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JetSaurus
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Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 10:04 am

MSY - Spotters Beware

Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:50 am

After nearly 20 years of excellent spotting at New Orleans (MSY) today I had a very unpleasant experience of being asked to leave my normal viewing area.

I had about 30 minutes of free time this afternoon and decided to checkout the activity today at MSY. Since the closure of the rwy 10 all flights have been using rwy 1/19 which is excellent for spotting. Although flights were using rwy 1 I was parked at the north end near the threshold of 19 in an abandoned lot and dead end street. From behind, I had an unmarked white Ford Expedition come up and motion for me to move. I looked at the guy with a questionable look and he proceeded to roll down his window and say "this is a restricted area you need to leave". I asked "since when?" and said "since 9/11" I rolled my eyes and left. I was ticked and would have pursued the issue further but since it was almost time leave I didn't bother.

What was intersting was the vehicle was unmarked, the driver (alone) was wearing street clothes and drove across the abandoned lot to reach me instead of the driving down the deadend street to reach my location.

In all my years of parking at this location I've had numerous marked airport vehicles and local police cars pass me without ever a stop or a nod until today.

I'm curious to know if any of the locals know of any new rules for this location?
Jack/GPT
 
goboeing
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RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:24 am

I was in this area a few days ago. Are you talking about the field that touches the four lane highway?

Nick
 
N1120A
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RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 am

Quoting JetSaurus (reply 0):
From behind, I had an unmarked white Ford Expedition come up and motion for me to move. I looked at the guy with a questionable look and he proceeded to roll down his window and say "this is a restricted area you need to leave". I asked "since when?" and said "since 9/11" I rolled my eyes and left. I was ticked and would have pursued the issue further but since it was almost time leave I didn't bother.

What was intersting was the vehicle was unmarked, the driver (alone) was wearing street clothes and drove across the abandoned lot to reach me instead of the driving down the deadend street to reach my location.


The dude was probably some bumpkin from Metairie or Kenner who thinks he is some bad ass freedom fighter or the sort. That is a public road and they cannot tell you to move. If it is the area I am thinking, that is Veterans Highway which is absolutely public. No need to worry.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
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United_fan
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RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:50 pm

Sorry to say,but I get the same thing here in ROC,no signs , but a Sheriff will come along and a tell you to 'move along' . When you ask why,they say 'with what's going on in the world today'.

What a joke! Give me Imperial Hill and In n Out Burger in LAX or the Customs holes in MIA or the spot in FLL anyday!
"Suspicion is a matter of opinion"
 
JetSaurus
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Posts: 58
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RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:06 pm

The area is off Vets Blvd (4 lane) but not the field directly north of the 19 approach that you're referring to.

I was located just west of the 19 threshold near the new a/c holding area. I'll find a map and post it to show.
Jack/GPT
 
MSYtristar
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RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:20 pm

JetSaurus, I know that area well. There's an adult bookstore around there (not that i've been there, heaven's no) and some car repair shops. Mostly an industrial area. I used to park there all the time and spot. Great place. Don't let those guys fool you. It's on open public street. Next time he says something like that ask for something in writing. He won't have anytrhing I can assure you. Hell the cops have questioned me there a few times but once I told them what I was doing they went on about their business (probably at the adult bookstore).
 
JetSaurus
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RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:39 pm

Yep that's the spot. Old arial photos show that the vacant lots used to have buildings on them so I'm assuming that the airpot bought them out some years ago however, there are no signs around stating that it is airport property.

I wish I'd pushed a little hard but hind sight is 20/20, right?
Jack/GPT
 
MSYtristar
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RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Fri Mar 04, 2005 2:30 pm

Hind sight is like fore sight without a future.  Smile

Give it another shot.
 
Tom in NO
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RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Sat Mar 05, 2005 1:14 am

In my 18 years working here, and having made countless numbers of trips around the airport perimeter fence roadway, I've seen countless numbers of people sitting in their vehicles at the very spot you were at. Most of them were simply sitting there in their cars, perhaps having a bite to eat, and watching the airplanes. A perfectly innocent way to spend some time.

I'm curious to know who was in the unmarked Expedition. I'm not sure it was a Kenner or Jefferson Parish cop, being that they usually drive unmarked Crown Vic's. This guy should have also shown you some credentials, no matter who he was (possibly a rent-a-cop or a project inspector).

Additionally, an MSY property map I just double-checked does not show that area as being airport property.

Like Steve says, come back and try it again. Email me before you come out, and we'll show you around inside the fence.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
JetSaurus
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RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:39 am

Thanks Tom. I'll be back you can be assured of that! I wish I could go now and find that #$%^.  Sad

Here's a map of where I was parked. And yes I am one of many who has stopped to have a bite here or read the paper. It's also where I take my son when my wife is over at the mall shopping.

