AF1624
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Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:19 am

Hello all,

I was browsing Youtube videos and I couldn't help but notice that the amount of videos shot with GoPro-style cameras has increased dramatically recently. These videos are of very high quality (Full HD for the most part) and the GoPro's wide angle provides a very good overview of what's happening in the cockpit.

Especially considering that one unit costs about 250$ which I think you'd agree isn't that much.

As most of you know crashes today are analysed by way of sound and data. Usually these two combined can provide a relatively good idea of what happened in the cockpit at a given moment. i.e. Crew ressource management, etc.

But having video evidence would be, I think, compelling in a lot of cases.

Here comes the question : don't you think that placing discreet and very small cameras (even smaller than the GoPro - which is doable because you can place the hard drive elsewhere) in the cockpit would greatly improve the way crashes and incidents are analysed ?

With the immense capacity of modern day hard drives and their flexibility (their capacity to be written on over and over and over again unlike a tape), something like this should be doable, IMHO.

What do you think about it ?
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RubberJungle
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:31 am

The technology was never the problem - there have been cameras available for cockpit recording for years, and investigators have long supported the use of video as an aid to accident inquiries.

The problem was always the resistance of pilots to being subject to video monitoring, as well as the possible leaking of video footage to the public in the same way that audio is leaked today.
 
AF1624
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:40 am

Quoting RubberJungle (Reply 1):
The problem was always the resistance of pilots to being subject to video monitoring, as well as the possible leaking of video footage to the public in the same way that audio is leaked today.

I understand that pilots would resist video monitoring.

However I think that most professions today are subject to video monitoring: bank assistants, policemen, taxi drivers, cashiers... all of them are on tape most of the times. Even large company open-spaces are video monitored nowadays.
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nonfirm
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:41 am

A lot of Flight Crews feel it is an invasion of their work place. I myself don't agree with the installation of cameras on the Flightdeck.
 
EY460
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:17 am

CCTV cameras are installed on the navigation bridge on some cruise ships and they can really help an investigation. As a navigation officer I never had anything against being filmed while at work (the navigation bridge filming of the Costa Concordia was not from CCTV but it was from one of the ship's photographer). Of course there is issue of these recordings leaking to the press. The one from the Costa Concordia was first watched on TV and then obtained by the tribunal for its investigation.
 
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9MMPQ
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:29 am

It's been dicussed at length over the years. A search would probabaly yield some results.

I think the 3 main points have always been:

1) Doubts if camera's could sufficiently cover every button/dial that could be manipulated by the crew.
2) Usefullness as there have been few accidents in which only a camera could have revealed the cause.
3) Possible leaking of footage showing crews in their last dying seconds.

With points 1 & 2 the airlines would probably figure to just save the money across the whole fleet.

As for point 3... I've heard some voice recordings of last moments onboard a flight, it would be morbid to get some footage with that too.
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EPA001
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:54 am

Quoting 9MMPQ (Reply 5):
It's been discussed at length over the years.


Yes, it has.

I am all for it, but to have really added value the recording must be expanded by showing in detail what the instruments are displaying to the crew on the flight deck. Only then can you draw better conclusions on why a certain manoeuvre was made, or was not made.

So the concept of what needs to be in the recordings made on the flight deck must be agreed upon first. Then I am all for it.

Quoting nonfirm (Reply 3):
A lot of Flight Crews feel it is an invasion of their work place. I myself don't agree with the installation of cameras on the Flightdeck.


There many, less critical situations in work-spaces where video recording is done. I have no problem with it personally, but I am not working in aviation. But where I sit behind my desk also camera's are in operation. They do not bother me at all. The urge for even safer flying through better accident research and evaluations then we know today easily justifies imho the means.  .
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:33 pm

Quoting AF1624 (Thread starter):
But having video evidence would be, I think, compelling in a lot of cases.

I think it would be fascinating in a lot of cases, but not compelling. The number of accidents I can think of where video would make a difference to the investigation outcome seems to be very small (the CVR/FDR combination usually tells a pretty complete tale).

Quoting AF1624 (Thread starter):
don't you think that placing discreet and very small cameras (even smaller than the GoPro - which is doable because you can place the hard drive elsewhere) in the cockpit would greatly improve the way crashes and incidents are analysed ?

