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Using Camcorders On Take-off  
User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (13 years 8 months 1 day ago) and read 2284 times:

Hi all.

I was wanting to ask you more frequent flyers if I could use a camcorder to film the takeoff. I know you are supposed to have all electronic equipment stowed, but what if I ask the captain and get the Ok. What I am trying to ask is "Have any of you asked the captain to film the takeoff, and he said "Ok."?"

Please respond soon because my flight is coming up in 14 hours

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (13 years 8 months 1 day ago) and read 2264 times:

I doubt if they would let you have it out during either takeoff or landing. They make the passengers stow all carry ons. It's a safety thing. One of the reasons for this is to keep things from flying around the cabin in the event there is a problem.


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (13 years 8 months 1 day ago) and read 2257 times:

There's a FAA reg about having all that stuff stowed in the cabin, and asking the captain for his "permission" to bust a reg isn't going to give you the answer that you're looking for.

That said, people do it all the time, once the FA's are strapped into their seats for the takeoff. I don't advocate that, since stuff could still become projectiles in the event of a rapid deacceleration (abort, etc.)...

User currently offlineMD88Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1351 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (13 years 8 months 1 day ago) and read 2249 times:

Camcorders put out radio frequencies which may interfere with the electronics in the airplane in which you are flying. That makes it a safety hazard to you and your fellow passengers. It is rare when it happens, but it does happen. That is the reason for the ban on electronic devices on takeoff and landing.

User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 8 months 23 hours ago) and read 2207 times:

Thanks for the advice. I have decided NOT to take the camcorder with me. If the captain does say no, It would be a waste to carry it all that way for nothing. Thanks to all of you for letting me know ahead of time (Especially MD88Captain since he flies DC9/MD80/717 series aircraft and knows alot about those aircraft.) But thanks to everyone for their replies.

User currently offlineShawn Patrick From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2610 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (13 years 8 months 22 hours ago) and read 2186 times:

I have a digital camera and it can take videos and I used that on my last flight, during takeoff and landing.

No, nothing blew up and we did not crash. Seems quite harmless! Big grin

User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 8 months 22 hours ago) and read 2176 times:

Camcorders are different. For one, Camcorders are able to record sounds, and do emit little signals. Camcorders are like Mini-TVs and if you stand behind a TV, it kind of hurts your ears if you know what I mean. So, For protection of the passengers, I will not bring the camcorder on board.

User currently offlineVirginFlyer From New Zealand, joined Sep 2000, 4652 posts, RR: 37
Reply 7, posted (13 years 8 months 22 hours ago) and read 2157 times:

Shawn Patrick - I once drove down a residential street at over 100km/h (thats 60mph for you imperial people, and twice the legal speed limit on that road), and I didn't crash or hit anyone. Seems quite harmless? Yeah right... I certainly am not going to do it again - just because nothing went wrong once doesn't mean it can't


"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2054 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (13 years 8 months 22 hours ago) and read 2154 times:

FYI: Once, on a lonely country north of Woodstock, Vermont, I hit the "record" button on my camcorder to film some countryside. Instantaneously, everything electrical in my rented Cadillac died, leaving me stranded in the very middle of nowhere. Had to be rescued by the rental car company and the Caddy had to be towed. Perhaps a good reminder that those things aren't as innocuous as they seem.

II Cor. 4:17-18
User currently offlineShawn Patrick From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2610 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (13 years 8 months 21 hours ago) and read 2118 times:

Sleekjet - Wow that really stinks. Sounds like an X-Files episode...

VirginFlyer - joke.

BR715-A1-30 - My camera records sounds as well. But trust me, it is not the kind of technology as an actual digital video camera. I really don't think my camera is capable of sending out any kind of signal. In fact, this is what my camera manual says:

This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) This device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference recieved, including interference that may cause undersired operation.

User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2635 posts, RR: 52
Reply 10, posted (13 years 8 months 18 hours ago) and read 2046 times:

Shawn Patrick,
Read that sentence again. Like a lot of government legalese, it seems confusing, but what it is saying, is that you may operate it IF it doesn't cause harmful interference.

