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"Banned" From ORD

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 8:53 am
by dullesguy
Well guys...long long day at ORD today. I drove up for my first time ever to ORD, thinking that the 27's would be in use so I could go to a spot which seemed to have no troubles from others for taking pics. The winds changed on me to pretty much southeastern winds, so they changed and didn't use the 27's for arrivals. i tried to find the 27L spot anyway, but had no luck and kept getting lost even with all of my maps, so i was driving onto 75 East? Along the northern perimiter of the field, and i turned right into some little parking lot, which i later found out it was airport property, even government property the cops said. Well I was in that parking lot looking at my maps trying to figure out which rwy I was next to, and im guessing it was 14L or 14R. It was a little parking lot in front of a building and next to what seemed like the main parking lot for the taxi's. I was just in my car looking at my map and waiting to see if a plane would take off and evaluate where to go from there..then a Police man shows up and then it begins..

He asked for my drivers liscense of course, and i went through all the crap with the questions and i told him i just go to Purdue Univ. and am up here looking at planes bla bla..then next thing i know it..4 other cops roll up and Im out of my car with my hands on the car being searched..then in the back seat of a cop car while my car is being searched. Long story short, nothing was found and iw as let go, but he said i couldve been arrested for tresspassing on airport government property, which was BS..i was only there for 5 min and didnt know it was gov property or airport property honestly, and was just looking at my maps trying to figure out where to go. He said if i were across the street in another parking lot while he was pointing towards it, then he wouldn't of bothered me. I can understand the questions and even the searching. but to "BAN" me from the airport property and saying that I'll be arrested if caught on airport property again i thought was a bit extreme, but it is ORD. That ruined the day and I went home. After they realised i was harmless they warmed up a bit..except for one guy..the whole time he seemed like he was real determined to find something to get me in trouble..but he couldn't. But i was told that they do this to every photographer they see..even the ones "who rent out luxury hotel rooms and are looking at aircraft are investigated." This is what was told to just a heads up for you guys..know whats airport property and not!! For now on, I'm thinking of doing big airports that are new to me in groups!

My question is does this mean i cant even go to the 27L spot? Is it public property? Even if it is, and im caught there and the cops see that i have a "contact card" on file, will i get in even more trouble. Im thinking its not even worth the risk..this is a big bummer..i didnt get to take one good pic. Well guys..any help is appriciated..i'm a bit discouraged right now about this hobby b/c its getting harder and harder..but i wont ever give up!


RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 9:52 am
by cicadajet
Good luck Stephen.

Its getting worse, and it doesn't always matter if you are on airport property or not.

The Elizabeth (New Jersey) police have dreamed up "special FAA Regulations" that determine I can't take pictures of any aircraft on any public street "around here". (more than a mile away from EWR mind you...)

Thats their story and they're sticking to it.

"We're living in a bad time" they offered.

RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 10:18 am
by Dazed767
Bad news always seems to happen when people spot alone. Always spot in groups so the cops don't F with ya  Big grin

RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 10:46 am
by BA
Spotting in the US now sucks.

I used to spot around DEN all the time. Now no more.

I do my spotting in Europe.  Smile


RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:35 am
by Northwesta319
When I Spot At ORD, here is where I go:

Go to the general cargo area, and even though it says employees only or something like that, drive toward the Alliance Air building, and pull up in a parking spot close to the fence. You will see about every 3 minutes the wheels go up right in front of you. You get UA, AA, AC, NW etc.

Note: THERE IS A GUARD TOWER NEARBY. Park NEXT to a car- that limits the guard seeing you.

RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:52 am
by joe pries
I was at FLL all morning shooting digital today- at one point broward county sherriff car parked about 6 car lenghts behind me- stayed there for about a good hour watching me take my photos and get in/out of the van- then he drove off- i assume he ran my plates, saw i'm legit- and was cool and didnt bother me- then again, maybe my sticker on the window that says "this vehicle stops at all airports" may have helped..


RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:52 am
by An-225
Actually, BA, spotting in DEN is as good as ever.


RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 12:19 pm
by LOT767-300ER
I dont see how you can get "banned" at an airport...

BTW the road by 27L is a public road. They cant throw you out of there (Just the USG parking lot by it.)

BTW they were using 9s today...saw a UAL 757 doing a 9L visual when I came home for lunch.

RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 12:22 pm
by dullesguy
I'm going to write them first before I ever even drive back up there. I feel the way they searched my car was improper. He asked if I had anything that I shouldn't have in the car and I said thing I know it they're going through my car and I'm in the backseat. Don't they need a warrent or probable cause or something.


RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:17 pm
by JeffM
Stephen, no, they don't need a warrant. Probable cause, is the reason. They asked, you consented on the search. Done deal.

You said you were on Airport property, that is tresspassing, and it does not matter that you didn't know, and that it only was for five minutes. It is not BS when then said they could have arrested you. That would have been acceptable to a judge. It was most likely your level headedness that kept you from getting ink on your fingers and a new picture for the family album.


RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 2:28 pm
by USAFHummer
Groups arent necessarily the solution...March 29th, me and several other spotters were kicked out ( and in one case, arrested) of PHL by the PHL Airport PD, again with no consistent and rational reason for doing so...


RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 3:16 pm
by planeboy
While photographing planes in Buffalo, NY at the Flying Tigers Restaurant, I was detained by Transit Authority Police and questioned by the FBI in March of 2003. I was minding my own business but someone in the area believed me to look suspicious so they made a phone call...

Things like this will continue to happen as long as terrorism is a threat within our boundaries. The sad part is - there is nothing anyone can do about it. While law enforcement guards the front door and windows - terrorists will exploit the "back door".

9/11 was huge and the consequences will haunt us for a long, long time...

RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 10:04 pm
by JT8D
Sorry to hear about the situation at ORD.

I spent 6 incident free hours at MIA yesterday. Don't give up; if you are serious about going back start off with a letter to the airport management people. Explain your hobby, ask for clarification of the security policy and where might be an acceptable place for you to spot. If that comes back negative, then a friendly letter to the TSA folks explaining the situation and asking for their input.

No guarantee obviously, but its a place to start. You might not be too surprised at how much misunderstanding there is amongst some well intentioned security people. I've seen it at MIA in the past where one cop will wave as he drives past and the next will stop and go through the whole ID/question/search thing.

Good luck.


RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 6:56 am
by CcrlR
Sorry to hear that happened to you. Did you check with the forum here before going out there? We know some spots where you can spot them from that aren't on airport property. I know a couple of people(one just posted something here) on here who know some spots where you can go to. So next time you can post here and find out before you go.

RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 1:07 pm
by dullesguy
Yes i posted many posts on here on where to go and help for specific directions and emailed a few people..but never got a response so I just went out and ventured on my own..was in the wrong spot at the wrong time somehow..before i ever go back there I'm going to write them and make sure I can be on the public property taking pictures. Is it ok to park my car in the lots in front of whatever buildings there are for the 27L spot? Couldnt the owners of those spots just say I'm trespassing for parking my car there? Just want to make sure.

RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 1:37 pm
by Bruce
You know, someone needs to take the "cause" of planespotters to a national venue like a newspaper or article somehow. Everywhere you go, police and security are dreaming up rules that dont exist because any adult who shows an interest in planes is deemed to want to destroy one. We are indeed living in an age where our civil liberties are being squeezed in many ways. There has to be a way for plane spotters/photographers to peacefully coexist with airport authorities.

Taking a photograph of the outside or even inside of an airplane will not give you the information needed to hijack one nor fly one. You can download a cracked copy of FS and download panels and instruments of different plane types and learn it in the privacy of your own home. What harm will a photograph of a jet landing do? nothing. In order to bring one down you do not need to be outside the fence beside the runway. What we are doing - photographing aircraft - is completely harmless and such photographs cannot encourage terrorists or cause the airline any harm.


RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 9:14 pm
by Scooter
Photography at ORD generally isn't an long as you go to the right spots. The 27L spot at the USG building is 100% fine...every time I go there, cops roll in and out of that parking lot all day long and don't tell anyone to leave. There are usually lots of other people there too.

Last time I was shooting at 9R (couple of weeks ago), a cop drove into the same empty parking lot I was sitting at, sat there for about 10-15 minutes facing me, and then left. I was in a rental car at the time (he couldn't identify me with the plates), so I figured I was sure to be booted away.

The general rule for ORD is to stay in public places, in plain sight, away from the fence. Don't go sneaking around trying to find the best spots, as you are sure to get a visit from the local po-po.

ORD is great for photography...just use common sense.

RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 11:03 pm
by N178UA
Let see my log of "hassle"


20April No
21April No
22April Yes, 5Cop car, 7 Cops around me. No big deal
23April No
24April No


15Sept No
16Sept Yes, but very nice, one Nassau County Sheriff recognize me I was the Concorde flyer before!  Smile
17Sept Yes, but very nice 5 mins delay, missed the Concorde landing
18Sept No
19Sept No, even standing at 13L bridge JFK get touch down for over 2 hr!

Generally I deal with this thing with clam and answer all the Q they asked, and show them a few sample picture, explain your hobby and also stress that you pay a lot on your traellings to get there to see the planes. I have no problem getting questioned generally.

Tom, I think calling Elisabeth County police before go to take photo is not quite a good idea, because they know you and will get you there for sure. Talk to Senga Butts there is a good spot have no problem in EWR , good mainly for 04s all AM.


RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 3:52 am
by electraBob
On many visits to Chicago, I have stayed at the Holiday Inn located at the intersection of Mannheim Rd. and Touhy Ave. in the city of Des Plaines. It has been a few years since I have been there, and I believe the hotel has changed hands and is now a Doubletree. It is a good location if aircraft are landing on runway 22R - it is approx 3/4 mile from the end of the runway. I have, at times, seen photographers taking pictures from the parking lot of that location. I have no idea if the Des Plaines police would cause any problems.

RE: "Banned" From ORD

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 9:00 am
by N766UA
I've been chased away from Hopkins by the Cleveland Police twice so far. It's only a problem when the security level is elevated, though.. otherwise they don't really care. Last month I was at the fence with my camera sticking through and the city worker driving by just waved and honked his horn.