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Pilot Photographers  
User currently offlineNeilfking From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 6 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1854 times:


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Photo © Ismael Jorda



The chap who took this photo (and many others like it) is obviously an Airbus F/O and his pics are always a treat and give me (and no doubt others) a superb "pilot's eye view" of flight.

However, at this phase of a flight, even if he's PNF, should he not be concentrating 100% on the flight rather than taking photos?

I'm not at all saying I'd worried to fly on a plane with this bloke as F/O (or trying to be some anally retentive kill-joy) but I'm curious about what "the rules" are about this - Sterile Cockpit and all that.

Interested to hear views from professional pilots.

Brgds, NK

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEmbqa From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1840 times:

I bet it took all of 3 or 4 seconds to take that picture and I don't see any harm. The planes on Autopilot, they're the non-flying pilot...tcas is saying nothing.. You'd be a little suprised on what goes on behind a closed cockpit door.


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineTurnit56N From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1805 times:

We don't know for sure what precise phase of flight this is ("descent" is vague), and I'm not even sure of their altitude (descending TO 4000...but where are they right now?). For all we know, this could be a jumpseater leaning over and putting the camera beside the FO's head to get the "FO view".

Comments questioning the pilot's professionalism for taking pictures (especially when we don't really know what's going on) are only going to discourage pilots from posting their photos. Honestly, I would never post a picture even taken at cruise for liability reasons. Perhaps I'm paranoid, but these kinds of comments are going to make the pilots who are still willing to share their pictures paranoid as well.


User currently offlineKaddyuk From Wallis and Futuna, joined Nov 2001, 4126 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1772 times:

Quoting Neilfking (Thread starter):
I'm not at all saying I'd worried to fly on a plane with this bloke as F/O (or trying to be some anally retentive kill-joy) but I'm curious about what "the rules" are about this - Sterile Cockpit and all that.

The Rules say "no"...

But there is no way to prove he was flying the aircraft. As was said, it could have easily been taken from the jumpseat to give the illusion of being in the FO seat. and i could probably say that is true. Given focal distances of modern cameras he would have to be using an EXTREMELY short focal distance lense to sit in the FO seat and take that photo. (18mm and less).
I'm perfectly comfortable, the computer is flying the aircraft and as was posted, it takes all of four seconds to take a photo...



Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
User currently offlineMissedApproach From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 713 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1733 times:

Quoting Neilfking (Thread starter):
Sterile Cockpit

I'm under the impression that the sterile cockpit regulation just applies to critical flight phases, such as take-off & landing, & not cruise. Also, don't some airlines allow naps on long sectors in an effort to reduce fatigue & "microsleep" during the landing phase?



Can you hear me now?
User currently offlineGoBoeing From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 2682 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1722 times:

Quoting MissedApproach (Reply 4):
I'm under the impression that the sterile cockpit regulation just applies to critical flight phases, such as take-off & landing, & not cruise. Also, don't some airlines allow naps on long sectors in an effort to reduce fatigue & "microsleep" during the landing phase?

Yes, sterile cockpit is usually (for U.S. carriers anyway) pushback to 10,000 feet unless they are cruising at less than 10,000 feet. Sterile cockpit under 10,000 again in the descent until at the gate.

As far as naps go, I'm familiar with the FOM of one of the US major airlines and it says no sleeping on the job is allowed (crew rest is the exception). However, it happens. It's a lot safer to tell the other pilot you're going to take a quick twenty minute catnap while you're at FL390 and have the other pilot do the same after, than for both pilots to be fighting to stay awake on the ILS.


User currently offlineDehowie From Australia, joined Feb 2004, 1057 posts, RR: 33
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1707 times:

As one of the pilot photographers on this site a few comments.
Firstly the photo's are taken when PNF.
Modern cameras once set up require NO concentration to operate only a spare hand.As PNF its your right hand in the right seat.
Hence pushing the shutter release on the camera requires no more thought or effort than the PTT.
In fact the company i work actively use my work in the organisation for pilot training presenting images of airports close up at low levels(far lower than the one above) after i demonstated to the head of check and training on the A320 how it can be done no jeopardy.
Approach photos from the pilots viewpoint now form a valuable training aid in my company for people who have never been to a particular airport before presenting info on terrain and layout words can never pass over.
Given a modern DSLR requires pushing one button,no aiming with a bit of luck and no effort it still allows you to focus 100% on the job and take pics at the same time.
Darren



2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
User currently offlineMeister808 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 973 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1608 times:

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 6):
Approach photos from the pilots viewpoint now form a valuable training aid in my company for people who have never been to a particular airport before presenting info on terrain and layout words can never pass over.

Interesting. That makes a ton of sense, and I am glad someone can see that the safety benefits far outweigh the negligible risks of shooting pictures.

