Old 02-23-2016, 12:16 AM #17
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Default Re: Any ideas why laser/aircraft incidents doubled in 2015?

I think it's pilots reporting more, even if it's not directed at them but they just see a laser somewhere pointing into the sky a calling that in as well.

Oddly most airlines do not have a 'dashcam' or recording device like that, so it is very hard to investigate these cases if you're not willing to go on the statement of the captain as single evidence.

This would make a case for having cameras on the flight deck recording both a forward view and a view of the flight deck to asess actual laser exposure. Pilots don't generally like that idea however, as their privacy is already very limited by the cockpit voice recorder.

The best way to go about this would be to have such cameras but only allow footage to be reviewed if any of the flight crew agree with that or the aircraft crashes. Flying airplanes is after all just another job and should not have privacy invasions unless there is a need for them.


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Old 02-23-2016, 02:08 AM #18
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Default Re: Any ideas why laser/aircraft incidents doubled in 2015?

Those are all interesting points, and ones I agree with completely^^^

I have wondered, and often entertained the musings of others as to why we're still so limited with regard to both tracking planes in real time, and flight data recordings. Many modern recording methods are damn near impregnable against impact... so I do personally find it extremely odd that when a flight data recorder is recovered, it doesn't contain a perfect record of all it was meant to record.

All employees will naturally resist any measure to oversee, and control them more, than being said, airline pilots, responsible for the lives of hundreds, should not have any expectations of privacy. If that means better work conditions for pilots so they are not falling asleep at the wheel, and a higher plane ticket price, very marginally so, so be it.

It's also beyond comprehension to me that most intercontinental planes now have no trouble providing continuous wifi connectivity, but can't be tracked.

There is no need, imho, for an automatic review of all reports. Just an independent review, IF, those reports should come into question, to prevent false reporting. No different than the standard I'd like to see for police officers and body cams.
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:09 AM #19
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Default Re: Any ideas why laser/aircraft incidents doubled in 2015?

I'm just thinking if the local cashier has to work all day long while on camera and is in control of a few hundred dollars, then a pilot should have to work all day long in front of a camera if they are in control a few hundred LIVES. Just my opinion. I really hope they aren't reporting solely laser beams being seen, that would really make everything biased and unfair. :/
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:40 AM #20
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Default Re: Any ideas why laser/aircraft incidents doubled in 2015?

Personally I agree wholeheartedly, and also advocate for cameras and audio recorders for all cops for the same reason. People in positions of great power, and responsibility should be under at least the same, if not greater scrutiny then employees making minimum wage. They should also face at least the same consequences in case of infractions.

As to the second point... FAA requires that ANY laser sighting be reported. The general count of incidents doesn't make any differentiation on the specifics, and any report is cited as incident... so yeah it is biased and unfair.

It's almost as if the government wants to create a sense of fear
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Old 02-24-2016, 01:23 AM #21
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Default Re: Any ideas why laser/aircraft incidents doubled in 2015?

Pilots aren't cops though.
why should their words be under more scrutiny than that of a bus driver?

I understand why police bodycams are heplful tools if it ever comes to an argument, but flying aircraft is nothing like that. There is no pilot that wants to crash, since the pilots are most likely to suffer injuries in any form of 'hard landing'.
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:35 PM #22
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Default Re: Any ideas why laser/aircraft incidents doubled in 2015?

Quote:
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Pilots aren't cops though.
why should their words be under more scrutiny than that of a bus driver?

I understand why police bodycams are heplful tools if it ever comes to an argument, but flying aircraft is nothing like that. There is no pilot that wants to crash, since the pilots are most likely to suffer injuries in any form of 'hard landing'.
That's exactly the reason I'm personally, perfectly comfortable with flying.

