FlightAware Discussions

Chris Collinsworth Plagarizing/Reposting Photos on Flightaware

I have previously posted a discussion about Chris and the sheer volume of low quality photos he posts
and considered bumping that one, but I feel this is worth a new post.

Chris has posted a huge quantity of mostly subpar photos, which don’t break the rules of posting on FlightAware as he likes to point out. Occasionally however Chris posts a real gem, which seems totally out of the ordinary. However when I saw a picture of a KC-135T that Chris posted and had several comments, I saw that Dave Sheehy recognized the photo as being stolen from the Facebook of the 507th ARW, down to the dust on the sensor. Here are the photos for you to compare.

The original photo by Matt Johnson:

And here is the one posted by Chris:

As you can clearly see, both photos have sensor dust just above and behind the tail. There is another piece right under the plane just ahead of the engine, another blotch at the bottom almost directly below the wing spar and another at the top in the center of the photo. Chris attempted some photo editing as the shadows have been lightened up and the vibrance/highlights have been pumped up quite a bit from the original. Chris’s response to the accusation:

“Ok i just seen these comments today. 6/24. I am sorry you all think that. This plane and other planes made several passes in front of thousands of people. Many people got close to taking this exact same picture. Reason these pics do not have a date stamp like i like is i was video recording this airshow and took screen shots of a few videos. Some of these pics i was sent to me from a family member that is based here. Not all of them.”

There is no way this is a screenshot from a video and I can prove it. He plagarized many other photos from the Tinker Airshow. Here are some examples:

Chris’s Post of an AD-1 Skyraider taxiing:

Tinker AFB’s Facebook post of an AD-1 Skyraider taxiing:

Notice the hair on the sensor at the very top of the photo in both cases. The props are in the exact same position. There is another piece of trash on the far right in the smoke.

Chris’s Post of Doc B-29 on a low pass:

Tinker AFB’s post of Doc B-29 on a low pass:

Trash is noticeable in both photos above and below the tail.

Chris’s Post of an E-3 departing:

Tinker AFB’s Facebook post of an E-3 departing:

There are many more. Basically any photos that don’t have the date and time stamp at the bottom are plagarized. Here is the link to Chris’s photos from Tinker’s Air Show:

Most of those same photos can be found on the Tinker AFB’s Facebook page, where they were lifted from here:

Whenever Chris is complimented for these photos he freely takes credit, or claims they were sent by a “friend”. However he never names the photographer or gives them credit for the shot. Posting like this is in clear violation of the guidelines for Flightaware:

" * Please do not upload photos that you do not own (e.g., work belonging to someone else or that you found on the Internet)."

I don’t know if anybody from FlightAware actually monitors these discussions, but I feel this blatant theft should be punished. Chris’s ridiculous volume of photos is a blight on this community in the first place. Now to discover that the few redeeming photos he has shared have in fact been stolen from other photographers across the internet is ridiculous. I do not feel that Chris should be allowed to continue uploading photos to FlightAware unless he shows some restraint his posting and refrains from stealing content from others. I will be sure to share links under the individual photos to the original posters so maybe they will get some credit for their stolen work.


I’ve removed those photos. If you know of more examples, please link to them.

1 Like


Thanks for your quick response and decisive action. Here are many more examples of copyright infringement.

F-35: https://flightaware.com/photos/view/2795174-f7b87f73cedecf861674d6c67db777ea0d7e9cca/user/cwc1155/sort/votes/page/1


DHC6: https://flightaware.com/photos/view/2795174-874b906e565ff856326cc5ec4c7698bf8eed37ce/user/cwc1155/sort/votes/page/1

Original: https://www.facebook.com/TinkerAirForceBase/photos/a.10161887757740597/10161887796215597/?type=3&theater

AD-1: https://flightaware.com/photos/view/2795174-b5762411eee3197babfa24d6cd74c5a77f4eb6e8/user/cwc1155/sort/votes/page/1