Not "greatly improve"...in a few cases it would provide some missing data but, for the majority of crashes, I don't think we'd learn much. The press would *love* it, which is probably an argument against it.

Quoting AF1624 (Thread starter):
With the immense capacity of modern day hard drives and their flexibility (their capacity to be written on over and over and over again unlike a tape), something like this should be doable, IMHO.

As noted, it's not a technology problem, although for crash survivability you don't want to use a hard drive. It would be a far more expensive device than you think.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 6):
I am all for it, but to have really added value the recording must be expanded by showing in detail what the instruments are displaying to the crew on the flight deck. Only then can you draw better conclusions on why a certain manoeuvre was made, or was not made.

If we really want to go down this path, I think the better thing to record is the displays and a rear-looking shot of the crew so you know where they're looking. That's the one big piece that a CVR/FDR doesn't yet tell you...what was on what display/panel/gauge at the time the crew was looking at it.

I do think the display thing is a bit of a red herring though...with modern digital-format flight decks, I've never heard of even a theoretical case where what was displayed was different than what was recorded on the FDR. The really interesting part is where the crew is looking at a particular time.

Tom.
 
tcasalert
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:53 pm

The resistance has always been by the pilots. I myself think it is an excellent idea and would help immensely. You probably wouldn't need to see exactly what is seen on the instruments, the FDR records all of that data anyway. Just to be able to see what the crew's reaction to those was, and an idea through the window of the issue they experienced.

I don't see why pilots should be so resistant to it, after all what do they have to hide? They are in a workplace and in any other workplace employees are monitored constantly (including trains, buses etc), so why not pilots? If anything happens they have CVR anyway.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 7):
As noted, it's not a technology problem, although for crash survivability you don't want to use a hard drive. It would be a far more expensive device than you think.

SSD would probably be the way to go. My £100 camcorder records in 1080P to an SD card, however the main expense would be getting the devices certified for flight. Your £100 camcorder could easily turn into several £1000 by the time it has been certified.
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norcal
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:44 pm

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 8):
I don't see why pilots should be so resistant to it, after all what do they have to hide? They are in a workplace and in any other workplace employees are monitored constantly (including trains, buses etc), so why not pilots? If anything happens they have CVR anyway.

Inevitably this would get leaked to the press and the last thing I'd ever want my family to see is the moment of my death.

The press truly has no respect what-so-ever for victims families. How many inappropriate videos have been released over the years of brutal crimes taking place? With you-tube, 24 hour news, etc. it would be unavoidable.

Could you imagine if for example a hijacking type scenario was recorded? Would we really want video of the hijackers slitting the throats of crew members?

There is just a potential level of gruesomeness that simply isn't needed. As others have said it doesn't really add to the investigation. The only thing it might identify is signs of fatigue, (assuming the video is high enough quality) but investigators can usually establish that anyways when they look back at the previous days of the crew members life.

Take the Colgan crash for example, the FDR and CVR established that the inexperienced and poorly trained crew responded inappropriately to the stall. What more would a video tell us?
 
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:34 pm

Depending on the Flight Data Recorder, virtually every switch, control, setting as well as status, alert, caution message are recorded. There's no need for video with the level of detail. As someone who has read through DFDR data it usually provides more than you need although a video would make things a lot easier and quicker to piece together rather than thousands of lines and columns in an excel spreadsheet. Afterall the majority of the time when DFDR data is analyzed, it is not because of a fatal crash. It is used quite frequently in troubleshooting erroneous, nuisance or intermittent messages.
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71Zulu
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:40 pm

I remember when AA had cockpit cameras on the DC-10 but I believe they just pointed out the windshield and you couldn't really see anything the pilots were doing. I don't see much of a problem with this and could show weather, runway hazards, collision or other things not recorded by current equipment.
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AF1624
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:25 pm

Quoting norcal (Reply 9):
Could you imagine if for example a hijacking type scenario was recorded? Would we really want video of the hijackers slitting the throats of crew members?

Well I don't see the difference between this and the various murder/beating/theft videos that are available on the internet related to mere cash machine robberies or local store robberies or gang fights, etc. It has a sensationalist feel to it, I do agree, but then again controlling leaks is quite easier in the aviation world as well. Or so it seems.

If it actually helps the investigation, I honestly don't think the idea is bad.

