Really, what is the harm in having cameras in the cockpit ?... Are senior pilots afraid that younger inexperienced pilots maybe able to pull them up on bullying in the cockpit ? We've heard of accidents where younger pilots have been scared to voice their opinion because they have been basically scared to pull up a more senior pilot, quietly sitting there while the person they're scared of kills them all.
A camera that's available to your employer fosters a culture of fear rather than trust. Your objective becomes to look
like you're a professional, safe pilot, not to actually be
Pilots are humans, not machines. Like all humans, they have imperfections like emotions, insecurities, forgetting things. Being bored, tired or anxious. These inherently human traits do not generally prevent safe flight; it is an instructor's job to make this judgement. If you can't fly safely, you can't get a license.
A manager, on the other hand, cares only about their bottom line. All these human imperfections, when caught on camera, can be used for disciplinary action. It may be safe but if they think it's "unprofessional" it's impossible to argue. Forgot to shave your beard? Unprofessional. Opened the top button of your shirt? Unprofessional. Looked tired? Unprofessional.
But these are all cosmetic items. It gets worse when actual piloting is scrutinized. Hesitated before pushing a button? Unprofessional. Criticized the captain? Clearly unprofessional. Used a written checklist for memory items? You guessed it, unprofessional as well.
Some posts insinuated that pilots engage in reckless and illegal behaviours every day. That is wrong and not the reason to oppose cameras. It's the daily trivial actions that would put you at risk of disciplinary action by your manager. This runs counter to the current best approach for safety, which is to encourage voluntary reporting and to avoid penalties, as put by the FAA
Pilots, air traffic controllers, flight attendants, mechanics, ground personnel, and others involved in aviation operations submit reports to the ASRS when they are involved in, or observe, an incident or situation in which aviation safety may have been compromised. All submissions are voluntary.
Reports sent to the ASRS are held in strict confidence. More than one million reports have been submitted to date and no reporter's identity has ever been breached by the ASRS. ASRS de-identifies reports before entering them into the incident database. All personal and organizational names are removed. Dates, times, and related information, which could be used to infer an identity, are either generalized or eliminated.
The FAA offers ASRS reporters further guarantees and incentives to report. It has committed itself not to use ASRS information against reporters in enforcement actions. It has also chosen to waive fines and penalties, subject to certain limitations, for unintentional violations of federal aviation statutes and regulations which are reported to ASRS. The FAA's initiation, and continued support of the ASRS program and its willingness to waive penalties in qualifying cases is a measure of the value it places on the safety information gathered, and the products made possible, through incident reporting to the ASRS.
What would happen can already be observed on some railroads:
And yes ... the railroad companies' managers watch these video feeds live as well as archived footage ... and use anything and everything they see AGAINST the employees no matter how trivial (such as opening the side window one inch without wearing safety glasses and ear plugs).