Qantas747300
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Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:07 pm

Hello everyone.

I have finally sorted out some flights for my trip to Iran. This will be my first trip on the B707, B727 and TU-154 and naturally I hope to come home with a few scan discs full of photos. With this said, the question arises, am I allowed to take photos in or around Iranian aircraft. I know that there are many on the database here but as I only have four days in Iran, I can’t afford any set backs.

Thoughts appreciated.

Qantas 747300
 
MEA-707
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:50 pm

Most airlines like Iran Aseman are very welcoming, you can even get an en route cockpit visit if you "click" a bit with the crew. Only Saha, the 707 airline, is military and therefore sometimes frowe upon taking pictures. It's just a 50/50 chance, sometimes the f/a's are fine, other times they are not. They might be better during an airevents tour as they then know it are just a bunch of unharmful geeks on board.
There is a handful of trip reports including mine discussing it in the TR section.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
bond007
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:56 pm

Quoting Qantas747300 (Thread starter):
With this said, the question arises, am I allowed to take photos in or around Iranian aircraft. I know that there are many on the database here but as I only have four days in Iran, I can’t afford any set backs.

No disrespect of what people might say here, but the correct answer is whatever the airline/authorities say when you ask them at the time. What one person may say one day, may be totally different another day ... or from another person.

IMO I wouldn't be clicking away through the cockpit door, just because somebody else did it 6 months ago.

Good Luck ... it'll be a fun trip  Wink

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:12 pm

Is there an Iranian Regulatory Website.They would have the details.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
Qantas747300
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:54 pm

Thanks everyone.

Fingers crossed that they say yes. I am booking two trips on the 707 just in case. Does the no-photography rule still apply in the air (air to ground shots) as it does on the ground?

Sounds like it will be a far cry from my usual city hopper trips on QF although I am looking forward to it.

Thanks again.

Jason
 
UK_Dispatcher
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:42 am

I am in Iran at the moment and finally did the B707 last saturday. I went with a local guy which helped a lot, as the Saha Air crew did not speak much English and he was able to converse with them and explain what we were doing. Still, we only took photos discreetly when the cabin crew and security guard were not in the area. There will be at least one security officer on your flight in plain clothes, but he usually sits in the lounge area for take-off and landing, staying near the cockpit during the flight. Just try not to make too much eye contact with him - this is what my friend advised me. When we arrived in Mashad we visited the flightdeck but were told not to take photographs. Naturally, we complied.

After disembarking, we checked-in and were boarding the aircraft again within 5-10 minutes. The security guard was at the bottom of the steps and asked my friend why we were travelling straight back to Tehran. He looked at me with a bit of suspicion but cracked a semi-smile when he heard what we were doing. We got chatting with the cabin crew on the way back and they were very friendly - one of them telling me to contact him if I wanted to fly this coming weekend, saying he would sort me out with full flightdeck rides if he would be working the flights. My friend said that if I took him up on the offer the security officer on the day may still refuse. I haven't decided yet what to do as I may try for a TU-154 & A300 instead.

I would just advise caution when photographing at the airports - particularly as there is military traffic at most airports in Iran. If you get caught taking photos by the wrong person, I guess you could be in a lot of trouble, particularly as a foreigner. I only took one quick snap whilst boarding the B707 and took all my other photos from the aircraft during the flight.

I hope you have a great time - just be discreet and don't take any risks.

Ian.
 
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yellowtail
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:16 am

Just my 2¢..but if you appear to be sneaking pics..does it not make you more suspicious?

My M.O. would be ask and if they say no...answer is no....
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
jessedachipo
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:29 am

i think there is 2 swedish guys that took some pics of a military island-base, and they got 5 years in prison. really. but i guess its not as hard on public airport.

but, please, DONT take many pictures during your stay. it really can end up in heavy time. just be very, very careful.
 
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Yirina77
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:53 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 2):
What one person may say one day, may be totally different another day ... or from another person.

It´s very true.

Quoting Jessedachipo (Reply 7):
but, please, DONT take many pictures during your stay. it really can end up in heavy time. just be very, very careful.

I have been there, took hundreds pics at the airports THR, IFN, SYZ, KIH. It´s what Bond007 writes....it depends to people. In Isfahan aiport authority gave us permittion to take pictures...On Kish they forbad...But not in the way, that they would arrest us...For example it´s forbiden in Seoul in South Korea also, take pictures on Incheon. But they just come to you and say, save your camera and don´t take pictures anymore.
Iran is not unfriendly and nightmare to forigners, as is presented in media...But you must get it know by yourself, to believe...
Byeee Yirina
 
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Flying Belgian
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:24 am

Be very carefull. A frenchman is jailed for the next two years because he was sailing outside the international waters thus in Iranian waters. Though he really looked an amateur sailor, the guy is in jail in THR.
And despite all the efforts of the French Foreign affairs, no way he'll leave the prison any time soon... Nothing to do with aviation but a good example of how things can shape up quite badly !


