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Cameras Outside Of Aircraft A Good Idea?  
User currently offlineNaritaflyer From Japan, joined Apr 2006, 549 posts, RR: 1
Posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5578 times:

Is it a good idea to install cameras on the outside of an aircraft to monitor critical areas such as the tail, landing gear and under the wings that Pilots cannot see? I saw a documentary on TV in which the JAL flight that crashed on a mountain in Japan that had its rudder blown off but the pilot did not know what was wrong with the plane. Seems to me having a camera would give pilots lots of information in emergencies and could react accordingly. Thoughts?

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineVgnAtl747 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1514 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5517 times:

It's an interesting idea, although I think for the most part the sheer cost of such systems would put airlines off. I think the only way you'll see it is if the FAA or another governing body mandated video recorders much like voice and data recorders, so that the video could be used in crash investigations also. You could argue that newer aircraft like the 380 and 340 that have tail mounted cameras do what you're suggesting already, although I'm assuming you were suggesting more widespread use or implementation on the global level.

[Edited 2008-03-07 09:10:01]


Work Hard. Fly Right. Continental Airlines
User currently offlineCadet57 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 9085 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5495 times:



Quoting VgnAtl747 (Reply 1):

Very good post. I think that is what he is trying to get at. IMO while a good idea in theory, as you said, the costs would be alot to bear for most airlines. However, and the next generation of airliners, if the system was implement in the initial design and construction, it could possibly be absorbed into design and construction costs and simply be included in the purchase price of a new jet. But until then, I dont think you will see it. Thou, the idea also seems like an easy one to implement.



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User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5473 times:

Could well be designed into new aircraft. Anyone recall the article that National Geographic did in the 1980s on commercial aviation? It had some pretty cool shots from a remotely operated camera placed on the tail of the prototype L1011!


"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineAirTranTUS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5409 times:



Quoting Naritaflyer (Thread starter):
I saw a documentary on TV in which the JAL flight that crashed on a mountain in Japan that had its rudder blown off but the pilot did not know what was wrong with the plane.

The cause of that crash was an incorrectly repaired rear pressure bulkhead. Even if the pilots knew most of the vert. stab. was missing, there's not much they could have done with only engine power since the hydraulics were also gone.


User currently offlineNaritaflyer From Japan, joined Apr 2006, 549 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5326 times:

Thanks for the replies. I think that if it became a built-in system it would be a good thing. As it stands today, pilots have to rely on instrument signals to guess what's really going on.

Wasn't there an Air Transat plane that ,anded in Florida with parts of the vertical stabaliser missing?


User currently offlinePlunaCRJ From Uruguay, joined Nov 2007, 574 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5287 times:

I believe the A380, 777-300, and other new very large aircraft have cameras near the gears, right?

User currently offlineLegoguy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 3313 posts, RR: 39
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5261 times:



Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 4):
The cause of that crash was an incorrectly repaired rear pressure bulkhead. Even if the pilots knew most of the vert. stab. was missing, there's not much they could have done with only engine power since the hydraulics were also gone.

It can be argued that an aircraft can still be steered with only the use of engines. The Sioux City DC-10 and the DHL A300 in Iraq come to mind.

Camera footage may help out in the event of an air crash and could help identify the cause of the crash. Also cockpit and cabin cameras could help out in some way.



Can you say 'Beer Can' without sounding like a Jamaican saying 'Bacon'?
User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7615 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5230 times:

Thinking back to Flight 401, a camera under the belly would have shown NLG down.

IMO more information available is probably a good thing.

I am not sure how expensive it would be or how the images would be presented to the pilot.

Also given that many accidents happen at night, do we need infra red.


User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25358 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5104 times:



Quoting Naritaflyer,repl=5:
Wasn't there an Air Transat plane that ,anded in Florida with parts of the vertical stabaliser missing?