Plus, there's the fact that it would ADD one more source of data for analysis during an investigation. It gives three sources total, instead of two. A video usually comes with sound so that would give investigators :

FDR
CVR
Cockpit Video Recorder + Voice Recorder

I do think it would make the investigations easier. You wouldn't have to listen to some precise seconds of the CVR over and over and over again just to understand who's in the cockpit, who's flicking what switch, who's looking at what gauges, who's yawning, etc.
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:34 pm

Quoting AF1624 (Reply 12):
Well I don't see the difference between this and the various murder/beating/theft videos that are available on the internet related to mere cash machine robberies or local store robberies or gang fights, etc.

Those are crimes. Aviation accidents are not crimes (though things have been moving slowly in that direction - a trend that needs to be reversed).

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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:34 pm

Quoting RubberJungle (Reply 1):

The problem was always the resistance of pilots to being subject to video monitoring, as well as the possible leaking of video footage to the public in the same way that audio is leaked today.

ATC audio is freely available online and by sticking an antenna in the air.

Here's my question: in which accident investigations would cockpit video have really added that much to the investigation? If you know what they crew are saying and what control inputs they are selecting, what does actually seeing them add? Even a low-res video feed adds a lot of bandwidth to the existing FDR/CVR data. Is it justified?
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Mir
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:23 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 14):
ATC audio is freely available online and by sticking an antenna in the air.

But you're not hearing (unless there's a stuck mic, which has happened with some embarrassing consequences) the cockpit conversation that the CVR picks up.

-Mir
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Virginblue4
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:36 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 13):
Those are crimes. Aviation accidents are not crimes (though things have been moving slowly in that direction - a trend that needs to be reversed).

But he was quoting hijackings and slitting throats. That IS a crime.
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zanl188
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:02 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 14):
Here's my question: in which accident investigations would cockpit video have really added that much to the investigation? If you know what they crew are saying and what control inputs they are selecting, what does actually seeing them add? Even a low-res video feed adds a lot of bandwidth to the existing FDR/CVR data. Is it justified?

Take a look at the recent UPS accident in the Middle East:

How much smoke was in the cockpit?
How rapid was the smoke buildup?
Where did the Capt go?
Did the Capt find the O2 bottle he was looking for?
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AF1624
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:23 pm

Quoting virginblue4 (Reply 16):
But he was quoting hijackings and slitting throats. That IS a crime.

Indeed.

I can think of some flights where video would have been very useful:

Fedex 705 (1994)

Pacific Southwest Flight 1771

AF447 (the crew actions remain relatively unclear - the exact position and actions of the captain when he came back to the cockpit are also unclear)

Etc.
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RebelDJ
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:39 pm

I think this report - http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP%20762.pdf - does a pretty good job of summarising the arguments.
 
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longhauler
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:57 pm

Quoting AF1624 (Reply 18):
I can think of some flights where video would have been very useful:

Fedex 705 (1994)

Pacific Southwest Flight 1771

Useful, how?
In that you would have liked to see what happened out of morbid curiosity, or it would solve the investigation. As both of those crashes have been "solved".

I am sitting here thinking if there has been any unsolved crash whereby a cockpit video would have shown what did happen.

Quoting zanl188 (Reply 17):
Take a look at the recent UPS accident in the Middle East:

How much smoke was in the cockpit?
How rapid was the smoke buildup?
Where did the Capt go?
Did the Capt find the O2 bottle he was looking for?

Yup, I'll wager this would have been really really really cool to see, but in no way would have aided in solving the accident. The cause was pretty apparent right from the start.

And that is the battle going on right now.

In today's "I want pictures" instant gratification age, everyone wants a video of the occurrence within seconds. A cockpit video would be great for CNN, and YouTube, but likely wouldn't aid in the investigation at all.

I recall very shortly after the Alaska MD-80 went down off of LAX, CNN was airing the final seconds of the CVR. The news reporter was bragging that the Millions spent in bribing the FAA Inspector for a copy of the CVR before it was publicly released was worth it in ratings alone!

Quoting AF1624 (Reply 12):
Well I don't see the difference between this and the various murder/beating/theft videos that are available on the Internet related to mere cash machine robberies or local store robberies or gang fights, etc.

