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DEN Plane Spotting, Did I Do Something Wrong?  
User currently offlineAdam1115 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 63 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 1 month 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 8142 times:

So I was doing a little plane spotting out at DEN. I was driving down a dirt county road, at the end of it there was what I would describe as an access road to some kind of (large) Natural Gas rig. There were no signs or anything, so I drove down this (VERY) short road to park (vs. being on the side of a dirt road.)

My location was 39.881947, -104.621773, you can see how close I was to the actual road.

I could see the perimeter fence, but it was a good distance away. After about 15-20 minutes a security vehicle drove along the dirt road inside the perimeter fence at about 50 MPH and kept on going, didn't even slow down. I assumed he was 'making his rounds'. About 5-10 minutes later he came around again, much faster, I would say 70+ MPH (and on a dirt road) and stopped, looking at me. At this point I assumed he didn't want me there so I told my 4 year old to buckle up (which took a few minutes...) he turned on his yellow flashing lights for a few minutes then turned them off at which point I drove off. (He didn't move).

Now it might be possible that I was on private land (although I'm thinking it was some sort of easement as there were NO signs...) but beyond that, did I break some rule?

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJman40 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 58 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 8050 times:

You were likely on private property, perhaps owned by the gas company. Not all private property is posted with signs. Of course, the security person could have been a bit less passive-aggressive with you.....

User currently offlinePnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2224 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 7748 times:

YYZ's varies considerably with its enforcement of spotters. Sometimes airport personel will move people away from the fences from inside the facility. Other times the regional police will move people away who are on roads marked with no stopping and other times will ignore them. I have been told a fair bit of it has to do with whatever intel alerts have been received. Fuel is a particular area of sensitivity due to plots to blow up fuels facilities at airports.

User currently offlineAdam1115 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 7556 times:

So if I would moved 100 feet North onto the public road, security wouldn't care?

The other 'spotting place' is a marked no stopping zone, but parking outside of that zone is MUCH closer to the active runway than where I was parked. I suspect I would've gotten the same thing even if parked there outside of the no-stopping zone.

If parked legally on public property do they have a right to run you off...?


User currently offlineJman40 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 58 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7420 times:



Quoting Adam1115 (Reply 3):
If parked legally on public property do they have a right to run you off...?

No, and the police shouldn't say anything to you. Public property is just that: public. Unfortunately, there have been too many instances in recent years of authorities ignoring the law in the name of "national security."

Good luck.... I've never flown through DEN, but the place you found looks like a GREAT place to spot!


User currently offlineTranceport From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 282 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7343 times:



Quoting Jman40 (Reply 4):
Good luck.... I've never flown through DEN, but the place you found looks like a GREAT place to spot!

I've flown through Denver numerous times, and I've always been amazed at the layout when landing. It's basically out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by farmland, prairie and small country roads. The spotting opportunities right up against the runways looks endless.


User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7526 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7213 times:

The rent-a-cops at DIA used to hassle me all the time. They have no idea what they are talking about and so forth, if they say something to you and your not on DIA land then just ignore them. Cops might come and ask a couple questions, I used to spot a lot up right by the maint building by the Mt. Elbert Parking Lot and then if I am on the North side i usually set up just off 120th.


"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineStburke From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6267 times:

I've been in the exact spot before and have had troubles. One security guard got out and we had a friendly shouting conversation about getting too close to the fence and that was about it. You likely didn't do anything wrong,


aaaand it's gone.
User currently offlineMidEx216 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 651 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5909 times:

Well, I'd still be careful. I've had a lot of run-ins with the cops at MKE, though I still don't think they have too much of an argument.

I wanted to get some pictures where rwy 7R / 25L crosses over the road. So I parked in a parking lot just down the way, and walked myself up to where the tunnel is, and they got me everytime. I got some pretty cool pics while I WAS there, but they threatened me with more severity, and I don't really wanna push it. I still contest that I was outside of the fence, with space between me and it... Though somebody said that an airport is considered special use land, which puts a certain extent on it's 'public property' status. Though I was STILL outside of this "special use land"....so I'm not getting it.



"Cue the Circus Music!"
User currently offlineAdam1115 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5085 times:



Quoting Stburke (Reply 7):
I've been in the exact spot before and have had troubles. One security guard got out and we had a friendly shouting conversation about getting too close to the fence and that was about it. You likely didn't do anything wrong,

What is their next 'step' if you ignore them..? My guess is they have no jurisdiction outside of the fence, so do they clal the local sheriffs office..?