It's not just a bunch of super-ego pilots getting their rocks off by telling people they can't do things. ANYTHING that puts out RF (radio frequency) has the possibility of causing interference with other electronics. And in some planes, especially older ones with possibly worn insulation on their wiring, you might (probably not, but might) cause interference. There have been verified instances of problems reported by pilots, including myself, caused by radio interference. (We had to sit and listen to a lady talk on her cell phone in mid flight on a Saab 340 - it was bleeding into our headsets. We had to send the FA back to tell her to shut up).

And yes, camcorders DO emit RF from the amplifier for the viewscreen and audio. Like Sleekjet said, just because you got away with it once doesn't mean it won't screw up the system next time. I know it's sometimes hard to sit and take orders you think are bogus, but please, they are for yours, mine, and everyone's safety.


One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (13 years 8 months 18 hours ago) and read 2035 times:

I will make it a little more descriptive. I will be flying on 717 aircraft, (Which have many electronic systems including the F.A.D.E.C. controls of the engines, and the Advanced Computers in the Flight Deck) So would a camcorder interfere with the operations of a 717?

User currently offlineMd80spirit From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 8 months 18 hours ago) and read 2018 times:

As a f/a I would tell you to put it away for takeoff, but when i turn down the lights and sit in my jumpseat I will not be looking at you and if a disceetly placed camcorder is used, who will know. So many people do this f/a 's would have to stay in the aisle for takeoff to keep order. Besides we all here the seatbelts come off as soon as we land and turn off the runway, and f/a's do not run up the aisle to make pax put them back on, so use your best judgement and have a good flight.

User currently offlineKarliboy From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 254 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (13 years 8 months 17 hours ago) and read 2007 times:

i was recently on a flight from BHX to ACE where i wanted to camcorder take-off etc. The stewardess asked the pilot if i could and the answer was:-

1) NO...but not because of interference, but because in case of emergency i would be distracted by filming and doing other things rather than concentrating on what was going on around me. The stewardess however said she would turn a blind eye as long as nobody objected!

Make what you will of that

User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8628 posts, RR: 53
Reply 14, posted (13 years 8 months 14 hours ago) and read 1965 times:

If a camcorder can cause electrical problems then planes would never get off the ground - think how powerful radar is, flying over mobile phone towers, military stuff, police radios, motorway speed traps, god knows what. There is so much interference out there that a little RF from a camcorder would be drowned out in the racket.

fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (13 years 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 1947 times:

Truth is BR715 that no-one really knows the extent to which electronic devices interfere with aircraft systems. Airlines don't even agree among themselves as to which devices affect which systems. That's why they play safe with a pretty comprehensive ban.

NASA's safety reporting database contains a lot of anecdotal information on aircraft interference and the UK CAA conducted a series of tests a few months back to see if there was any real evidence that aircraft systems can be affected -- its conclusion was that there was a genuine potential threat, and that a ban should remain in place pending further research.

User currently offlineVoodoo From Niue, joined Mar 2001, 2174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (13 years 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 1935 times:

Just think how many phones and laptops etc. are accidently (or on purpose) left on at take-off/landing every day. If there was a problem, planes would be falling out of the skies. I am not advocating defying the rules, but the risk is marginal in the extreme.. especially with devices that are not `meant' to transmit e.g. camcorders.
(Try dialling your cell phone next to your computer. Interference.
Then use your camcorder next to your computer. Nothing.).

` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
User currently offlineDazed767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5519 posts, RR: 49
Reply 17, posted (13 years 8 months 12 hours ago) and read 1927 times:

Just bring it, and don't say anything. I've video taped a couple of my departures and landings, nobody cared. I recorded the last 3 mins of my flight back from STL on my digital camera (records sound and all). Stow it under the seat in front of you, when the F/A's sit down for departure, bring it out and record.

User currently offlineDynkrisolo From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1893 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (13 years 8 months 12 hours ago) and read 1914 times:

A few years back, I had a few cockpit visits on a couple of Asian airlines during landings. I asked for permission to use my camcorder. Interestingly, all of them granted me the permission even though these airlines did already have rules against electronic device usage during takeoffs and landings. One pilot did ask me not to point the camcorder directly to any of the CRT displays.

