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NTSB to FAA: Large planes need collision-avoidance systems

September 05, 2012|By Michael Muskal
  • National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah A.P. Hersman speaks during a hearing last month.
National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah A.P. Hersman… (Carolyn Kaster / Associated…)

Large commercial aircraft should have a ground-collision warning system, such as an onboard external-mounted camera, the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday.

The board recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration require  collision-avoidance equipment, such as cameras, on large airplanes so that pilots can have a clear view of the planes' wingtips. The recommendation comes after three accidents in which large airplanes collided with other aircraft while taxiing.

All of the incidents are under investigation by the NTSB.

The FAA has 90 days to respond.

“A system that can provide real-time information on wingtip clearance in relation to other obstacles will give pilots of large airplanes an essential tool when taxiing,” NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said in a statement. “While collision warning systems are now common in highway vehicles, it is important for the aviation industry to consider their application in large aircraft.”

The recommendation would apply to large craft such as the Boeing 747, 757, 767 and 777; the Airbus A380; and the McDonnell Douglas MD-10 and MD-11. The anti-collision materials should be installed on existing planes as well as new planes, the board said.

On July 2011, a Delta flight at Boston's Logan International Airport had an accident with an Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight. Both planes were damaged.

An Air France plane hit a regional jet flown by Comair on a wet tarmac at John F. Kennedy International Airport in April 2011.

In May, at Chicago’s O'Hare International Airport, the wing of a cargo plane clipped the rudder of an American Eagle flight.


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