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"Arrested" In Moscow  
User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12566 posts, RR: 46
Posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2240 times:
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I had the good fortune to have a short business trip to Moscow this week. My outbound flight arrived at DME at 16:15 (about 30 minutes late). Taxiing to the terminal we passed a delightful assortment of IL-76s, IL-62s, lots of Tu-154s, and a few Yak-40s & Yak-42s. Having cleared customs without any problems, I spent a pleasant 90 minutes waiting for my case. The only 'bonus' here was that the baggage hall offered nice views of the runway being used for landing and part of the terminal.

Leaving the terminal on my way to the hotel, we passed the preserved Tu-114 "gate guardian" CCCP-76464.

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Photo © Snorre - VIP Vienna International Planespotters



I checked in for my return flight about 3 hours ahead of time. Walking up to the executive lounge level, I passed though the security checkpoint. Although some interest was taken in my camera bag, I didn't have any problem here. Just beyond the checkpoint, next to a small parade of shops, was a large window offering a great view of the runway being used for landing, and a large portion of the apron. I had spent a pleasant 20 minutes of so here looking at the planes (with my small discreet binoculars) and noting registrations in my log book.

After a while, I became aware of someone standing just beside me. I looked up to see a female East Line employee looking at me with a somewhat zealous expression on her face. In faltering English (but better than my Russian!), she asked me "What you do?" Trying to explain the finer aspects of spotting to someone in a language they don't really understand, presented one of life's more bizarre moments! She took a great interest in my note book, and eventually demanded that I follow her. She swiftly picked up my camera bag and I had to hot-foot after her clutching my laptop bag. After a five minute conversation with another female colleague, I was asked numerous questions in Russian, but all I could do was smile and shrug.

I was asked to follow the two rather severe women and was taken to an East Line office in the bowels of the terminal. I was offered a seat in front of their supervisor's desk while they told him what had transpired. He also took great interest in my log book and asked me to explain the contents. I tried to convince him of the innocent nature of my hobby while he flicked through the log book. After a while he spoke to someone else on the phone and informed me an interpreter was on the way. He was pleasant at all times, and even seemed pleased that I was so interested in Russian aviation (I was trying to explain that we don't see many Russian types in Europe these days).

Eventually the interpreter arrived and asked me to explain what I had been doing. She translated to the supervisor and the two "arresting" officers. I was then told in very severe tones that photography was strictly forbidden in the terminal. I explained that, despite the fact I was carrying a camera bag, I had not been taking photographs. I showed them my binoculars, and the woman who had originally spoken to me confirmed that I had been using the binoculars when she "arrested" me.

At once the whole mood of the room was lifted and everyone was smiling. My property was returned, and I was offered profuse apologies for the misunderstanding. I shook hands with everyone and was escorted back to the window so I could resume spotting. I decided to retire to the BA lounge for a stiff drink! Of course, once I entered the lounge, I realised that it offered as good a view as I had previously had, with the added bonus of free alcohol. I spent the remaining time before boarding spotting in comfort.

Summary of aircraft seen at DME:
The gems -
Moldova Government Tu-134
Vietnam Airlines B777
Volga Dnepr An-124
Air Moldova A320
2 x Armavia A320
Azerbaijan Tu-154
Belarus Il-76
VIM Airlines B757

The "standard" stuff -
Tu-154s by the bucketload (35)
Tu-134s (14)
Il-62s (12)
Assorted Yak-40 & 42s (9)
Il-86s & Il-96s (8)
TransAero's fleet of B737s & B767s
Il-76s (3)

All in all, an interesting visit! Lots of lovely Russian types to make a great change from the Airbus and Boeing dominated airports in Europe. In fact, I only saw 4 Airbus planes in total, a few more Boeings (with TransAero's fleet of 737s & 767s based here). Hopefully, the next time I visit Moscow, I will have some more time, and might even be able to take some photographs (but not in the terminal!) Big grin


Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDIJKKIJK From France, joined Jul 2003, 1800 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2160 times:

Good for you. I'm told Russian jails aren't exactly .....um..civilized!


Never argue with idiots. They will bring you down to their level, and beat you with experience.
User currently offlineSu From Russia, joined Apr 2004, 360 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2149 times:

Hey Scbriml

welcome to Russia  Smile

May be the lady that arrested you, found you very attractive and wanted to spend some time with you. Never know those Russian women.



"Life is too short to take it serious..."
User currently offlineStarrion From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1126 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2128 times:

15 or twenty years ago, Some folks in the US might have pointed out that here in the good ol' USA we allow people to enjoy their hobbies without undue restraint and that search and siezure without prior just cause were not only not allowed but actually against our nation's Constitution.

Sadly that is not the case today. Rent a cops and other self-appointed anti-terrorism experts roam out nation's airports and perimeters hassling anybody that dares take an interest in aviation.

At least you got your stuff back. Maybe we can send some folks over to Russia to learn how a free country handles such things........



Knowledge Replaces Fear
User currently offlineAn-225 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 3950 posts, RR: 40
Reply 4, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2108 times:

I haven't been back to Russia since I left, but I think that at the moment it's a hit and miss - some authorities will give you crap, and some won't. When I am back, I am planning to take some photos, and I'll try to get permission beforehand.

Alex.



Money does not bring you happiness. But it's better to cry in your own private limo than on a cold bus stop.
User currently offlineClefan From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 299 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1944 times:

When I was in Moscow in May, I had no problems spotting andf taking pictures, however that was at SVO.

User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1913 times:

It's horrible, East Line Airlines is mad at you..of all people, East Line Airlines.
No wonder they're in financial trouble..well that's not really tied to it, but still.
-Mr. X



What now?
User currently offlineJALSVO From Russia, joined Jul 2004, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1790 times:

What a weird, shameful and scandalous situation! Who do they think they are! Unless you are a policeman you cannot arrest people or seize somebody's stuff. If I were you I would refuse to go with them anywhere and I would demand giving back all your belongings at once! The fact they even browsed your note-book pisses me off the most! EastLine is trying to promote DME as a westernized (civilized) airport where even passing immigration and customs is traveler-friendly (these procedures can sometimes drive you mad at SVO). But as a Russian I can tell you that the way they treated you is far from being civilized and definitely they should have been told about that!

User currently offlineBandA From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 338 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1687 times:

What a weird, shameful and scandalous situation! Who do they think they are! Unless you are a policeman you cannot arrest people or seize somebody's stuff. If I were you I would refuse to go with them anywhere and I would demand giving back all your belongings at once! The fact they even browsed your note-book pisses me off the most! EastLine is trying to promote DME as a westernized (civilized) airport where even passing immigration and customs is traveler-friendly (these procedures can sometimes drive you mad at SVO). But as a Russian I can tell you that the way they treated you is far from being civilized and definitely they should have been told about that!

JALSVO,

There are two ways to handle thest type of situations... one is as you mentioned refusing to go with them anywhere... in this case the lady had already grabbed his camera bag... also if he had refused, I am 100% sure it wouldve caused 10X more headache, embarrassment and I am sure even physical abuse  Laugh out loud The second way and the best way to handle the situation where you want the outcome to be peaceful and in your benefit is the way he (Scbriml) handled it...

Cooporate, be nice and he was on his way... no problems...

dont cooperate... be a pain in the ass and get a whole lot of trouble thats not worth it...

[Edited 2004-08-13 00:00:01]


"They [Terrorists] never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." - GWB
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