The difference in these cases, and the other non-aviation ones mentioned above, is that there is no alternate means of solving the "crime" like there is in the cockpit of an airliner in the FDR and CVR.
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threepoint
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:20 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 14):
Here's my question: in which accident investigations would cockpit video have really added that much to the investigation?
Quoting longhauler (Reply 20):
I am sitting here thinking if there has been any unsolved crash whereby a cockpit video would have shown what did happen.

Egyptair flight 990. Deliberate action by the FO or not?
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dfambro
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:37 pm

These conversations about cockpit monitoring really whipsaw around. In the AF447 threads there was extensive discussion on how hard it is to interpret CVR data, how experts need to pour over it with expensive specialist equipment for days trying to decipher noises, etc., but as soon as video is brought up it seems many folks can fathom that there would be any usefulness because the CVR plus FDR so easily tells you everything you could possibly want to know. I don't see how both those views can be correct, and since the first one is correct, that would rule out the second view.

To me it seems clear there should be video monitoring, probably from multiple vantage points.

As for the argument that there might be morbid curiousity in the videos, I think that's irrelevant to the discussion.

For those arguing that they can't think of a crash where video data would have helped, please remember that you don't know all that you don't know about what was going on in the cockpit. Video could suggest a completely new dimension that you, and the investigators, hadn't previously considered.
 
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longhauler
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:09 pm

Quoting threepoint (Reply 21):
Egyptair flight 990. Deliberate action by the FO or not?

That was the only example I could think of ... until I looked at the DFDR info. During the "battle" one elevator was full up, and one was full down. For those that know the B767, it is pretty apparent what was going on in the cockpit.

Quoting dfambro (Reply 22):
To me it seems clear there should be video monitoring, probably from multiple vantage points.

Believe it or not, AF447 is probably a bad example, as with the very sophisticated DFDR of the A330 just about every switch position and system function is known. Perhaps on an older aircraft, with a lesser FDR, a video recording would be more useful.

Quoting dfambro (Reply 22):
As for the argument that there might be morbid curiosity in the videos, I think that's irrelevant to the discussion.

Says you. But ... for those that oppose, that is 99% of the reason. It is very relevant, and until the governing bodies can guarantee the security of these videos, it is not likely to happen.

Quoting dfambro (Reply 22):
Video could suggest a completely new dimension that you, and the investigators, hadn't previously considered.

Accident Investigation is my area of schooling and expertise. I have participated in many investigations where all information is welcomed. I have also participated in many investigations where there has been "too much" information, but I have never seen an investigation whereby the result was not immediately apparent after reviewing the CVR and DFDR information.
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tcasalert
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:59 pm

Quoting threepoint (Reply 21):
Egyptair flight 990. Deliberate action by the FO or not?

Also (controversial, I know), but UA93. Video footage would be able to be released showing exactly what happened - was it really a case of passengers overpowering the hijackers in an act of mass heroism or the result of military force as the conspiracy theorists would claim. If there were video footage it would be one in the eye for the conspiracy theorists.
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RubberJungle
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:16 pm

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 24):
If there were video footage it would be one in the eye for the conspiracy theorists.

Sadly, I disagree. Conspiracy theorists don't use evidence to form a conclusion. They form a conclusion, and then cherry-pick the evidence, dismissing anything that doesn't fit as "part of the conspiracy".

None of the video footage of the American 757 wreckage at the Pentagon, nor the countless eyewitnesses who saw the aircraft, nor the missing passengers, made any difference to the "missile" loonies. And cockpit video won't make a difference either.
 
threepoint
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:46 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 23):
During the "battle" one elevator was full up, and one was full down. For those that know the B767, it is pretty apparent what was going on in the cockpit.

I certainly don't know the B767, but I do suppose that 'disagreement' between elevators (I assume you meant one yoke was full forward while the other was full aft?) in ANY aircraft would yield similar results.
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longhauler
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:07 am

Quoting threepoint (Reply 26):
I certainly don't know the B767, but I do suppose that 'disagreement' between elevators (I assume you meant one yoke was full forward while the other was full aft?) in ANY aircraft would yield similar results.

Yes, that's right. On the B767, and in fact most transport aircraft, the left control column controls the left elevator, and right control column controls the right elevator. The two control columns are connected by a "clutch" which can be "broken" with sufficient force.