It was an A310-300 in 2005. The rudder almost totally separated, not the vertical stabilizer.
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20050306-0







User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 79
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5026 times:



Quoting Naritaflyer (Thread starter):
I saw a documentary on TV in which the JAL flight that crashed on a mountain in Japan that had its rudder blown off but the pilot did not know what was wrong with the plane. Seems to me having a camera would give pilots lots of information in emergencies and could react accordingly. Thoughts?

I think the issue is that you're talking about not insignificant expense and weight for something that would be useful in only a tiny handful of events. In the JAL case, knowing the vertical stab was missing wouldn't have changed the outcome.

Quoting Legoguy (Reply 7):
Camera footage may help out in the event of an air crash and could help identify the cause of the crash.

A camera will provide useful information in an event when something departs the airplane or something hits the airplane. Crashes caused by something departing the airplane are pretty rare and you don't need a camera to recognize CFIT (the vast majority of crashes). I'm not sure you could make the cost:benefit case work out.

Tom.


User currently offlineYXwatcherMKE From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1003 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4991 times:

Having installed security camera systems in several buildings in the past 2.5 years I can say that installing a camera system into A/C that are in-service now would be somewhat expensive to do but not out of the question, but yes it would be better done at the factory. Bennett123 is correct you would need Infra-red cameras to see what you need to see at night, however believe it or not infra-red is 30 to 40 dollars more per camera than a normal camera is. Also with the LCD display systems now in use on the flight deck having the pilots being able to see what is going on outside would be easy to do & IMHO be a very smart thing to do. It might not totally prevent a fatal event, but at least it could help the flight crew being it down safely if the have all of the information they need to get the A/C on the ground. Also if nothing else it would give the flight public a "comfort feeling" that the airline is doing everything it can to help the pilots fly the plane safely. And if the pax. can watch the view from though the cameras maybe there would not be so many pax.'s in the window seats bothered by the middle seat pax.'s trying to look out the window too. I've already got an idea of how to set up a camera system in my head. Maybe I'll send it of to Boeing see what they think of it.  rotfl 


I miss the 60's & 70's when you felt like a guest on the plane not cattle like today
User currently offlineDL767captain From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4942 times:

i've never understood why they didn't have these in the first place. Have cameras pointed at each engine, wings, tail, and landing gear, that way they can go through a quick check just to make sure everything is ok. Let's say there is a problem with the rudder but they can't see what it is, just turn on that camera and they can see exactly what the problem is. It can't be that expensive, plus we can watch the flight from the outside  Smile

User currently offlineASMVPGOLD From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 54 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4317 times:

I don't think the cost would be that high since many new planes already have cameras. 777-300s have a camara pointed at the main gear so the pilots can see the gear(and make sure they are still they don't leave the hard surface) and we have all seen carriers like JAL that show a forward facing camera during takeoff and landing. Just add a few more cameras and modify the existing system to accomodate. For new plane designs i dont think the cost or engineering effort would be all that high. Question is really if it is needed.

(but a recording from these cameras might help the NTSB learn new details about a crash... for example the GOL crash, Alaska M80 off the coast of LA, the 737 rudder hard overs, etc.



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User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2438 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4140 times:

Quoting Legoguy (Reply 7):
Also cockpit and cabin cameras could help out in some way.

The pilots' unions will fight cockpit cameras.

From today's news:
John David of the Allied Pilots Association, which represents pilots at American Airlines, said having a camera monitor everything they do would affect their ability to perform.
The Air Line Pilots Association, the largest pilots union, issued a statement saying "the benefits of video imaging are vastly overrated, because far more effective and efficient tools exist."
Pilots object to the idea because they're concerned about their privacy and they fear that images, unlike technical data, can give rise to subjective interpretations of pilots' actions in the seconds before a crash.
John Cox, executive air safety chairman of the ALPA, said cameras in the cockpit would be a waste of money.
"We don't get a particularly good product and it's expensive," said Cox before the hearing. "If we have that money we can spend, let's get data that we can use. Objective data."


http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/07/27/national/main632123.shtml

