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No photgraphy of Delta Airplanes allowed...

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While I was waiting to board flight number DL 209 at Washington DC

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There is no law against taking photographs of anyone's aircraft. If an airline doesn't want you to take pictures of its aircraft, it'll have to park them out of sight and fly them only at night with the lights at the airport off so noone can see them.This was clearly an employee who was either on a powertrip, trying to play a practical joke, or had misunderstood something that was written for another reason (at some airports it IS not allowed to take pictures of certain areas because there are military facilities colocated with the airport).You should have asked him/her to show you the official document stating that photography isn't allowed.A piece of paper by her supervisor isn't enough, even something by the airport isn't (unless there were signs stating no photography).It'd need to be a law. And even then (s)he cannot demand you destroy your film, only a law enforcement officer can do that (and he may require a warrant).

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Complain like hell.Vice President of Operations Delta Air Lines, Inc.P.O. Box 20706Atlanta, Georgia 30320-6001Phone: 404-715-2600There is no law or FAA regulation prohibiting the photography of aircraft at public use airports. The FAA addressed this very issue shortly after 9/11 when a similar incident occurred at LAX. The General Legal Council for the FAA handed down a public ruling, which said that photography could be regulated or restricted only by local ordnance, in which case the airport authority must clearly state in plain view, that photography is prohibited and those areas where photography is prohibited must be clearly marked.This ruling ONLY applied to secure areas, security personnel and other areas of the airport where sensitive information might be gained from the photograph. This ruling DID NOT apply to the general photography of aircraft at the gate or in-flight, on or off the airport property. The LAPD tried to lockup a bunch of spotters who were actually off the airport grounds, they (The LAPD) bit off more than they expected when two of the 20 or so in the group turned out to be lawyers and several were pilots and as one can imagine the FAA was involved fairly fast, prompting the FAA GLC to hand down the ruling. http://www2.faa.gov/index.cfm/1029Go here and do a search of the FAA

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Welcome to the world according to John Ashcroft, the same guy who wanted to set up a domestic intelligence agency specificaly so Americans could spy on other Americans. If that sounds familiar, it ought to. Just pull out any objective history of Soviet Russia and ###### Germany - two police states that we sacrificed hundreds of thousands of lives and untold treasure to defeat. This war on terrorism is great opportunity for Republicans of his ilk and other petty tyrants. Now they can start harassing people they don't like (read gays, minorities, immigrants, unmarried singles, non-christians, anybody who doesn't fit in with what they consider "normalcy") with impunity. And since our President entered the country into a state of permanent warfare (how can you erradicate terrorism? How will you know when you have erradicated terrorism?), they can hide under the banner of national security as long as they want. It makes me sick. Arn't the Republicans the party of less government?

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At the risk of this turning into one of "those" threads I have to agree. FDR said that all we had to fear was fear itself, and yet this admistration has been thriving on it. We have had terrorists before, they were called "anarchists" and etc, and even rioted, bombed things and shot presidents...we even had Pearl Harbor...but no one became un-glued. I am very fed up with a little flea, with all the "aid and comfort" (free advertising/paranoia inducing) the govt can give, wagging the whole dog.

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Hi Darrell,My immediate thought was to question her, but I felt that she could have done one of two things: 1> She could have further embarrased me by bringing a security guard there to threaten me if I did not hand over the film. I mean, this Delta employee did not strike me as the sharpest knife in the drawer and neither are the security agents at the gates. I think you know what I am talking about. In short, I did not want to make a big scene about it. I mean, there I am standing with the Delta Employee and her two way radio and a badge around her neck with her hand out to confiscate my film while 200 plus people are looking at us. I felt like I wanted to crawl in a hole.2> She could have further harassed me by extra searches, and she could have made my trip very uncomfortable for me. I was just about to get on the 737 that I took a picture of, and I did not want any trouble. I lost some damn good pictures from the old terminal building at National Airport that were also on the film. You get great landing shots from this location. I even came to the airport early so that I could take these pictures. Only guys like us understand this sort of hobby.

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I thought about doing what you suggested, but I froze. See above post.

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Thanks JP for the useful information and your thoughts. I have saved it to another file and will use some of that information in my letter. I am waiting for another reply from my attorney who is based in Washington DC.Thanks,Robb

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Remember that in many cases where people complain about overenthousiastic security staff those security staff are acting outside their authority (whether they know it or not, they might just have misunderstood a directive of course).Sadly this is not a perfect world where everyone can trust everyone else to be a good guy. Were the world perfect there would be no need for security (thus, the situation pre 11/09/2001 could continue to exist in the USA. A situation that was abandoned in the rest of the world in the 1970s), but in the real world people have to be protected against each other.While there must of course be limits in a democratic society, I don't think blindly screaming out against any increase in security (even if the people implementing it sometimes go outside their jurisdiction) is the thing to do.Identify areas where people go too far, and complain about those incidents. Write to your representatives in government telling them where people did go too far and what you consider a fair amount of security screening to be (and be realistic, please).

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I would have definitely have caused a scene. If you were not within the security area then you were not doing anything wrong. Taking pictures of planes is not illegal, so I would have told her "You can have it if you can take it from my Kung Fu death grip" I would have also point the camera at her and take a picture of her. I would probably sleep in a jail cell that night though. People must stop being so paranoid about 'spotters'. I can't wait to go spotting again..just because i can and it's not illegal. The cops can came 'check me out', I have nothing to hide but they better not tell me it's illegal to take pics. Rant is over.Mike

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That is the WRONG thing to do. You'd probably end up in jail. There are other ways of handing situations like that, without "causing a scene". You could ask to speak to a supervisor at that time, or follow up later, but causing a disturbence isn't going to solve anything. And you WILL lose, in that case.

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Sorry to hear about your film. I know for a fact that Delta has no policy saying you may not take pictures of their aircraft. I was on a few flights near the end of 2002 and I was able to visit the cockpits of 757s and a 767-400 and the pilots took some shots of my visit for me. They were very kind as well. I don't know what was up this lady's tail, she must have been experiencing some cramping or something that day.Best regards,Scott

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Interesting tale, and, yes as everyone stated there is no regulation prohibiting anyone, at any point in time from photographing aircraft, except in circumstances as stated where military facilities are present, and photographs pose a security concern. As for visiting a cockpit, that DOES violate a regulation written after Sept.11, which states that only crew (pilot, and co-pilot, and in some aircraft an SO or FE), or employees of the operator (also not without restrictions) may be present in the cockpit of an aircraft while in flight. So, unless you were in the cockpit while the aircraft was not running, and was parked on the ground, you were in violation of the air regulations!

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Hi guys,Thanks for your support on this issue. The DC attorney friend of mine (former DOJ, now GAO attorney) told me just to put together a well versed letter and send it to Delta highlighting the spectacle of the whole thing. When I get the letter ready, I will post it on this website and will keep you guys updated.Thanks,Robb

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