The intent is if there is an elevator jam, the control columns are pushed in opposite directions until the clutch releases, then the "unjammed" elevator is controlled by its corresponding control column. (with limitations) The "jammed" elevator remains in its jammed position.

However, if there is no jam, and one elevator is indicating full up, and the other full down, there is only one way that can happen. Notice I say elevator, and not control column. Clearly, one control column was being pushed, while the other was being pulled, the clutch was "broken" and each column was controlling its respective elevator.

Combine that action with what was recorded on the CVR, and the cause of the crash was apparent.
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dfambro
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:45 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 23):
Believe it or not, AF447 is probably a bad example, as with the very sophisticated DFDR of the A330 just about every switch position and system function is known.



Well, the best people to tell us whether image recorders would help for AF447 are the investigators themselves. Let's see what they say about it. From the 3rd interim report (the most recent one), page 80, Section 4.3, Recommendations on Flight Recorders.

"Analysis of the FDR parameters and audition of the CVR provide information that is essential
to an understanding of the event. However, it is difficult to reconstruct the indications that
were available to the crew on their instrument panel, especially the instructions given by the
Flight Director crossbars when they reappear. It is also impossible to see whether there have
been any attempts to re-engage the autopilot. A view of the instrument panel would complete
the information provided by the FDR and the CVR and would make it possible to confirm the
indications that were available to the crew and the actions that they made. Numerous
recommendations have already been made on this subject over the past ten years without
any real progress having been made.
Consequently, the BEA again recommends:
 that ICAO require that aircraft undertaking public transport flights with passengers
be equipped with an image recorder that makes it possible to observe the whole of
the instrument panel"

Section 4.3 continues after that but I think the point is made.
 
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longhauler
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:58 am

Quoting dfambro (Reply 28):
Well, the best people to tell us whether image recorders would help for AF447 are the investigators themselves. Let's see what they say about it. From the 3rd interim report (the most recent one), page 80, Section 4.3, Recommendations on Flight Recorders.

And yet ... the cause of that accident is pretty well known, 100%

What additional information do you think could be gained by a cockpit video?

I recently read that probably the greatest gains from cockpit video recorders would be realized by lawyers when dealing with lawsuits. Up until now, they only (often illegally) use the CVR, and lets face it, if you want to sway a jury nothing brings out "horror" like a video presentation.

Understand, I don't disagree with the comments on here. But in reality, there are very very few accidents left unsolved where the DFDR and CVR are recovered. In fact, I can't think of any. It is like the big discussion held on here about something similar, before the DFDR and CVR were recovered from AF447. That discussion was about the possibility of transmitting live, the data as it is acquired to a remote place via satellite.

It comes down to a huge expense, for a very little gain, that is likely not even necessary.
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EPA001
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:29 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 29):
It comes down to a huge expense, for a very little gain, that is likely not even necessary


I completely disagree with this.
You might want to read this report:

Quoting RebelDJ (Reply 19):
I think this report - http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP%20762.pdf - does a pretty good job of summarising the arguments.


I think the video can always be helpful in solving cases. Maybe we know the most causes of incidents/accidents with the current equipment, but a video recording could also speed-up the analysis work quite a lot. Since the video will show directly what otherwise needs to be found out in a different, labor and time consuming way by using the current devices available to the investigators.

Quoting dfambro (Reply 28):
A view of the instrument panel would complete
the information provided by the FDR and the CVR and would make it possible to confirm the
indications that were available to the crew and the actions that they made. Numerous
recommendations have already been made on this subject over the past ten years without
any real progress having been made.


This quote is also pretty telling for me. Just my   
 
dfambro
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:58 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 29):

And yet ... the cause of that accident is pretty well known, 100%

What additional information do you think could be gained by a cockpit video?

It comes down to what you mean by "cause". Sure, we know 100% that AF447 stalled, which caused it to fall out of the sky. But we don't know what "caused" the pilots to misunderstand the situation and respond inappropriately, and video could shed light on that issue and thus help prevent future tragedies. The BEA thinks there is additional information that could be gained.
 
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longhauler
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:43 pm

Quoting dfambro (Reply 28):
Numerous
recommendations have already been made on this subject over the past ten years without
any real progress having been made.

