Chris Collinsworth Photos Overrunning Photo Section

Morning all. I wanted to bring up an issue that I and several other photographers are having with a specific photographer/poster, Chris Collinsworth. Chris has been posting about four years now from the central US in flyover country. Almost all of Chris’ photos are planes flying over at 30-40k feet. I do enjoy when he catches interesting shots like planes refueling, USAF flight movements and other unique shots. However, in the four years he has been posting he has spammed the system with close to 22 thousand photos! More importantly he is clogging up the photo system with these photos. They are of almost no redeeming value and often are almost the exact same shot over and over again.

A good example of this is Allegiant A332NV. There are 16 photos of this A319, 14 of which are Chris photos. These are all multiple versions of the exact same photo and literally clog up the image search for different aircraft. I wouldn’t have a problem if he had a couple of this aircraft, but I see no redeeming value in having this many posted over and over again.

Photographers have mentioned this to Chris in various photos and he either does not acknowledge them or tries to belittle or troll them. He does not acknowledge that he is doing something that could be harming this community, hence why I am starting this discussion here instead.

If this continues unabated at his current average of 15 photos a day in a few years he will overwhelm the photo section. Other photographers have posted even more than him (goodluck747400, okguido, learjetmiami) but almost all of their photos are good quality and add to the overall FA photo section. Can somebody from FlightAware please weigh in and let us know your thoughts? I believe that most of these photos by Chris should be removed from the system. I cannot abide by the posting regulations of websites like, but in this case I think FA staff should step in and put a stop to this spam. I know I’m not the only photographer that has similar feelings and has expressed them to Chris. Hate to call out an individual poster but I feel it is necessary in this case. Thanks!


Agree 100%. I posted a comment about a blurry, sub-par photo that was kinda-nearly-semi-sorta looking like it might possibly be a UPS plane and I was met with comments putting me down- “Don’t be low class by bashing other posters” or something to that effect.

I skip entire pages of photos when I see a Chris bomb. Throw out the good with the bad because I don’t have the time to wade through all his stuff.

Just sayin’…

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I also agree 100%. I believe in quality over quantity. I am by no means a professional photographer and would never claim that any of my (few) photo’s are anywhere new perfect, but really? In some of these pics you could hardly make out an aircraft type, even with some imagination.

While Mr Collinsworth has indeed uploaded a number a very good photo’s (an example being ), I too find no value in all the thousands of “long shots” being uploaded.

It is also interesting to read the last 2 comments on the photo link I posted above.

As I understand it (info gleaned from past posts of others and Chris himself) Chris is a veteran of the US Armed Forces confined to a wheelchair. He sits in his yard with a flight tracking app and photographs the planes as they fly overhead. And so he enjoys his hobby as we all do. He has been attacked on this site more than once, called names, told to get a better camera etc. It doesn’t surprise me that he has stopped answering the comments. I just want to be up front and say I think he deserves a little more respect.
Having said that, I agree that his, and the photos of a good many others on this site are of questionable quality/ the limits of their equipment. But he breaks none of the FlightAware rules. His posts are his own, they are aviation related. No one screens photos here, there is no quality control. If you open FlightAware one minute the page may be full of Chris’ photos, the next minute they have been superseded by dozens of posts from around the world and his and others are relegated to the back catalogue. There doesn’t seem to be an issue with space on this site, he could upload a million shots and it wouldn’t matter. I would ask what the bar should be set at then? What is acceptable quality? What is acceptable motivation? Who is going to decide which photos are of an acceptable level of photographic skill, proper motivation, objective and subjective parameters? The star grading system here is designed for what? To show one’s appreciation for another’s effort?
The management at FlightAware need to decide what kind of site this is going to be going forward. At least as far as the photographs section. Do we as aviation enthusiasts want this site to become like where paid members have an easier time getting their shots approved?
I don’t think this is just about Chris and his high altitude photos, he’s not clogging up the site by any means and I’m not sure he’s ‘harming this community’. This calls into question the motivation for the photo section at all.
I am not a professional photographer but I do try to take and post the best I can. I post so that others from around the world can see aircraft they would have no hope of seeing in their home countries or at their home airports. I am fortunate to live near Canada’s largest and busiest airport, others like Chris are not so lucky. I come here to see aircraft I may never see and take an opportunity to converse with those on the other side of the world! Perhaps one day even meet some of you!
Anyway, just my two cents! I love posting here and I love seeing everyone’s photos…
May the Spotting Gods be good to you!


Hey I am not trying to besmirch Chris and I definitely don’t know his story. My point isn’t that this place should be airliners. I can’t stand that place and love how this site has no filtering of photos. My problem is that unlike most people who post a few shots every now and then that aren’t great its the sheer quantity that Chris posts. When people have questioned why he seems to post every single shot he takes his response is “because I can”. I would hope most folks would have more self control. I probably take way more pictures than Chris does when I’m at the airport. The difference is I filter them and only post the best shots.

I’m not saying ban Chris; far from it. I’m imploring him to think before he posts and judge whether what he is posting has value and adds new and interesting content to FA. When he posted the B2 yesterday that was fine. When he posted almost the exact same shot 8 times? A bit overkill. With N332NV why do we need 14 shots that are virtually identical from almost a half dozen different times. 8 of those shots are from one time. The only reason I am appealing to the FA staff is because Chris doesn’t seem interested in filtering himself. I don’t know if he wants to have the highest post count on here or what but I wish that he would consider his actions and be more thoughtful in his posting.


Mark just wanted to add that I posted a couple of shots this evening and saw some other really good photos that had just been added and were taken at YYZ. Then I saw the name and thought, huh that sounds familiar! Great shots. We were in Toronto in 2016 for a work trip and my biggest regret was not having enough time to go spotting at Pearson before flying out of there. Very nice work sir! Not sure if you live up there but if we get back to Toronto I might need to message or meet you for tips on locations and best times!

Totally agree with you NighthawkCP, i don’t like those high altitude pics either, but why do you care about Collinsworth? Their is no rule that says you can’t post high altitude photos.

NighthawkCP I have never belittled anyone on here. I have been name called and death threats. Well more like wished death on me many times. So yea I have stopped reading comments. Sometimes I see one just try to keep it short as I can.

Mark thank you very much Sir.

I’m sorry not everyone likes my pictures. Yes I know they aren’t the best. Never claimed they was. I look through most of the pictures on here everyday. If there is one I don’t like I move on. If there one I like I give it 5 stars and I might comment on it. The person with the most pictures on here and many others have sent me messages telling me they like what I do. I recently watched youtube videos of planes putting out fires in Cali. Then hours later Jim Metzger has posted many screenshots of those videos on here. No one has said anything about those. Which is in direct violation of FA rules. No one has said anything about him. At least I’m taking my own pictures and not breaking FA rules. I want to get along with everyone so I’m going to take all this in when I’m posting from now on.

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Thanks NighthawkCP, I live about a 20 minute drive from YYZ. If you ever get up here again be sure to comment on a photo or email me at and I’ll be happy to help you out. The more lead time the better because it would be extraordinarily rare for me to be able to get up there during the week. I’m mostly a weekend spotter! We’re pretty fortunate up here to have some nice spots with a nice variety of carriers.

I’m glad this has turned out well for everyone here. I knew Chris would be willing to listen to proper criticism instead of threats and name calling. I like coming here because it is an escape from the nonsense going on in the world, it’s nice to chat with folks who enjoy this hobby and share the work which is the fruit of our dedication!
Thanks everybody,