FB.
Life is great at 41.000 feet...
 
cedarjet
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:43 am

Interesting responses. All are correct. It's a metaphor for Iran, a developed and incredibly cultured country that is really at it's heart very liberal. They are also continuing with a revolution that is not necessarily in harmony with that character, and there is constant friction between the two. So for instance at the end of one Saha flight, I was free to take pictures of the empty cabin after everyone was off, and the four cockpit crew cleared out of the cockpit so I could take pictures and basically had the cockpit to myself. After I was in danger of not getting my bag off the carousel and left the aircraft. At the bottom of the steps were some security guards, I asked them if I could take a picture of the plane from the tarmac and they went nuts. I was very sorry to have even asked. The irony of course being that my camera was full of shots of every knob switch and dial of the cockpit, and with the blessing of the flight crew. That's Iran baby. But the Iranians are lovely people, very chilled out, highly educated to a man woman and child, incredibly proud of their country and embarrassingly friendly. Make eye contact with an Iranian and you've made a friend for life.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
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OA260
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:22 am

When I was in Iran I took lots of photos inside and ouitside the aircraft but I always asked first and had my Iranian friend with me so it really helps as the other poster said. Its also true that Iran is a lovely country and the people are so nice. Learn a few basic greetings and you will go far!! The food is also very nice. I did a LHR-THR-SHZ-THR-LHR and loved it. If anyone has some interior cabin shots of the Saha 707 id love a link .

There is a bad side to Iran though , avoid the Komite (Religious Police) at all costs . They can put you in jail for basically anything!!! I never wore anything other than long sleve shirts and full length trousers. No T shirts at al just in case.
 
Qantas747300
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:17 am

Thankyou again all for your fantastic replies.

In light of all this, I will definitely be asking if I can take pictures.

OA260 - When you mention the Komite; are they just on the look out for breaches against their religion? There is a lot of information on what women must wear but not much on the requirements for me. Like you said, long sleeved shirt and trousers; anything else? I really do not want to end up in jail for something so small.

Cheers.
Qantas747300
 
aussie_
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:02 am

I flew around Iran last year. If you are sensible you won't have any problems. With no local contacts or Iranian guides I got jumpseat landings on the B707 as well as 2 Iran Air F100s.

I wrote an article on tips for flying in Iran which is published in the articles section of the airliners.net website.
 
irelayer
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:45 pm

I am Iranian-American but the last time I was back there was 14 years ago and I was a kid. Obviously I didn't do any photographing at airports either. However I can tell you that the way things work in Iran, in general, is quite different from the US. In Iran you will get a thousand different answers to the same question, depending on who you ask. If you get someone to "hook you up" so to speak, then you will be fine (although some specific things are frowned upon most of the time) and in general you will find things to be very informal. Don't worry too much about the komite (religious police)...just follow the basic rules: keep a relatively low profile, for males long sleeves and long pants, for females observe hijab and you will have nothing to worry about. If you are doing something wrong and you are a foreigner, you will usually get a warning but no worse (the first time) because they understand you are not aware of everything. Have fun!

-IR
 
jetjeanes
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:06 pm

google map the airport,,, look at the 707,747,s then on the southwest corner
of THN see the little huts,, whats under those???lol those little huts are in various places around iran..with small dirt runways..
i can see for 80 miles
 
aviopic
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:39 pm

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 10):
But the Iranians are lovely people, very chilled out, highly educated to a man woman and child, incredibly proud of their country and embarrassingly friendly. Make eye contact with an Iranian and you've made a friend for life.

 checkmark 
I did not experience a problem photographing even though I was air side.
Just ask before you do.
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
Qantas747300
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:56 pm

Thank you. I feel much better now being armed with a little More information. I am VERY excited about the trip.
Please keep your personal experiences coming.

Qantas747300
 
ltbewr
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:06 pm

They may be very tight about photographs that could show the movement of 'sensitive' individuals and cargo. I would suspect that certain flights could be very sensitive as they may be transporting people or cargo for their military, nuclear programs or support for those fighting against Israel (like Hezbollah in Lebanon that Iran is a major supporter of).
 
StevenG
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:38 am

I have been there in 2002 and had an excellent time.
Really nice and friendly people, more open minded than most people outside would think. I was warned not to talk about politics. Wasn't necessary because they started with it. Amazingly, many people don't mind at Israel at all and even some people were in favor of an American war against Iraq, although that war didn't start until almost a year later. Of all those countries through I have travelled, and that's is quite a lot, I think Iranian people are one of the most friendly I have ever met.
Furthermore lots of things to see and to do. I wouldn't hesitate to go back, even these days.
Although I really was eager to make pictures at some airports, I was aware that it could lead to troubles. One time I informed at airport staff at Yazd Airport but they said it was not allowed. In a friendly way, by the way. After reading the previous comments it looks like I could have done better.
Same happened at the former US Embassy in Tehran, the site of the infamous hostage crisis in 1979-1981, were I was walking with my camera. A soldier told me not to make pictures, but with no threats at all.

