NTSB Suggests Wingtip Cameras on Planes

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    The National Transportation Safety Board is suggesting that large aircraft be equipped with external cameras to give pilots a better view of a plane's wingtips as they travel along the taxiway -- and possibly cut down on ground crashes.

    On planes such as the Boeing 747 and the giant Airbus A380, the safety board said, pilots can't see the wingtips from the cockpit unless they open the side window and stick out their heads.

    Kevin Hiatt, a former commercial pilot and the chief operating officer of the Flight Safety Foundation, agreed that cameras might be a help.

    "Physically, visually, you can't see those wingtips," he said. "If they [pilots] get into a tight situation, they might be able to use that reference of that camera in the cockpit to take a look at the wingtip."

    In May, the wingtip of a Boeing 747-400 cargo plane hit the tail of an American Eagle flight as it taxied at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. No injuries were reported and the collision remains under investigation.

    Outside cameras are standard on the Airbus A380 and A340-600 but are optional on the A330 models and A340-500. The cameras, however, primarily help the pilots see landing gears, not look at the wingtips.

    Boeing told ABC News Thursday that it also has one plane with external cameras -- the 777-300 -- but not for wingtips.

    While the safety board can make recommendations, it is up to the Federal Aviation Administration to decide whether to move forward on recommendations and require new safety equipment.

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  2. guberif

    guberif Silver Member

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    If we're going to use NextGen ATC, why not use gps-based ground control to move aircraft. Just an idea...
  3. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Ground control isn't the issue it is the underestimation of wingspan by the pilots. Also a factor is airports were not designed for wingspans that large(the A380's is >10m more than the B747-8's, which is the largest of that series.) so taxi/ramp clearances are sketchy at best in a lot of places.
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