User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2635 posts, RR: 52
Reply 19, posted (13 years 7 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1822 times:

OK, I'm going to be as blunt as I can. As an airline pilot, I'd like to say to BR715-A1-30, Dazed767 and the rest of you;


There. Now I feel better.

No, there is no direct evidence of problems, but like I said in my earlier post, I have personally heard and felt some effects of interference. So for heaven's sake, have a little respect for the rules in our house, just as you'd like us to follow the rules at wherever you work.

Thank you for letting me vent.


One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (13 years 7 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1794 times:


Think you ought to go and read a book on electromagnetic interference. I can recommend a couple if you'd like. It's a lot more complicated than you seem to imagine.

User currently offlineBobcat From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (13 years 7 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1745 times:

Just make sure you don't do it in China... My camcorder was once conficated after the plane landed in Qingdao airport.(Northern China) The "friendly" Chinese flight attedant had noticed me with the camcorder. She said nothing to me, but reported it to the captain after the plane landed. A police/public security officer stood by the plane and "politely" asked for my DV tape. They "escorted" me to a windowless room where several other officers viewed the tape. It was eventually returned to me, but I had quite a scare... Who knows, I could have been sent to a labor camp or something.(if I had been a Chinese citizen, that may just be the case...)

As far as interference with the aircraft, no one know for sure what interference it can cause. However, I'm somewhat concerened about using my new laptop, which has a 15" monitor, built-in wireless networking(Bluetooth), DVD-ROM drive(for movies), TV-out(S-video), as well as a tiny camera built-in on top of the monitor.

User currently offlineCrazyboi From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (13 years 7 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1742 times:


I'd be interested in your recommendations. I study digital video art and would like to know more about the technology.

Incidentally, I know of a few video artists here in Australia who've shot scenes on t/o and landing. Seems a rather expensive approach to one's craft and the imagery is a little banal, if you ask me. But the cabin interior aesthetic has real possibilities in contemp. art.


This is the time. And this is the record of the time.
User currently offlineSoupthansa From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (13 years 7 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1676 times:

I would not! On July 25, 1999 I was filming a landing at Dulles from the window seat of a United Express J41 when a off duty United Station Agent
raised his voice across the cabin and said "EXCUSE ME SIR, YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO RUN BATTERY OPERATED ITEMS!" He did this once the plane came to a stop at the Dulles ramp and enjoyed pointing me out. I was a very bad passenger!! For shame. Anyway, I have filmed over 20 landings in the C-17 from the cockpit and you know what, The C-17 did not become a land magnet! Oh well, so I bought a digital camera and film mpegs!

User currently offlineSilverfox From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1060 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (13 years 7 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1653 times:

Three things here

1) if the plane comes to a sudden halt.. projectiles etc.
Well, you would have to include my arm in that as the camcorder is well and truly strapped to it, and if thats the case then the other passengers are going to be in the same situation.And what a great piece of evidence to the crash guys!!!
2) what about all these progs on the Discovery Channel of take offs and landings filmed inside the cockpit? newscrews swarming up and down the aisles in planes in flight?They are a hazard esp in turbulance, their kit is bloody heavy
3) a pilot friend of mine has said...and read this carefully.... that DIGITAL camcorders may.. note MAY...emit a very tiny amount of signal, but not enough to overpower the planes equipment,and that ANALOGUE recorders ed 8mm, VHS-c Hi-8 are ok as they do not emit anything.
And i agree totally with the earlier comments about the thousands of more powerful signals put out by the various TV and Radio stations..but then again they are clever enough to bend round the plane and miss it aren't they?

Oh and has anybody seen a 747 engine spool up on take off? they get a mini climate in there. sort of a small cloud.. and i have that on video as well.. seen only from the bus class window seat on a BA plane

25 LanChileA340 : Well as far as i'm concerned, this action is forbidden on all Qantas and LanChile flights (i refer to these carriers as they are the ones that i deal
26 Post contains links Jhooper : http://airside.paradise.net.nz/video/deltal1011honoluluto.wmv Check out this video I recorded on takeoff in a Delta L-1011 Tristar a few years ago!
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