Original: https://www.facebook.com/TinkerAirForceBase/photos/a.10161887757740597/10161887794695597/?type=3&theater

E-6: https://flightaware.com/photos/view/2795174-3f0689515cf977b608104c30770515b9c63ce6a9/user/cwc1155/sort/votes/page/1

Original: https://www.facebook.com/TinkerAirForceBase/photos/a.10161887757740597/10161887794560597/?type=3&theater

BD5: https://flightaware.com/photos/view/2795174-84ff95d414876dd2d62632fa57e8786f781c350d/user/cwc1155/sort/votes/page/1

Original: https://www.facebook.com/TinkerAirForceBase/photos/a.10161887757740597/10161887793215597/?type=3&theater

G3: https://flightaware.com/photos/view/2795174-b2c8d1e8e74fa9df9cd4edd9e553d302b2cc66c4/user/cwc1155/sort/date/page/23

Original: https://www.facebook.com/TinkerAirForceBase/photos/a.10161887757740597/10161887796990597/?type=3&theater

E-6: https://flightaware.com/photos/view/2795174-6d61bfb05b96c58d01f16e971ac8d2cfaea14dc5/user/cwc1155/sort/date/page/23

Original: https://www.facebook.com/TinkerAirForceBase/photos/a.10161887757740597/10161887797925597/?type=3&theater

S1: https://flightaware.com/photos/view/2795174-a21d88bcfd3a1fac2300e22173d060d4056c0185/user/cwc1155/sort/date/page/23

Original: https://www.facebook.com/TinkerAirForceBase/photos/a.10161887757740597/10161887794235597/?type=3&theater

KC46: https://flightaware.com/photos/view/2795174-4db3916d2647530d97698087e8c062e51551df50/user/cwc1155/sort/date/page/23

Original: https://www.facebook.com/TinkerAirForceBase/photos/a.10161887757740597/10161887793840597/?type=3&theater

B-29: https://flightaware.com/photos/view/2795174-238f9bf83f9bcaf17fc419693b9508de0513d18b/user/cwc1155/sort/date/page/19

Original: https://www.facebook.com/TinkerAirForceBase/photos/a.10161887757740597/10161889427845597/?type=3&theater

Question, is there a limit at which multiple copyright infringement would ban somebody from posting, whether permanently or just for a short time? I’ve found close to twenty just on an informal look from one search. It makes me question every other photo not obviously posted by him (photos with the timestamp at the bottom right). Do his many other blurry, out of focus and otherwise indecipherable photos not violate the Photo Guideline as well? From the third line:

" * Please make an attempt to upload high quality images: good lighting, aren’t blurry, are level, aren’t overly compressed/cropped etc."

I asked Chris about this directly a year or more ago asking him to post fewer duplicates and attempt to make even basic attempts to keep from posting super blurry shots or a dozen of the same aircraft at the same time. He said he would but I haven’t seen a bit of change in his behavior.

Aside from Chris I find that the FA photo area to be a great resource and really appreciate it! Thanks again for your response BovineOne.

Thanks, I have removed all of those, based on the evidence you provided.

Although I agree that many/most of the photos from @cwc1155 are not the greatest in terms of quality, I personally am of the opinion that everyone is welcome to contribute to the best of their ability and our rating system will simply make the popular ones easier to find. However, everyone is expected to honor the rules, including not uploading content that is not theirs.

I encourage users to use self-restraint to ensure their uploaded photos are not “horrible”, however I recognize that perhaps some people have a different sense of artistic quality and not everyone may appreciate the same things.

All of the cited images appear to have been uploaded approximately around the same time, so I’m willing to believe this was all a single “incident”. However, if Chris continues to make future offenses of uploading content that is clearly not his, then we may take a more aggressive corrective action against his account at that time.


Understand. Thanks for your thoughtful response on all of this. Sorry if this wasn’t the correct venue for this request and I do appreciate your efforts. I like that FA does not have rigorous photo standards like JP and others. I feel 99.99% of posters do not abuse this.