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NTSB wants cameras for airliner wingtips

11-09-2012

The NTSB this week recommended that all large airliners be equipped with wingtip cameras so that pilots can determine whether they will clear nearby obstacles. The announcement comes in response to an uptick in the number of ground incidents in which airplanes clipped each other while taxiing, including a dozen events in the last 20 years, of which three occurred last year. Just last week, an American Airlines 767 clipped a parked MD-80 at Dallas-Forth Worth, damaging both planes. Currently, some Airbus aircraft have external cameras, but they don't provide a view of the wingtips. While the incidents haven't resulted in serious accidents, they can be costly to repair and pose a safety risk because they could result in a fuel leak. But an airline industry group countered the NTSB's recommendations, expressing concerns about the high cost of adding cameras to address a problem that is relatively rare and hasn't resulted in injuries or serious accidents. The NTSB wants cameras added on Boeing 757s and larger aircraft. In smaller aircraft, the pilots can generally see the wingtips from the cockpit.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-ntsb-plane-taxiing-crashes-0906-20120906,0,4256211.story

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