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Pilots protest plans for cockpit video cameras.

AIRLINE INDUSTRY INFORMATION-(C)1997-2000 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

Pilots have protested against plans to install video recorders in the cockpits of aircraft, claiming that the footage could be sold illegally.

Pilots are also concerned about having the recordings broadcast live, which has occurred previously with the voice recordings already made during the last minutes of an aircraft crash. A spokesperson for the British Airline Pilots' Association stated that video recorders will 'eventually introduced' but that 'very tight controls' would be required. To this end, a working group of the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment is currently developing proposals for a new recording system.

Aviation safety officials claim that the video footage could help solve the mystery surrounding crashes such as the EgyptAir disaster in October 1999. The cause of the crash of EgyptAir flight 990 still remains contentious, with some US investigators suggesting pilot suicide and Egyptian officials maintaining that mechanical failure was the cause.

The chairman of the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is investigating the EgyptAir crash, has now called for the installation of cockpit video recorder on new aircraft by 2003. US aviation industry observers are expecting that this proposal will be adopted according to The Sunday Times.

The NTSB has also stated that cockpit video recorders could also have provided evidence for the crash of TWA flight 800 in 1996, a Swissair flight in 1998 which killed 229 people and the more recent crash of a Gulf Air aircraft on 23 August 2000 that killed 143 people.

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Publication:Airline Industry Information
Date:Aug 28, 2000
Words:266
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