law4fun
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Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 7:45 am

Just received a call from a couple of friends who were photographing arrivals in the public observation area at TUL this afternoon. The airport police came around, did a field interview, checked ID and came back and said their sergeant said they would have to leave. According to this Sgt. Hicks, there was a new TSA directive that made it illegal to take photos of arriving and departing aircraft. They called me and I got on the phone....

I first called the Director of Airport Ops who was out. I then called the airport police who had an immediate attitude with me questioning their directives. I spoke with Sgt. Hicks who told me that according to a directive from TSA dated 24 NOV 04, it was now illegal to take photos of commercial aircraft. I asked him who issued the directive and where did it come from. He told me it did not have a name on it and that it came from Washington, DC from the office of Homeland Security. I asked TSA or Homeland Security? Then I got the line, "It is a matter of national security" He then told me that he was not going to discuss it any longer with me; that I could call Nancy McNair, the airport attorney. I called her and she knew nothing about it and suggested that I call Steve Cortwright, the TSA Security Director for Tulsa. I called him and he likewise knew nothing about it but advised that he would check for me and phone my law office in the morning to let me know of the results of his checking. He was a decent fellow who did not have the airport police mentality of "I'm right, your'e wrong, so beat it..."

So, has anyone else heard this or is Sgt. Hicks full of hot air and s**t?
Let me hear from you if you have any knowledge of this "new directive"....
Canon Shutter Slut
 
DLKAPA
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:00 am

Sounds to me like the police have just fed you some royal bullshit.
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
flybhx
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Phot

Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:05 am

Appears to be the usual attempt to blind them with bullshit approach because noone will dare to disagree with the national security line - transparently pathetic as I would have thought that all new stuff of that type would be gone over to the nth degree by the civil liberties folks
 
QANTAS077
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Phot

Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:08 am

nothing showing up on the TSA website.
 
mikephotos
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:08 am

I agree. I would think if this "directive" were true, any law enforcement would have no problem giving you a copy or directing you to where you may find one. If I were Sgt. Hicks and had this offical directive I would have no problem telling you to come on down and check it out. So, it's matter of National Security that you cannot find out that there is a directive to ban aircraft photography. hmmmmm.....

Mike
 
visityyj
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:26 am

Typical ignorant, bullying coptalk.

You can either ignore them, or if you're really p*ssed off about it then file a complaint with the airport. You seem to know the right people to deal with.
 
Lurch
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 10:31 am

Hi this link probably will not work knowing me but its the TSA home page if you get the run around From the sergeant you could always ask the TSA direct!

http://www.tsa.gov/public/
 
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Fiveholer
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Phot

Fri Dec 03, 2004 10:50 am

Arrrrgh, its frustrating sometimes...you know you are doing nothing wrong....but they like to make you feel as you are...I tried to explain to him about a month ago when me and fellow A.netter xpfg were at TUL for an hour or so when the APO decide to come off the field with his lights on feeding us a line about photography is not allowed. I then asked since when (not giving him time to use 9/11 as the excuse) that we were out there almost weekly and "you guys usually drive by and wave at us". He then proceeded to tell us they had a new bulletin that said it wasn't allowed. He then asked us multiple times who we worked for, lol, we of course told him no one and that it was just a hobby. I think at this point he could tell by the looks on our faces that we still weren't buying it, so he radioed for another officer, who then showed up and was MUCH more understanding. His last name was Whitlock...he did take our names, filed reports, took pics of the car and US, told us would be filed with the FBI. We WERE allowed to continue shooting after this. So I guess here, and among other places, it all comes down to who is in charge at any given time, because they are VERY inconsistent with their patrolling....a couple days after that indident, Jim, Ralph, Jarrod, and I were in the south observation lot (where we were today) and Jim and I were on top of his suburban for 10 minutes when the APO showed up, the warning this time..."Just don't fall off the roof guys" So, I just wish they would get their act together and stop throwing, lame, hollow exucses out there! Thanks Jim for calling right away for us....we did stay a bit longer after putting our gear away, nothing interesting came in anyway  Smile

Danny
Bring back Bethune!
 
maiznblu_757
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:19 pm

It sounds to me like you need to file a complaint with the airport against Hicks for harassment or maybe use your profession to scare the crap out of him.


The only ban I can find, and it has not even taken affect yet, is the MTA's ban on photography in the N.Y. Subway.

 
ordflyer
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:37 pm

Looks like he was messing with you...certainly the TSA director of the airport would know about a new TSA directive!!!  Yeah sure
Good to hear that you are following this through rather than just taking the harassment. If you think about it, the whole premise of his so called "directive" is ridiculous. Commercial aircraft are everywhere...saying it is illegal to take pictures of them is like saying it is illegal to take pictures of semi trucks or boats. Just purely ridiculous!
 
