading stuff like this I am too intimidated to visit the US. Sounds like cops are very arrogant. I just hope Australia does not end up like Ame
37 JBirdAV8r : You do realize how short-sighted you're being? Sure, they lied to you...the regulations they told you about don't exist, and you should nail them on t
38 Smcmac32msn : You do realize how short-sighted you're being? Sure, they lied to you...the regulations they told you about don't exist, and you should nail them on t
39 Tpk : I respect your opinion, but can you explain exactly which security hole is being exploited by a guy in a parking structure watching planes? Seems pret
40 InnocuousFox : "Do you really think somebody would miss Omaha, NE? I'm sure thats the hub of all terrorist activities in the US!" Do you realize that for 40 years, O
41 Smcmac32msn : The point being, they AREN'T covering the security holes. They are mindlessly applying things that they think are a problem - but aren't even remotely
42 Miamix707 : No, I don't see where they are coming from. If you lie to a cop you could get in trouble for "lying to law enforcement". Their job is to help people a
43 AeroPunk : I've had problems at OMA as well... I wear a bracelet with small metal pyramids on it (not sharp in the least, about as sharp as a spoon) and was told
44 Post contains images Miamix707 : welcome to the forum AeroPunk! it can get entertaining sometimes A friend of mine (some of you might know who I'm talking about, he photographs for th
45 KAUST : This all just reminds me of Houston. In Houston you have Lee Road at IAH, which was being threatened with a closing, cause it is in the woods and supp
46 Qqflyboy : FLTPA1... You wouldn't be in hot water at all. It is polite of you to give up that information to the police officer, but a passenger could call you o
47 Miamix707 : Do you realize that for 40 years, Omaha was the #1 nuclear target in the US due to SAC? Do you realize that we have more Fortune 500 companies than Bo
48 InnocuousFox : "but now it seems you feel proud of security for "kicking you out of OMA" Huh? I have no idea what the hell you are talking about. (And I have reason
49 Post contains images JBirdAV8r : yeah, that's how smart the average American is, sad yet makes me laugh (sorry not to offend anyone). So you go ahead and bother the aviation enthusias
50 Access-Air : JBirdAV8R..... Can you possibly be more blind sided to the fact that This "Law Enforcement Officer" who is to uphold honesty. lied lied lied lied....W
51 JBirdAV8r : Access-Air, If you'll read my first reply again carefully you'll notice that I did in fact acknowledge that the cop lied, and action could likely be t
52 Dash 80 : Fox, Sorry I've missed most of this conversation, I've been in Sidney, IA today. I didn't get your email, so I'll check what I've got listed. Anyhow,
53 KAUST : Isn't aviation a wonderful thing? It really brings everyone together and makes different countries realize just how much they seem to dislike each oth
54 Post contains images Miamix707 : hmm.. ok the topic of the thread is "kicked out of the Spotting garage while spotting at OMA" I'm glad you can tell I dont know what im talking about.
55 Warszawa : " The point being, they AREN'T covering the security holes. They are mindlessly applying things that they think are a problem - but aren't even remote
56 Maiznblu_757 : Do you realize that for 40 years, Omaha was the #1 nuclear target in the US due to SAC? Do you realize that we have more Fortune 500 companies than Bo
57 AeroPunk : My whole point in this to ask why create trouble when there needn't be any. I don't understand that. InnocuousFox could have simply asked permission t
58 Post contains images Miamix707 : How do you know where the terrorists are? How do you know what they're doing? I'm sure the FBI would love to have a chat with you actually if they are
59 Smcmac32msn : Spot legally. It is definitely NOT illegal to call your local tower, tell them that you're an aviation enthusiast, and ask for a tour. It's not advert
60 Elwood64151 : 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
61 InnocuousFox : @Maiznblu_757 "So, first you complain about the cops bugging you, then someone says that you shouldnt have a problem because its just Omaha, then you
62 Post contains images JBirdAV8r : MIAmx707, I notice that you have conveniently skipped over the main point of my posts...way to go! Why create conflict when there is no need to? Why n
63 InnocuousFox : "I have spent time around airplane spotters and find most to be downright arrogant, with only a limited understanding of aviation for the most part. M
64 Post contains images Smcmac32msn : The fact remains, folks, that spotting without permission is at the very least an irresponsible thing to do. You may not consider your hobby suspiciou
65 Dash 80 : Fox, Check your email and give me a call this afternoon if available. Dash 80
66 Post contains images Miamix707 : Smcmac32msn it's better to ignore JBird8vr, poor kid has no friends and is just letting his feelings out. Spotters might be nicer to him if he was a m
67 Post contains images Smcmac32msn : Yeah, spotting isn't weird, its fun. And as I said before, this site would not be what it is today without spotters. Everybody who gets hassled by the
68 PANAM_DC10 : "After reading stuff like this I am too intimidated to visit the US. Sounds like cops are very arrogant. I just hope Australia does not end up like Am
69 Post contains images Miamix707 : Smcmac32msn: I appreciate that, you have my respect anytime also When I first found this website, it had 3000 pictures. Was there a forum back then? I
70 GPHOTO : How easy it can be to be both sensible, accommodating and increase your chances of gathering intelligence:- http://www.ringwayreports.co.uk/anti-terro
71 AirframeAS : 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
72 PANAM_DC10 : Thanks Miamix707 Yes I have photographed at both FLL & MIA but in 1990! All my recent visits to the U.S. have been business for a few days in NYC whic
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