On every investigation in which I participated, in either an active or passive role, we have made many recommendations. This is a part of the process. It would be a very ineffective panel that does not make suggestions so that the occurrence does not recur.

However, whether they are ever enacted is a different story.

Sadly, the bottom line is always ... that ... the bottom line. "How much does it cost?" "Too much!"

While investigators make suggestions to make flying safer, an actuary will make an assessment on how exactly how much safer that suggestion makes things. Then, an accountant will balance the cost of the suggestion against the cost of that 1/10,000,000,000 chance of the occurrence happening again. And the suggestion never sees the light of day.

Namely, if investigations are currently resulting in a successful conclusion, why bother? (Their words, not mine)

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 30):
I think the video can always be helpful in solving cases. Maybe we know the most causes of incidents/accidents with the current equipment, but a video recording could also speed-up the analysis work quite a lot.

I think you would be very interested in the current investigation process. The parameters of the DFDR can be plugged into a "simulator", then the CVR recorder can be over written, and the result played is pretty impressive. I have never participated in an investigation whereby the probable cause was not immediately obvious by this stage.

Speed, is not normally a factor. In fact, some investigations have been deliberately "slowed" due to personal or political implications. Egyptair 990 is a good example of this. The result was known long long before it was released.

However, I should mention one area where I think a cockpit video recording would be effective. And that is in aircraft that do not have the luxury of a many thousand parameter DFDR, namely older aircraft. Or newer, but smaller less sophisticated aircraft.

You note above, I stated I was not aware of any crash investigation left unsolved where a video recording would have lead to the solution. I didn't say there wasn't one, just that I was not aware. I would guess if one were able to find such an example, it would be in either a first or second generation jet airliner, or in a smaller less sophisticated aircraft.

Today's DFDRs and CVRs are pretty impressive.
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EPA001
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:56 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 32):
Today's DFDRs and CVRs are pretty impressive.

Thanks for your extensive reply.  .

Though I am no expert on the issue, my gut feeling tells me it can not hurt to add video. The costs do not have to be that high, though it clearly will not be as simple as mounting an I-Phone-4S in a airliner cockpit.   But overall I would guess the costs should not be too high.
 
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:41 pm

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 33):
though it clearly will not be as simple as mounting an I-Phone-4S in a airliner cockpit.

The costs in this case may be offset by the removal of the navigation systems and requirement of a First Officer, as Siri the iPilot could likely perform most if not all of these tasks.
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tdscanuck
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:35 am

Quoting dfambro (Reply 22):
In the AF447 threads there was extensive discussion on how hard it is to interpret CVR data, how experts need to pour over it with expensive specialist equipment for days trying to decipher noises, etc., but as soon as video is brought up it seems many folks can fathom that there would be any usefulness because the CVR plus FDR so easily tells you everything you could possibly want to know. I don't see how both those views can be correct, and since the first one is correct, that would rule out the second view.

The two views aren't incompatible, you're just misstating them. FDR is hard to interpret because there's so much data...a huge amount of synthesis has to take place to translate the FDR data to a full situational picture. But, in return, it tells you *far* more about what's actually going on with the airplane than the CVR or video can. The CVR covers the crucial communcations aspect...although you're right that deciphering noises on a CVR can be hard, that's not why the CVR is there, that's just an ancillary benefit. As long as we're using voice as the primary communication route we need CVR. Video tells you how the pilots are moving, which can be interesting, but as long as you know what they were told and said (CVR) and what commands the airplane received and how it responded (FDR) there's not much new information it provides that's actually relevant to an investigation.

Nobody says video is bad, just that it's not worth what you gain. Nobody says CVR/FDR interpretation is easy but it's not hard because it doesn't tell a complete picture, it's hard because it tells an *over-complete* picture and you have a ton of stuff to look at.

Quoting dfambro (Reply 22):
To me it seems clear there should be video monitoring, probably from multiple vantage points.

What, exactly, do you want to monitor? What buttons which crew pushed? What was on the displays? What the crew was looking at? Only the first one is a case where video would really be your best option and, even then, the marginal value of knowing which crew took the action is interesting in only a tiny fraction of investigations.

Quoting dfambro (Reply 28):
Consequently, the BEA again recommends:
 that ICAO require that aircraft undertaking public transport flights with passengers
be equipped with an image recorder that makes it possible to observe the whole of
the instrument panel"

Section 4.3 continues after that but I think the point is made.