ALPA Press Release from 2000:
ALPA Testifies Against Cameras In Cockpit and Psychological Testing
http://cf.alpa.org/internet/news/2000news/nr00020.htm

From 2004:
ALPA Opposes Video Imaging in Cockpit
http://www.alpa.org/DesktopModules/A...x?itemid=585&ModuleId=785&Tabid=73

[Edited 2008-03-08 08:24:44]

[Edited 2008-03-08 08:28:08]


Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineYXwatcherMKE From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1003 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3739 times:

I don't see any benefits to having cameras in the cockpit, they already have the data and voice recorders and having a camera over the shoulders pointed at the flight deck would not give the NTSB any more information then they already have by whats currently in place. I do think that cameras on the outside would be of some benefit to the pilots and to the NTSB if that would be needed(I pray that its not). Also a couple of cameras in the pax. cabin would be helpful to the flight crew if they have an unruly passenger, both for them to size up the situation so they know what to do and for the law enforcement to determine what charges to be made should that be needed. Also, you know that the media always has an angel on any of these unruly passenger stories, so having a camera in place would put an end to that.
My church(yes a church) has cameras through out the building, everyone thought it was a waste of time until we had an incident of vandalism and it was done by a pair of boys from the same family. The parents were threatening law suit until they saw the video from the camera that showed the whole thing in living color. The parents were stopped dead in their tracks and the attorney with them said you need to say your sorry and pay for the damages, he then left the meeting.
Again the the flight crew has to much on the backs now, they don't need to have a camera trained on them too!  Smile



I miss the 60's & 70's when you felt like a guest on the plane not cattle like today
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21641 posts, RR: 55
Reply 16, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3696 times:



Quoting PlunaCRJ (Reply 6):
I believe the A380, 777-300, and other new very large aircraft have cameras near the gears, right?

Yes - to help pilots see where the gear are on the pavement. Maneuvering airplanes of that size (and in the case of the 773 and 346, length) is difficult, and it can be hard for the pilots to judge where their wheels are visually because the cockpit is so far forward of the main gear.

-Mir



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User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3673 times:



Quoting Naritaflyer (Thread starter):
Is it a good idea to install cameras on the outside of an aircraft to monitor critical areas such as the tail, landing gear and under the wings that Pilots cannot see?

The flight crew has enough to do (and worry about) without adding images of things that they can't do anything about anyway.


User currently offlineYXwatcherMKE From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1003 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3562 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 17):

This idea of having cameras is not meant to be something that the pilots need to be watching all of the time , however, it could be a great tool to be used when needed!



I miss the 60's & 70's when you felt like a guest on the plane not cattle like today
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3536 times:



Quoting YXwatcherMKE (Reply 18):
it could be a great tool to be used when needed!

What would it ever be used for?

Example if the crew knew the rudder was missing (like in the pictures in Reply 9) what could they do about it?

There are indicators in the flight station that provide all the information the crew needs.


User currently offlineNaritaflyer From Japan, joined Apr 2006, 549 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3493 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 19):
What would it ever be used for?

Example if the crew knew the rudder was missing (like in the pictures in Reply 9) what could they do about it?

There are indicators in the flight station that provide all the information the crew needs.

It could be used for many things. I was on a flight on which the landing gears were not deploying. The pilot had to fly the plane near the air traffic control tower so that someone could see in which state the landing was. How can you say what would they be used for? If there is a hole under the wing spilling fuel it would be helpfut for the crew to be able to see that. If a piece of the rudder is missing the pilots should see that. There are too many accidents that happen because the crew did not have all the information it needed. Ask the crew of the Air Transat flight in the Azores.


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 79
Reply 21, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3448 times:



Quoting Naritaflyer (Reply 20):
There are too many accidents that happen because the crew did not have all the information it needed.

A lot of accidents are caused by the crew not having the information they needed (like every CFIT accident that's ever ocurred). But I think you'll find that only a tiny portion of those would be rectified by a camera system.

Tom.


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