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Ryan h
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:53 pm

It seems that the US is a No Go zone for spotters. Are there any otherplaces around the world where cops lack brains?
South Australian Spotter www.ryanhothersall.net
 
wagz
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Sat Dec 04, 2004 4:17 am

I wouldn't completely say the US is a no go zone. Here at PHL, there have been really no incidents to speak of in quite a while. One of our local photographers who is there several times a week has a "Hassle Alert" level on his site based on the US Terrorsim Threat Level. Currently our "Hassle Alert" resides on the lowest level.

I think what the problem is, is that you only hear about the bad incidents and "bad" cops, without ever hearing about the hundreds that go and spot everyday without problems. Of course certain airports don't like spotters, most of which have always been that way (even before 9/11).

I'll be back out at PHL on Sunday, and probably again next Wednesday based on weather forcasts, and I hope to have productive shooting.

Joe Wagner
I think Big Foot is blurry, Its not the photographers fault. Theres a large out of focus monster roaming the countryside
 
mikephotos
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Sat Dec 04, 2004 4:59 am

The only ban I can find, and it has not even taken affect yet, is the MTA's ban on photography in the N.Y. Subway.

IIRC the ban was rejected/not approved.

Mike
 
Gary2880
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Sat Dec 04, 2004 6:25 am

how does it feel to live in the land of the free :P i was told by one friendley policeman i wasnt allowed to park in a carpark the other week, unfortunatley it was the weekend, during the week its stuffed with cars, would have loved to have seen him tell me i couldnt park there with 40 other cars sitting there, seams he would prefer me parking next to a crashgate which im not comfortable with
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel :- Samuel Johnson
 
law4fun
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Sun Dec 05, 2004 2:58 am

Got a phone call from Nancy McNair, the airport attorney, around 5:00 pm on Friday afternoon. Ms. McNair advised me that there was no such directive probhibiting photography of aircraft. She advised that the a/p police would continue to make contact and check ID's but photography was not illegal. I thanked her for her time and professional courtesy.

Sgt. Hicks and his "directive" were, just as I knew, a figment of his own imagination.... Time will tell what Hicks will pull now that we have called his hand on the issue and shown him to be wrong. Hopefully, he will resume his roving patrol of the cargo areas and perimeter roads and leave the photographers alone, once and for all.
Canon Shutter Slut
 
kc7mmi
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:08 am

Perhaps you should get something in writing from the police and/or airport ops stating that photography isn't a problem. Also, you migh even call up Sgt. Hicks' Lt and have a word with him.
-Benjamin
 
Go3Team
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Sun Dec 05, 2004 4:55 am

Ditto on the letter from the airport attorney, and with a letterhead of course too. I was at RIC today where I have only had 2 problems before, and did not have any troubles. I was even using an even larger camera than before (20D w/ 100-400) and they just went on about their business. Good Luck!
Yay Pudding!
 
mikephotos
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Sun Dec 05, 2004 7:05 am

Was at LGA today taking a few shots from the Terminal. Next to me was a TSA guy on lunch. He asked me what I was doing. I told him and he said "can I see some of the shots" (digital). Showed him and he was asking all kinds of photography questions and enjoying the pics. I asked him about this so-called new "directive". He told me he heard nothing about it and was only told to restricted photography around the security/screening area. His break was up and as he was leaving said "have a good time...."

At least there are still intelligent life on the airport  Smile

Mike
 
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Fiveholer
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Phot

Sun Dec 05, 2004 7:15 am

Jim, you are the man! Thanks for getting us word from Ms. McNair...just as we suspected, we knew we were doing nothing wrong, I too think it would be a good idea if we could get some kind of letter from the TAA Attorney Office to keep in our bags should the situation arise, once again thanks Jim, now just if the rain would hold off tomorrow, things would be great, lol

Danny
Bring back Bethune!
 
juanchopancho
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Mon Dec 06, 2004 3:44 pm

Today a police officer stopped to check my ID while I was spotting in Detroit. I was in middle of taking pictures when I hear "Hey what are you doing!?" I turn around and there's the police officer. I pointed to my DSLR with a big zoom lens meaning: "What does it look like I'm doing?"
The police officer told me that they had instructions to check every plane spotter. He said I needed permission from the tower and the FAA to take pictures! I had one hell of an internal chuckle at this remark, "Yeah sure officer, I'll ask for permission from the tower and the FAA."  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
law4fun
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Tue Dec 07, 2004 3:54 am

Just got off the phone with Ken Miller, the Director of Airport Ops for TUL. He said that he didn't know where the a/p police got such a notion but that he would be addressing the situation with them. He has been a good guy in the past and is not anti-photographer by any stretch of imagination. He told me that he would get back with me when he had addressed the situation with them.
Hopefully, when he speaks to Hicks and Co., the problem will be solved once and for all. Thanks to all for your comments and emails.