User currently offline777DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 4996 times:

DEN owns all the land outside the fence. all of those farms and other buildings around the airport are on land that the airport bought and leased back to the farmers.

User currently offlineTjwgrr From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2415 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4568 times:



Quoting Jman40 (Reply 4):
Good luck.... but the place you found looks like a GREAT place to spot!

http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=39.88...lon=-104.621773&z=15.7&r=0&src=msl



Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
User currently offline4holer From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2994 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4460 times:



Quoting Tjwgrr (Reply 11):
Quoting Jman40 (Reply 4):
Good luck.... but the place you found looks like a GREAT place to spot!

http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=39.88...c=msl

Nice "ghost" shadow of a plane as well!



Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
User currently offlineSurprise From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 133 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4326 times:

Not sure where you were but on a side note, one of the worlds best places to watch planes was at Stapleton. The east end of the runway right by the chain link fence. On a hot summers night with a cold beer and your lady, sitting on the hood of your car...you could almost reach up and touch the planes as they went over.It led to my 1st kid.

User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4191 times:

At MCI, they pretty much banned any good places. The best place used to be in the post office parking lot right next the 1L/19R but they posted it as no parking. So I parked in the Public Safety parking lot next door. Had my scanner and was watching when two airport security came up. They detained me for about a half an hour (even had a "paddy wagon") show up. They wanted to know who I worked for, my home and work phone numbers and were especially disturbed about my scanner...going so far as to question it's legality. I told them that I wasn't trying to be a smart ass, but I've had an air band scanner since 1972. They eventually let me go.

Back in the mid 1980's, we had a great area to spot at DFW...up a dirt road and in a field. Back in the "good old days", airport security wasn't so anal about spotters, and one did come up to us. He said they would much prefer if we just parked on the inner access road (and told us how to get to it) so that they could see us since some jackholes had been in the field shooting guns at planes. The spot he took us to was considerably closer to the runway...right by the fence. I'm sure that in the post 9/11 days, if you park anywhere but Founders Plaza, they'll raise hell.


User currently offlineF9Widebody From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1604 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4088 times:

JeffM knows all these rules. He's been in contact all the way up with the brass at DIA. The airport, simply put, owns a TON of land. So much land, that it is impossible for them to patrol / put signs up around all of it.

Be polite, respect the authorities, and I probably wouldn't go back there again. You're looking into the sun anyway...terrible photography conditions. If you want to spot 8/26, I'd go to Imboden.

Here's a guide I put together with a couple of other people:

http://www.rockymountainavphotos.com/locations/KDEN/DENSpots.htm

Any mention of Pikes Peak actually refers to Mt. Elbert, so keep that in mind. Also, Pea blvd = misspelled Pena Blvd.

The moral of the story is: the rules are vague, the police are polite but unnecessarily oppressive, respect their authoritah and don't screw the pooch for everyone.  Smile

Quoting Jman40 (Reply 4):
Good luck.... I've never flown through DEN, but the place you found looks like a GREAT place to spot!

Nope, backlit.



YES URLS in signature!!!
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6202 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3858 times:

Quoting Adam1115 (Thread starter):
Did I Do Something Wrong?

Yes, you forgot to read the Patroit Act. Also, refer to Article VIII of the Constitution (classified).

[Edited 2008-06-10 12:49:14]


Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineAdam1115 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3643 times:



Quoting Jhooper (Reply 16):

Yes, you forgot to read the Patroit Act. Also, refer to Article VIII of the Constitution (classified).

 Confused

Is this supposed to make any sense...?


User currently offlineExpressJet_ERJ From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 833 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3632 times:

Hey F9Widebody, Your website does not work, atleast the photos and forum parts.

Looks like a great website.



ETOPS...Engines Turn Or People Swim
User currently offlineRDUDDJI From Lesotho, joined Jun 2004, 1447 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3594 times:



Quoting Adam1115 (Thread starter):
Now it might be possible that I was on private land (although I'm thinking it was some sort of easement as there were NO signs...) but beyond that, did I break some rule?

My advice to you, is the same I have given other misunderstood spotters: Don't assume the airport cops/rent a cops know what spotting is. If you are approached, nicely submit that spotting is a hobby and you are a fan of aviation. If you are nice and respectful, odds are they'll be cool. Just remember, for some reason, there are many morons out there who think blowing up an airplane by any means is a great way to kill a lot of peeps and get on TV. Just be cognizant that your spotting appears much like a terrorist's airport reconnaissance to the uninformed eye...

SideBar:
To be a trespasser in most U.S. States requires you be trespassed from the property. In some States this is satisfied with a sign, in others its a verbal/written from the owner.



Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
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