-Meister



Twin Cessna 812 Victor, Minneapolis Center, we observe your operation in the immediate vicinity of extreme precipitation
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16992 posts, RR: 67
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1599 times:

Quoting GoBoeing (Reply 5):
Quoting MissedApproach (Reply 4):
I'm under the impression that the sterile cockpit regulation just applies to critical flight phases, such as take-off & landing, & not cruise. Also, don't some airlines allow naps on long sectors in an effort to reduce fatigue & "microsleep" during the landing phase?

Yes, sterile cockpit is usually (for U.S. carriers anyway) pushback to 10,000 feet unless they are cruising at less than 10,000 feet. Sterile cockpit under 10,000 again in the descent until at the gate.

As far as naps go, I'm familiar with the FOM of one of the US major airlines and it says no sleeping on the job is allowed (crew rest is the exception). However, it happens. It's a lot safer to tell the other pilot you're going to take a quick twenty minute catnap while you're at FL390 and have the other pilot do the same after, than for both pilots to be fighting to stay awake on the ILS.

Agreed about the catnaps. In fact, in the UK regs have been altered to allow napping in "controlled circumstances" for exactly the reason you state. Better a short nap in cruise than a lapse in concentration on approach.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1559 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1587 times:

I don't think the time to take a shot like this will take so much time to take you out of PNF duties nor it will effect your concentration.

I like taking pictures from the air,its something that you just decide when to do and when not to do.In Ismael's case, Barcelona is one of the airports he flies the most,and not the busiest I can say compared to others in Europe.But I am sure when you fly in a very busy airspace or in a rough weather you always postphone the photo shoots since there will be always " alot of " other times.



Widen your world
User currently offlineLongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4913 posts, RR: 43
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1554 times:

It is strings like this that stop me from posting any photos or videos I take when flying an airplane. Much like a lot of the professional pilots that are regulars here, I have over 20,000 hours, of which over 15,000 is in command of transport aircraft. I know exactly when it is safe to pull out a camera and take some pictures.

It is not just a factor of when, but also with whom and under what conditions that makes it safe. Yet, some yahoo with 20 hours in a C150 will tell me that I am risking life and equipment by doing so.

So ... until you accept that professional pilots have a pretty good idea when its safe to pull out a camera, you are going to miss out on some spectacular shots!



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8863 posts, RR: 75
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1486 times:

Quoting LongHauler (Reply 10):
have over 20,000 hours, of which over 15,000 is in command of transport aircraft.

That must be some sort of record for a 36-45 yr old.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9523 posts, RR: 42
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1478 times:

Quoting Neilfking (Thread starter):
I'm not at all saying I'd worried to fly on a plane with this bloke as F/O (or trying to be some anally retentive kill-joy) but I'm curious about what "the rules" are about this



Quoting Turnit56N (Reply 2):
Comments questioning the pilot's professionalism for taking pictures (especially when we don't really know what's going on)

Maybe I'm being naive but I didn't see that as a question about anyone's professionalism, just a question on what the rules are.

As far as I'm concerned, it's generated another interesting discussion.  Smile


User currently offlineLongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4913 posts, RR: 43
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1461 times:

Quoting Zeke (Reply 11):
That must be some sort of record for a 36-45 yr old

Not really. Actually I am 45 and 13/14ths. I am NOT changing that age range until the last minute! LOL



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineTurnit56N From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1432 times:

Quoting David L (Reply 12):
Maybe I'm being naive but I didn't see that as a question about anyone's professionalism, just a question on what the rules are.

I'm sure you didn't mean it negatively, but wondering if he was breaking rules or compromising safety by not concentrating 100% is basically wondering if he's being unprofessional. At least, that's how most pilots and management types would read it. At many airlines, even the suggestion of unprofessional behavior in a public forum gets management upset because of the possible PR ramifications. I think that the US airline management is more strict with pilots regarding this, but that's why the slightest possible suggestion of unprofessionalism (even unintentionally) is going to make most pilots nervous about posting pictures.


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9523 posts, RR: 42
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1386 times:

Quoting Turnit56N (Reply 14):

Just completely different interpretations, I guess. Incidentally, it wasn't me who asked.  Smile


User currently offlineMerlinIIIB From Norway, joined Aug 2005, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1355 times:

Quoting LongHauler (Reply 10):
It is strings like this that stop me from posting any photos or videos I take when flying an airplane.

So, regulators and others who look at photos are unable to assess this matter independently without someone generating this type of well meaning thread?

Pilots, thanks for the photos - we love them!


User currently offlineTurnit56N From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1339 times:

Quoting David L (Reply 15):
Incidentally, it wasn't me who asked.

Sorry! You know what they say about assumptions....  Smile


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