Jim
Canon Shutter Slut
 
flybhx
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Phot

Tue Dec 07, 2004 7:11 am

Just to add a perspective from a visitor. I was in the US for the NBAA at Vegas and had no problems anywhere I visited for the whole fortnight.

Normal service is gradually returning I think.

Nice work on getting the situation resolved Jim
 
neilalp
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Tue Dec 07, 2004 8:11 am

Has any airliners.net member ever been charged/fined/taken to court for spotting. Or is the worst anyone's ever had was their name written down and checked out by police?

I've spotted at DTW many time from the parking deck to the north and south roads by the runways and I have never been stopped. I do keep notice to my surroundings and when I see a metro-car airport authority or a cop car I get back into my car and move to my next spot. Not that I wish upon this, but if anything ever did happen an Airport Authority Board Member is close to my family and some executive and I have meet before for business reasons..so I hope i'd get the bail from them.
 
juanchopancho
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:44 pm

"I do keep notice to my surroundings and when I see a metro-car airport authority or a cop car I get back into my car and move to my next spot."

Unfortunately this is what it's come to. I've also been to the parking decks at DTW many times and haven't had any issues, but they aren't patrolled as heavily and it's much harder for them to see you spotting amongst all the vehicles.

As far as I'm concerned they can say whatever they feel like but unless they charge me for breaking the law, which I'm not, then it really doesn't concern me too much. They're just being paranoid and doing their job. So if they check you out just be polite, cooperate, say "Sir!" a lot and have your ID or several IDs. Then go somewhere else and take more pictures.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
SnowJ
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:11 am

The airport cops are full of shit...period. There is nothing any of them can do to anyone for simply taking photos of commercial aircraft. If that were the case, they'd have to arrest so many people worldwide that it's not even funny! Juanchopancho is right...just don't give the police any real reason to be any more paranoid than they already are and you should have no worries. When I get back to the States I fully intend to start photographing at the nearest airport...not to mention my next AFB!  Big grin
Jaysen F. Snow - Midwest Tail Chasers
 
dendrobatid
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:53 pm

As a Cop with more than 30 years of service (not at airports) I feel that I need to comment here.
I am having my own little spot of bother with one particular Security Officer at an Airport who always calls the Police when he sees me OUTSIDE the airport. When asked to leave, I decline. On the last occasion I was about to leave but had to stay for an extra hour to make a point. I didn't want them thinking I'd gone because they asked me to.
Of course there are Cops out there who are arseholes, but I can assure you that they are the exception, and most of them are recognised by other Cops too. Jim knows my views on who they usually are !
Get to know the Cops and let them get to know you. They will only check you out/over once. So what ? We have an interest in Security too and the non-enthusiast in our environment sticks out like a spare pr*ck at a wedding. I am sure that we are all vigilant to anything/anyone suspicious and we should be extra pairs of eyes to assist security.
What Juanchopancho says is the wrong thing to do I'm afraid. Acting surreptitiously to a Cop = suspicious = check out - I know, I've made a living doing just that for years.
When you see the Cops, make your camera obvious, give them a wave and a smile. If they come to talk to you, greet with a smile and talk. Tell them what you're doing and why.
We Cops are a nosey lot and if anything worthwhile is happening they will know. Once they know them, they might even tell you.
If anyone read the thread on a.net photographers did for a living they will see quite a few Cops on there, and I worked with a lot who have not yet got onto airliners.net!
Mick Bajcar Nottingham, England
 
BO__einG
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:10 pm

A few years back, one of the photographers of this website was arrested for taking pictures of arriving planes at Don Muang Airport. He was like a good distance away from the traffic as he used telephoto for his shots.

He was interrogated, lost his equipment had jail time and faced criminal charges. It was even on the newspaper article the day after it happened.
It was the ultimate worst case scenario for a plane photographer.

When I am out I always try to be nice to the airport security despite a few of them being complete dicks. some of them piss the hell outta me threatening to call the cops on me and all this bullshit which i want to flip him the bird finger. However a few of them are very nice and express interest in the hobby and as long as common sense is followed aroudn the airport, everything is fine.
So most times the security drives by and give me a wave as some already gotten used to my presence.
Follow @kimbo_snaps on Instagram or bokimon- on Flickr to see more pics of me and my travels.
 
dendrobatid
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 9:30 pm

Bo_eing makes a point.
We are talking here about the 'Western world'
Extreme caution should be used in other places.
I love seeing the photos from China and Russia, places where you would have got arrested a few years ago.
But then, there is always Greece.......................
Mick
 
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Fiveholer
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Phot