Regarding cameras, and pilots being recorded, with them, it's less due to system issues, and more the fact that there is so much that can go wrong on a large plane. It's not beyond technical means to install a couple of cameras in the cockpit, and 1-2 more on the outside of the plane, to be both recorded, and streamed along with other data pertaining to operation, to a remote backup.
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Old 02-25-2016, 12:11 AM #23
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Default Re: Any ideas why laser/aircraft incidents doubled in 2015?

Technically it certainly is possible to install some camera's on the flight deck and even looking outside the plane if you wanted to. It's more a question of wanting to do it.

There are already flight data and cockpit voice recorders on all large airliners. The addition of camera's would further intrude on the privacy of airline crews. On the other hand they could be useful to determine causes of crashes and also confirm things like laser strikes.

Perhaps it would be acceptable for air crews to have these installed provided that they are only read on in case of a crash, or when they want to report an incident.

Streaming data for remote storage is a relatively new technology, and i don't think flight crews would approve of realtime streaming of cockpit conversations or images. The problem with this is that they might not be encrypted well enough, or third parties could view them in some way even if there is no incident on a flight.
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Old 02-25-2016, 03:26 AM #24
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Default Re: Any ideas why laser/aircraft incidents doubled in 2015?

Same as with data stored on dashcams, and most security cameras, there is rarely a need to ever view most of the content. The footage stored locally, and streamed as a backup, but disposed off, if not flagged for review due an incident, within a reasonable amount of time, say a year. (While it was certainly true previously, there is now really no issue with storing massive amounts of data.)

Regarding streaming potentially being not secure, encryption would be used, and even weak encryption would suffice. Mostly security would be provided through a lack of interest. I mean really, who would want to monitor a cockpit during flight without good cause?

It's actually interesting how little people bother to protect themselves. Forget the link, but there's a website to view any unsecured, internet connected cameras out there. Not to mention... Insecam - World biggest online cameras directory
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:17 PM #25
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Default Re: Any ideas why laser/aircraft incidents doubled in 2015?

Who knows, really? Perhaps terrorists would be very interested in flight deck footage so they can analyze security measures and find holes in them.

As far as the current situation goes: CVR and FDR data are stored for a very limited amount of time and only on the aircraft itself. It depends a bit on the type of recorder used, but often it records no more than the last 24 hours of operation or so.

Currently the amount of data streamed to the ground is -very- limited. Aircraft broadcast some messages like ads-b transponder data if that system switched on, which is intended to give radar stations secundary information and to avoid mid air collissions more than anything else. This data is not encrypted in any way, and for about $25 in hardware and a pc you can monitor these messages from any aircraft over the horizon.

Some aircraft broadcast additional data via satellite about things like engine performance, but those systems are not mandatory and not all airlines use them.
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Old 02-26-2016, 03:28 AM #26
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Default Re: Any ideas why laser/aircraft incidents doubled in 2015?

Veering way off topic, but if the goal were terrorist prevention, the US, and other nations would emulate El Al in terms of aircraft security measures. Instead what we're seeing is mostly security theater, on all levels, as far as aircraft security measures are concerned. Nor are the procedures a secret.

Starting literally from the entry to airport for example, people are kept from being bunched up, and instead in loooong winding lines, that are not side by side. There is also blatant profiling and stereotyping, as well as not so random interviews of anyone that looks to nervous, or too calm. Compare that to security elsewhere (at least where I've been) and it becomes immediately apparent what the interest is.

Given how catastrophically TSA fails independent tests, I'm very glad, but also very surprised that there hasn't been another 9/11 yet.
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:24 PM #27
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Default Re: Any ideas why laser/aircraft incidents doubled in 2015?

Isreal goes about it differently indeed, and with success. They do use methods not approved off in most countries like racial profiling - which can be quite effective for their specific situation.

Our solutions are mostly impemented to avoid repeats of previous attemps. The whole no-liquids rule is a prime example of this. Just because someone tried to bring on liquid explosives in a couple of bottles of contact lens liquid once, they now ban all liquids over 100 ml.

