Received an email yesterday from a friend who works with the FAA in which he says the NTSB are drawing up a submission to the US government to request that Cockpit Video Recorders become mandatory on all US registered airliners by 1st Jan 2014.
Any confirmation of this from someone in the NTSB?
EGYPTAIR – On 31st October 1999, 217 people were killed when an Egyptair Boeing 767 crashed into the Atlantic 60 miles off the US coast. Although there has been much speculation concerning activity in the cockpit shortly before the plane came down, the cause of the crash is still unknown.
The 59 year-old FO Gameel El-Batouti was caught exposing himself to underaged females in the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York. He was facing a termination hearing. The SU990 NTSB report leaves little doubt as to the cause of the crash.
I would like to see cameras in the cargo compartment first. How many fires recently could have been spotted a bit earlier, and how many questions could have been answered in recent accidents with a few cameras well placed in the cargo holds.
While the NTSB is free to recommend to their heart's content, it's another thing entirely for the FAA to adopt the idea. The NTSB has had many many recommendations sit there with no action for years.
This rule seems destined to sit as well, as airlines won't want to pay to install cameras and pilots won't want to be filmed. With countries all over the world deciding to use voice recorders as evidence in criminal prosecutions, I for one have no faith in any guarantee that video would be used solely for accident investigations.
"NTSB says video black-box will help solve plane crashes". Amazing! Surely, the best way to "solve plane crashes" is to prevent them happening in the first place.
But this would probably involve the NTSB, Airline management, Pilots, Engineers, ATCOs and Human Factors/Resources (oh, and other 'interested stake-holders'), sitting around a table and having meaningful and constructive 'conversations'.
Last edited by ZOOKER; 21st Apr 2012 at 19:45.
Reason: Spelling error detected. Sorry folks.
Why does a pilot's job require more privacy than e.g. a flight attendant? There are lots of professionals (both on the low and high end of the pay scale) who have no privacy in their workplace at all - and not by accident, but by the nature of their jobs. In a similar fashion, a job requirement for pilots would be to be observed by a camera at all times while on the job.
Or is the workplace privacy guaranteed in the contract? In this case, the new policy would have to apply to new entrants first and old contracts would have to be negotiated.
Originally Posted by ZOOKER
Surely, the best way to "solve plane crashes" is to prevent them happening in the first place.
Sure, but the pilot community hasn't managed to do that, despite trying for over 100 years. Otherwise, we wouldn't have this discussion now. There isn't even a 100% understanding of what caused some past crashes. So some technical means to help understand past crashes and learn from them seems justified. Every cashier's office with a just few thousand bucks at stake is equipped with a camera recorder today, but a pilot's office with several hundred lives at stake isn't???
Wasn't the same (loss of privacy, no help against crashes) said about the CVR 40 years ago? And where would we be today without experience gained from past crashes using CVR? And how many CVR recordings (not actual crashes, but "pilots picking their noses") did leak to YouTube? There are some juicy recordings made from inadvertent radio transmissions or a stuck mic, but I think there are none extracted from the CVR. So this equipment offers some pretty good privacy.
In my opinion as a cowardly paying pax, pilots willing to sacrifice safety for a little bit of their own privacy simply don't belong in the cockpit.
Not sure about the value of cameras showing pilot's actions in an emergency...
But Use of cameras to see if the inboard engine is still in one piece, check for fuel or hydrolic leaks, or if smoke is evident in the cargo hold seems to be a better use.
Also landing gear cameras could be used to check for fire following a hot and heavy emergency landing.
Would such good video "coverage" of the aircraft reduce the instances where slides are deployed as a precaution after a heavy landing, suspected hot wheel problem or suspected fire in hold?
The next step could be a smoke hood/mask with an option to display instruments. The system could also include a forward looking camera (physically protected from volcanic ash or hail damage until turned on) this camera could also have "night vision" sensor with its own roll and pitch sensor info overlaid as the last line of defence of smoke in the cockpit electrical failure at night. Such a camera could run independently on a small backup battery.
Does seem perverse that there are cameras for the punters to see whats going on but none specifically to help pilots.
Video can be encrypted so even engineers and managers can't view it. However the public will wonder what pilots have to hide if too much of a fuss is made about privacy!
But use of cameras to see if the inboard engine is still in one piece, check for fuel or hydrolic leaks, or if smoke is evident in the cargo hold seems to be a better use.
Your words in God's ear!!!
But no one is interested in actually helping pilots and eventually putting the blame on something outside of the holy "human error" saga.
Too costly for the other sides!
So we can all sit back and relax: The manufacturers themselves will oppose any video in the cockpit. The chances of having proof that the pilot's recount was right or that some system effectively screwed up is just too big!
Last edited by Gretchenfrage; 22nd Apr 2012 at 04:08.