Mon Dec 13, 2004 1:45 am

Hehe, we had thought all of the Airport police had gotten used to us at Tulsa, but I guess not...I went back out 2 days after Jim had gotten the clear from Mr. Miller. I'll say that I did get checked again, but was allowed to stay. I was in the South OBSERVATION lot again and immediately to the south of that the road to the FedEx cargo area, well, I notice an APO vehicle sitting on the side of the road watching me and I'm thinking, no, not again...sure enough, he pulls up behind me, so I walk up to him...and I'll just say I was 90% of the conversation. I greeted him, he really didn't say anything all he did was just stare very suspiciously at my camera and then said something like "that's a big lens"...so in the time he had a fixed stare on my camera I took the opportunity to get his name off his ID in case I should get the runaround again  Smile So anyway, it was almost like he was afraid to ask questions after what had happened since from what I've heard the APO crew got quite a talking to about what had happened a week prior. I asked him if he had heard of Airliners.net, he said no, I told him to check it out, and then a Pinnacle CRJ was coming and since he wasn't exactly talkative, I took a few steps back over to where I was and started snapping some shots, and he just drove away, was one of the more bizarre meetings I have had with them to say the least, lol We are always very open with our gear as we are not trying to hide anything and we will wave at the APO as they drive on the access road around the end of 36R. The only time I conceal my camera is onboard when the FA's are still walking around since I've heard they will sometimes drill ya about them, so I just hang it between my legs until they are buckled in. I was out again on Friday and never saw an officer in the 2 hours I was there.

Danny
Bring back Bethune!
 
sulman
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Mon Dec 13, 2004 2:02 am

The police I've encountered seem to betray a slight disdain for most security people. It's always the security or car parking attendant that will give you sh*t, never a police officer.

Cheers



James
It takes a big man to admit they are wrong, and I am not a big man.
 
flybhx
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Phot

Tue Dec 14, 2004 4:09 am

Mick,

Let me guess the airport - East Midlands? Securicors finest with their blue light fitted cars. I keep waiting to see one off airport property but they never oblige  Sad

Have heard stories of them threatening to arrest people but not had them try it personally.
 
Lindy
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Tue Dec 14, 2004 4:54 am

BO_einG,

Wow, more time from that event and people are making bigger stories. Next time people will mention this story they will say that he was also abused in prison, and he got 20 years without parole.

To clear this story: It was Sunil who was taking pictures in Tailand. Police arrested him because it was month after 9-11. People were panicking over nothing. His equipment was confiscated, slide film developed, and in the evening he was realised from the police station with his equipment. When police found out what he was up to, they appologized for the mistake they've made.
No jail time, no equipment missing.  Smile
But I think that was the most extreme action police took agains photographers.

Rafal
Sunil's Advocate  Big grin
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
SnowJ
Posts: 204
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Wed Dec 15, 2004 1:17 am

Way to go Danny!  Big grin Don't let 'em give you any sh*t! James is right though, I have never had any real troubles from actual cops--or as I say, REAL police. It IS almost always the security guys (rent-a-cops) or parking attendants (minimum-wage-twats) that give us the problems. That, or someone turns you in for a shot you took out of poor judgment on a USAF installation.  Innocent
Jaysen F. Snow - Midwest Tail Chasers
 
law4fun
Posts: 132
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Wed Dec 15, 2004 1:58 am

Well, Sunday was my first trek after all the hullabaloo by Sgt. Hicks and Co. I was prepared for the worst, having the Airport Ops Director's cell phone # in my phone ready to call if problems arose. Numerous times, the Airport Police SUV drove past myself and visiting photographer Steve Brimley without so much as a glance. After we moved to another midairport location, they drove by the lot where I was parked and waved at me. I politely waved back and they drove on. There was absolutely no problem. Looks like the situation is solved and life can go on at TUL for those of us condemmed to take endless photos of RJ's and 737s...  Wink/being sarcastic  Wink/being sarcastic
Canon Shutter Slut
 
sunilgupta
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:26 am

Thanks for setting that straight Rafal! Technically I was never arrested. I was the one who drove one of the police officers to the police station ... there was not enough room on their motorcycle for the three of us  Smile

In the end I got a hell of a night out on the town (wink, wink) thanks to a detective who hung out with me and I got my film processed for free.

Sunil


[Edited 2004-12-15 00:30:03]
 
maiznblu_757
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RE: Need Info NOW!- New TSA Directive Banning Photos?

Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:56 am

One reason I LOVE TVC.

Not the greatest traffic, but, we do not have this problem (Yet anyway, knock on wood  Big grin )

When Steve Kempf and I were waiting the arrival of the Blue Angels into TVC this past summer, airport security stopped by AT LEAST 3 TIMES, to tell us what the status was on their arrival time.

Glad everything worked out for you guys in Tulsa.

Chad

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