Jack/GPT
 
PHLBOS
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RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Sat Mar 05, 2005 5:08 am

Quoting JetSaurus (reply 0):
From behind, I had an unmarked white Ford Expedition come up and motion for me to move. I looked at the guy with a questionable look and he proceeded to roll down his window and say "this is a restricted area you need to leave". I asked "since when?" and said "since 9/11" I rolled my eyes and left. I was ticked and would have pursued the issue further but since it was almost time leave I didn't bother.

What was interesting was the vehicle was unmarked, the driver (alone) was wearing street clothes and drove across the abandoned lot to reach me instead of the driving down the deadend street to reach my location.


What makes you think that this particular Ford Expedition was indeed an active patrol vehicle? It could've been either a decommisioned Special Service Package model (which are available to the general public) or just the basic retail Expedition XL. Also, most police and airport vehicles have special license plates; they also have their own vehicle number (ala Car 54). Did this Expedition have those or did it have just the conventional license plate?

Was this guy even wearing a badge? If he was with the airport, he would have been clearly wearing some airport ID badge or medallion on him.

Something tells me that guy that told you to leave wasn't an actual cop or airport official. Should this happen to you again, my advice would be to get his name and take down the plate number (and vehicle number if available) and call the real police to verify. For all you know this person may be either impersonating a cop... or worse.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
thvgjp
Posts: 147
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RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Sat Mar 05, 2005 1:55 pm

When this guy ticketed you did he keep your license. I got pinched in orleans parrish for an illegal left turn and the cop kept my license, he said Id get it back when I paid my fine. As for the Jeff parish pd they were some of the coolest guys to get allong with, never bothered me, One of the good things ole Harry Lee did. I used to sit by Vets Boul and let them come in on 19 back in the 90s.
Glen
 
sllevin
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RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:05 pm

These types of things annoy me to no end. Sadly, they never seem to happen anywhere near me -- because I'd go out there and make a point of sitting there every day.

Then, when someone like that approached, I'd politely inform them that no, I wasn't moving. If it were law enforcement, I'd repeat myself, and not move. If they wanted to arrest me, fine, we'll go make a stink out of it.

It is our duty as Americans to protest such actions.

Steve
 
Midway DC9-10
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RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Sun Mar 06, 2005 3:52 am

I always find the interpretation of the law has been interesting since 9/11. I would bet just about everyone has been at least questioned for watching or taking pictures of planes since 9/11. Sometimes, at ORD or MDW they have told me it is not illegal or a restricted area but the officials just don't want you to be there.

I don't quite understand this! If you are not trespassing or breaking any other law; should they be able to move you? On top of it, it always seems like it is one cop in the area who wants to use his powers. Most of the other cops seem to understand and allow you to stay. It seems that many of the guys get power and decide to bully people around for no real reason.

I have had friends who park at the same spots at ORD every week and one week out of 12 a cop will stop them. I know it is probably asking too much but they have written down many of our license plates and licences. Can't they see we are here all the time and mean no harm? What ever happened to this great intelligence we have in this country? If our intelligence is so great they should know we are not a threat and leave us alone.

Just my thoughts.

Dave
 
NASCARAirforce
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RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Sun Mar 06, 2005 5:11 am

Unless he is a real cop in a real cop car, don't move. Don't let some rent a cop tell you to move
 
PHLBOS
Posts: 6520
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:38 am

RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Sun Mar 06, 2005 6:30 am

Quoting JetSaurus (reply 0):
I was ticked and would have pursued the issue further but since it was almost time leave I didn't bother.


Quoting THVGJP (reply 11):
When this guy ticketed you did he keep your license.


THVGJP,

I think you misread JetSaurus' initial post. He stated that he was ticked (a.k.a. p***ed off) not ticketed. I still say that the guy in the Expedition might have been a phony; especially if he wasn't in some type of uniform.

Even if he was ticketed; what would've been the charge(s)?

[Edited 2005-03-05 22:31:17]
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
NBGSkyGod
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RE: MSY - Spotters Beware

Sun Mar 06, 2005 6:37 am

I was just there on tuesday spotting. I didn't have a problem at all, heck I didn't even see the usual ops cars on the field. Really the only spot I ever had any problems was out on the levie by the approach end of 10. Usually the cop just asked me what I was doing and moved on. One time I was asked to move to another spot because the gates were open while the were starting the construction before they shut down the runway.
Pilots are idiots, who at any given moment will attempt to kill themselves or others.

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