Bell X-15
Topic Author
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 3:48 am

Cockpit Cameras-Big Brother?

Mon Aug 28, 2000 1:52 am

The Sunday Times has today printed a story insinuating that digital cameras may soon be fitted to aircraft in an attempt to identify mysterious air crashes.
From an investigative aspect I can see the benefits with the equipment however, as The Times points out it would be quite easy for these images to get into the wrong hands, and totally immoral if the media decided to air them.
I would be interested to hear what your comments are, especially any pilots out there.
Thanks in advance, X-15.
Posts: 1665
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 1999 3:16 am

RE: Cockpit Cameras-Big Brother?

Mon Aug 28, 2000 1:57 am

No I don't think it's a good idea...and YES, It smacks of "big brother" IMO. Trade liberty for safety and you're deserving of neither.
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:29 pm

RE: Cockpit Cameras-Ain't Gonna Happen

Mon Aug 28, 2000 3:19 am

This is a much discussed topic and can probably be accessed from archives. The short answer from this pilot is that 1/ ALPA does not support or endorse the idea, let alone the practise, and 2/ no pilot I know will accept one in their cockpit. Word has it that wherever it will be located will be a great place to hang one's hat.

Primary reason for "reluctance"? As you stated: media irresponsibility and traditional amoral journalistic behaviour.

Best Regards,


RE: Cockpit Cameras-Big Brother?

Mon Aug 28, 2000 3:45 am

Yes, but would it not be possible to treat the tape as the CVR/FDR are treated today ie. restricted access?

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Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Cockpit Cameras-Big Brother?

Mon Aug 28, 2000 5:43 am

>...would it not be possible to treat the tape as the CVR/FDR are treated today ie. restricted access?

Restricted to whom? Far too many CVR/FDR information has found its way into the open media to be disected by uneducated and uninformed "reporters."

There is nothing additional to be gained from video that can not be deciphered already with current CVR/FDR capabilities. Take the Egypt Air mishap for example. Mount a camera behind the pilots' seats and watch the video (if it survives). Was the co-pilot pushing the yoke or merely preventing yoke from moving aft? You don't know from the video and never will. OTOH, capture yoke pressures and movements on FDR and you'll know if the yoke moved first and the pilot reacted or the pilot pushed the yoke and the controls reacted.

From this former mishap investigator's point of view, I'd much prefer improving CVR/FDR information rather than wasting the time/money on a cockpit video system of limited value.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2000 9:22 am

RE: Cockpit Cameras-Big Brother?

Mon Aug 28, 2000 9:34 am

That would be just too strange and haunting, witnessing the crash as though you yourself were on board.
I also believe that it would be too much of a hassle due to the media getting a hold of the video.
Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 1999 1:42 pm

CDR Recordings

Mon Aug 28, 2000 8:14 pm

The 'restricted' CDR recordings have managed to find their way on to the internet for all the world to hear. If you don't believe me, check out and other various websites.

If the audio tracks can be leaked, so too, can video footage.

- Neil Harrison

RE: Cockpit Cameras-Big Brother?

Mon Aug 28, 2000 10:34 pm

Point taken!

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