sleekjet
Posts: 2006
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2001 1:35 am

Hassled At SAT Today

Sun Jan 04, 2004 12:15 pm

A lot of maintenance and refurbishment occur at the San Antonio airport. This brings in a lot of interesting aircraft; so when I visit my son there, we always check out the latest arrivals.

Today we were in luck. A Saudi Arabian Royal MD-11 (HZ-HM7) and a totally white 747 (G-VRUM) were parked very close together, and were just behind a fence adjacent to a public road.

I got several shots of the Saudi, then was in the process of getting pics of the 747 when my son hollered at me that security was running toward me. A guy ran past the '47's landing gear toward me. I could hear a voice crackling over his radio saying, "Detain him. Get his license number and ID."

Now get the picture here. I'm on public property with no signs posted on the fence. The street I'm on connects a rental car company with the rest of the airport. The guy breathlessly runs to the fence and calls for backup. A larger security man appears in the distance behind me, also running.

To shorten the story, both guys had patches on their uniforms that said "San Antonio Aerospace Security". Guy #1 told me that the Saudis did not want people taking pictures of their plane. I said that I would have gladly complied but that there was no sign saying such.

The voice on the radio interrupted: "The Saudis want to get the film. If it's a digital camera, he must delete the pictures in your presence." I knew there was no legal right to demand such, but I didn't want a lot of trouble, you know. So I started pressing buttons on the back of the camera. What I did was to save every other shot I had taken. I would then hold the camera so that Guy #2 could see the me delete the pics that I did not save. I deliberately worked so quickly that to a novice, it appeared that I was clearing the deck.

I then asked him if it were OK to take pictures of the 747. This is classic. He said, "You have to have permission from Boeing." Now since I didn't want this to escalate into somethng ugly (even though I had done nothing wrong), I refrained from getting smart-alecky with this guy. My son told me later that I should have told him that I DID have Boeing's permission.

Guy #2 took all the info from both our drivers licenses. He seemed to understand the silliness of all this and that we were not threats to the nation's security. He even said, as we parted, "Sorry about this."

Since I'm away from home, I haven't had a chance to refine the shots I took. Hopefully they will slip through the screening process so I can share them with you later.

Somebody please spread the word: Cameras are not guns!"
II Cor. 4:17-18
 
fireguy274
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 11:15 am

RE: Hassled At SAT Today

Sun Jan 04, 2004 12:29 pm

I had an experience at BOS last week. Someone called the police about a suspicious person photographing aircraft. The officer was very polite and took my name and soc...I can understand the concern people have with what's going on in the world. I think we just need to be patient and hopefully things will settle down in the future. The law enforcement community must be on edge right now...Stay safe Artie
 
DB777
Posts: 864
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 1:16 pm

RE: Hassled At SAT Today

Sun Jan 04, 2004 12:32 pm

I would never let private security guards order me around on public property, nor would I let them dictate anything to me about my photos or take any information from my driver's license. If the Saudis don't want their aircraft photographed then they shouldn't fly them in public airspace to public airports. If police officers don't have the right to take your film without a warrant then private security guards sure don't have the right. I realize you didn't want to get into what you consider to be a confrontation but sometimes you need to stand up for your rights so these clowns don't try it on other photographers.

Don

Photographing aircraft since the Earth was flat and on Airliners.net since #338
 
sleekjet
Posts: 2006
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2001 1:35 am

RE: Hassled At SAT Today

Sun Jan 04, 2004 12:41 pm

Don: You're very correct. In retrospect, I had so much going my way that a winnable lawsuit was there for the taking. They were messin' with my First Amendment rights, by golly.
II Cor. 4:17-18
 
fireguy274
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 11:15 am

RE: Hassled At SAT Today

Sun Jan 04, 2004 12:43 pm

Don I totally agree with what your saying except if you pushed it with Security or Police right now you will LOOSE. There is no question in my mind about this. It is not worth spending an afternoon at a station getting questioned for nothing. Security definitely does not have any right to take your info or pictures but if they call the police its really not worth it. I think SleekJet played it smart. You stay safe.....Artie
 
DB777
Posts: 864
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 1:16 pm

RE: Hassled At SAT Today

Sun Jan 04, 2004 12:58 pm

Fireguy, from what I read above, these were private security guards who have no law enforcement authority whatsoever.

When you say that "if you pushed it with Security.....you will LOOSE (sic)" (the word is spelled "lose") you are not correct. Let them call the police - he hasn't broken any laws by taking photos on public property, especially when it isn't posted. If the police show up before he drives off, the worst that can happen is that they will check out your tag number and driver's license number, which is probably what the private security guys did.

I don't argue with real police officers because they can arrest you for failure to obey a police officer and that would suck, even if you weren't breaking the law to begin with.

Don
Photographing aircraft since the Earth was flat and on Airliners.net since #338
 
fireguy274
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 11:15 am

RE: Hassled At SAT Today

Sun Jan 04, 2004 1:01 pm

I hear what your saying and I don't disagree with you. I just think being around an airport at all right now you can easily come under scrutiny. I just hope it all goes away real soon..... Artie.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Hassled At SAT Today

Sun Jan 04, 2004 5:33 pm

Well, I would like to think I would do the ballsy thing on public property and tell him to call a real cop.

But I don't think I would have. As somebody said, the deck is currently stacked against sanity.

But I would have told him that destruction of any of your property would require a court order.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
ryangooner
Posts: 956
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2003 4:56 am

RE: Hassled At SAT Today

Sun Jan 04, 2004 8:02 pm


Its crazy, security RUNNING towards you - lol

if you were a terrorist would they still be running towards you!!!!!! think not!

You photog's over in the US of A really have to contend with 2-bit twats who have $5 per hour security jobs - jobsworths

on a serious note - they are trying to do their job but as always dont realise the laws they are playing with, In england i guess we would have said get me a real cop (he may talk sense!) but the stories posted in these forums about US police at airports makes you think "where will i end up today - downtown!"

keep taking pics and making these people think they are doing their jobs!

Ryan Hemmings
ooh to ooh to be ooh to be a gooner!
 
Dufo
Posts: 796
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:41 am

RE: Hassled At SAT Today

Sun Jan 04, 2004 10:25 pm

Welcome to the modern free world!

Remember.. safety comes first  Big grin
I seriously think I just creamed my pants without any influence from any outside variables.
 
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Bruce
Posts: 4934
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:46 am

RE: Hassled At SAT Today

Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:05 am

I can understand the fear over a Saudi aircraft. Relations aren't too good now; there is a fear that the next terror hit could involve Saudi nationals or aircraft - dont forget that most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi.

In Nashville, those guys shoot Southern Air and China Airlines 747s as well as Swiss aircraft going to the Embraer plant and nobody says anything.....

bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens

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