I wonder if air fares are still that cheap as then. When I flew from THR to Kerman in the south the only seats which were available were in First Class. The price was the incredible amount of $38 (!) with Mahan Air. Unfortunately no opportunity to fly on the Saha Air 707. Furthermore, lots of Tupolev 154's around although they didn't have a good reputation back then.

At several places it's worth to take a bus however because of the landscape. Especially into the direction of the Caspian Sea to or from Tehran. Bus travel wasn't that bad either. Even with live tv from the World Champions Soccer in South Korea/Japan!

Yes, there is something dangerous and scary in Iran and Tehran in particular and that is the traffic. When you're done with mountain biking, base jumping, bungee jumping, canyoning or rafting, than crossing the streets in Tehran is the real challenge. Crossing Khomeini Square in southern Tehran only for the more experienced ones!

So, I would say have a good time in Iran!
 
Qantas747300
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:52 am

Hi StevenG,
Thanks for your post. A little off topic but you mentioned that the TU-154 did not have a great reputation back in the days; I don’t think that it has improved much. I was on the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website the other day and it makes a direct reference to the TU-154. Quote - There are serious safety concerns about Russian built aircraft on many of Iran's domestic air services.
With this said, would everyone here be confident in travelling on one? I have a flight or two booked on the TU-154 in Iran but as this is my first time travelling outside QF, BA, DJ, O7, AF and the good old AN I have never had to worry about safety before.
Your thoughts appreciated.

Qantas747300
 
Milesdependent
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Thu Jan 11, 2007 2:21 pm

I was in Iran about 9 months ago. Went to THR, Isfahan and Shiraz which were fantastic, and also did the Saha 707 which was incredible.

My approach with taking pictures was to not ask, but be very open about what i am doing. If someone approached me, I would act the ignorant tourist and apologise. I found that if you do take pictures no one will stop you, but if you ask, they will say no. This of course covers taking photos of civilian aircraft and civilian terminals.

My potentially disasterous trouble came when taking photos of 2 MIG aircraft doing touch 'n' goes at THR. We were parked near a field taking photos of the planes, when the military police roared up behind us, and jumped out of the car with sub machine guns at the ready. The guy took my camera, but couldn't figure out how to turn it on, so never saw all the MIG photos. Eventually we convinced him I was a tourist and he let us go. If he had of seen those MIG photos it would have been big big big trouble.

Be VERY careful not to get caught taking photos of anything potentially military. As mentioned above, two Swedes are in a THR jail for 5 years for accidentally taking photos of a military subject.

Having regard to how close we came to getting nailed for taking photos of the MIG, and the Swedes currently in jail, my advice would be to ask before taking photos. It is simply NOT worth the risk of winding up in an Iranian jail for X years if you happen to take a photo of something you shouldn't.

Iran was one of the most fascinating places I have been, with incredibly friendly people. Although I have to say I was well and truly ready to get out of there after one week.
 
Qantas747300
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:33 pm

MilesDependent,
Wow, incredible story. I think that I will ask before I take a photo, just not worth the consequences. I am only in Iran for 4 days from arrival to departure so I won't have too much time to get into trouble. I will keep my fingers crossed that they say yes to photographs and a cockpit visit ļ

If I don't post here for another few years then you know that something didn't go to plan  Smile No I will be good Big grin

Qantas747300
 
cedarjet
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:41 pm

I think taking pictures of Migs is probably a bridge too far for Iran. It's tempting though, esp at Mehrabad cos it's got an air base on the other side of the runway from the civil facility, and the Iranian Air Force is every bit as seductive to fans of old jets as Saha Air. On my first Saha Air 707 flight, we took off after an F5 Tigershark, and taxiied past a Phantom that was being prepared for flight (pilot in the cockpit strapping in and getting set up, canopy closing, beautiful). It's like Saigon in the late 60s, but with Migs as well as the F4s, F5s, F14s, passenger 707s etc. Military stuff usually makes me feel a bit queasy, but you gotta love an F4 or an F5 that's still in frontline service in 2007. (Just try and express your love in a non-photographic way!)
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
UK_Dispatcher
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:58 am

Quoting Qantas747300 (Reply 20):
Quote - There are serious safety concerns about Russian built aircraft on many of Iran's domestic air services.

I wouldn't take too much notice of that. I mean even if it is the case, what are the chances really?

I'm still in Iran and am planning to fly either a combination of 707/TU5 or TU5/AB3 this saturday. I just can't leave Iran having flown only two domestic sectors!
 
bennett123
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RE: Photos In Or Around Iranian Aircraft. Allowed?

Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:15 am

I do not know if I would ask if taking pictures of airliners airside at THR.

When I was at Cairo I walked into the airport with the camera over my shoulder.

No one reacted and locals were taking pictures airside. So I did so as well.

That said taking pictures of military aircraft, particularly warplanes without permission seems risky.

Remember what happened in Greece.