They make the point that they want *display recording of the instrument panel*...that's not the same thing as cockpit video. It would be considerably higher fidelity (and easier to implement) by recording the digital feed directly to the displays.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 30):
I think the video can always be helpful in solving cases.

That implies there is a case where we don't know what happened but we would know what happened if we had video. I'm curious to hear of such an example (that doesn't involve conspiracy theories like the United 9/11 flight).

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 30):
Since the video will show directly what otherwise needs to be found out in a different, labor and time consuming way by using the current devices available to the investigators.

What will the video show directly what we don't know by other means? The only thing I can think of is that it will show where the crew was looking at a particular and which crew took which action. I can't think of any accident where lack of that knowledge had a role in the investigation results but I'm interested to find one.

Quoting dfambro (Reply 31):
But we don't know what "caused" the pilots to misunderstand the situation and respond inappropriately, and video could shed light on that issue and thus help prevent future tragedies.

Unless we've got video that reads minds, video wouldn't have helped. We know what the crew saw. We don't know why they did what they did and video isn't going to tell us that.

Quoting dfambro (Reply 31):
The BEA thinks there is additional information that could be gained.

Yes, from the instrument panel recordings, which isn't the same thing as cockpit video.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 33):
The costs do not have to be that high, though it clearly will not be as simple as mounting an I-Phone-4S in a airliner cockpit.   But overall I would guess the costs should not be too high.

Define "too high". You're talking about an expensive system (it's got to have higher data capacity and equal reliability to an FDR and FDR's are extremely expensive) with lower utility than either a CVR or FDR. I just don't see how the business case closes.

Tom.
 
ghifty
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:36 am

Quoting RubberJungle (Reply 25):
Sadly, I disagree. Conspiracy theorists don't use evidence to form a conclusion. They form a conclusion, and then cherry-pick the evidence, dismissing anything that doesn't fit as "part of the conspiracy".

None of the video footage of the American 757 wreckage at the Pentagon, nor the countless eyewitnesses who saw the aircraft, nor the missing passengers, made any difference to the "missile" loonies. And cockpit video won't make a difference either.

Exactly. People think the Moon Landing footage is fake. People believe what they want to believe... unfortunately, that goes both ways. LOL.
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:17 am

Quoting zanl188 (Reply 17):
Take a look at the recent UPS accident in the Middle East:

How much smoke was in the cockpit?
How rapid was the smoke buildup?
Where did the Capt go?
Did the Capt find the O2 bottle he was looking for?

It's been a while but didn't that crew already report visibility problems within the cockpit due to the smoke, so much so that they required ATC guidance to help them get back ? Now if the crew already had trouble seeing their own instruments what would a camera still have been able to record ?

As for the Capt, i think you already answered your own question though you may not be familiar with the B744F. The logical move (if O2 was running out in the cockpit) would be to get to the portable oxygen bottles located in the area behind the cockpit where other crew or cargo attendants may be seated during the flight. If he found it is somewhat irrelevant with regards to the camera discussion, if the smoke was already so bad that the crew struggled to see their own instruments i doubt the camera would have shown us anything at this point.


Quoting EPA001 (Reply 33):
The costs do not have to be that high
Quoting threepoint (Reply 34):
Define "too high". You're talking about an expensive system (it's got to have higher data capacity and equal reliability to an FDR and FDR's are extremely expensive) with lower utility than either a CVR or FDR. I just don't see how the business case closes.

Not to mention the fact you're then looking at implementing that system across the fleet. Tdscanuck has a very valid point here.
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Mir
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:07 pm

Quoting virginblue4 (Reply 16):
But he was quoting hijackings and slitting throats. That IS a crime.

But that's not what the video would be for. You don't need cockpit video to establish that the pilots didn't slit their own throats.

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 24):
Video footage would be able to be released showing exactly what happened

Video footage should NEVER be released, for the same reason that CVR audio is never released, only the transcripts.

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Hypoxik
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RE: Cockpit Video Recorder : A Possibility?

Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:24 pm

Won't happen.

This is a huge violation of the cockpit.

I can't think of a situation that video would give answers that the CVR and FDR couldn't.

Especially, now that they can be plugged into simulations and give you a computer generated image.
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