This is fairly insane - i can't bring a tube of toothpaste in my carry on, but having say a pound of C4 in protein bar wrappers is no problem at all. You will think that an x-ray scanner would reveil this attempt, but it actually would not as the atomic composition of C4 and candy or protein bars is comparable and they look exactly the same under x-ray inspection.

Obiously you'd still need to bring a detonator with it, but that also goes for a liquid explosive like nitroglycerin. If you are worried about suicide bombers this is not something easily dealt with since you can synthesize a detonator out of very small amounts of fluids even on the lavatory.

Personally i always feel that the security scan 'show' is mostly a sign that the terrorists have won by making us spend endless time and resources to detecting some technique they once used, but will never use again since they know it's screened for now.


Sometimes this yields hilarious situations in countries where fairly unusual things like banned from cabin luggage. I think i spend about half an hour in indonesia once with scanner operators going over my bag again and again. At first they would not tell me what the problem was, made me take out items out of my hand luggage one by one, but still found 'a problem'. Eventually they explained to me that i had a 'lighter' in my bag. Pulling out the two lighters that were actually in there i got a blank stare and a 'not those' reaction.

About 15 minutes later they said it was a storm lighter, which i didn't have at the time. I did, however, had an electronic cigarette in the bag. Since they never asked about cigarettes i had no idea what the problem was, but apparently the vaporizer coil in them looks exactly like the coil on a storm lighter on x-ray. I had no idea storm lighters were banned on flights at all.

The whole ordeal took both me and 2 to 3 security people half an hour. After x-raying the electronic cigarette by itself they said something like 'oh, that's it', and let me pass including that e-cig
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:35 PM #28
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Default Re: Any ideas why laser/aircraft incidents doubled in 2015?

Is it because the number of idiots doubled
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:45 AM #29
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Default Re: Any ideas why laser/aircraft incidents doubled in 2015?

I had my own interesting airport security experiences several times.

For example traveling to Thailand for a new years vacation, back in 2014 to 2015, I went through airport security a total of 8 times by way of transfers, and hopping island to island. Of those 8 passes through security I got held up 7 times!

Now mind you, I'm caucasian, I was clean shaven, fairly nearly dressed, in my very early 30's. Didn't stand out much from the crowd, aside from having a somewhat oversized carry on backpack, and had nothing remotely illegal on me.

I had two carry on bags, and a laptop bag, which I could have stuffed into one of the others. One bag contained all clothes, the other everything else, all electronics, toiletries, etc,.

Without exception, every-time, I was asked to open my electronics bag, and they had a thorough look around in it. Without exception every-time I was on my way within 15 minutes.

At the 7th time, I was frankly tired, irritable, and very mildly but insistently snapped, wanting to know why they kept pulling me over. Turns out it was this thing: Master Lock 5900D SafeSpace Portable Safe, Gunmetal Grey - Cabinet Style Safes - Amazon.com

On the xray machines, the dense plastic, along with the wire, that runs around the outside of it, the lock, a spare smartphone, charger, and small amount cash in it... looked "suspicions".

You'll note mine is one of the 1 star reviews. (Sort by 1 star and go to 2nd page.)

On a more recent trip, coming back from mexico, I got pulled aside because my 3 vaporizers, side by side, looked strange. On that occasion it was actually quite funny, I was in no rush, and the guy asked me if I could stay for a couple minutes so another 3 agents could come see them. (Again perfectly legal, my approach to these situations is to be annoyingly helpful )
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Old 02-27-2016, 11:18 PM #30
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Default Re: Any ideas why laser/aircraft incidents doubled in 2015?

I guess that might look suspicious under x-ray as well.

The best thing is if staff actually learn from it - see what some innocent item looks like under x-ray so they can recognize it next time and don't make a fuss.

I hate it when they x-ray may bag, want to look inside, fumble around a bit and just let it go after a minute or two. I always wonder what it is they are actually looking for. Often you get no answer if you just politely ask what the problem could be so you can fish te offending item out.

On the other hand, i got stopped in indonesia after setting off a metal detector. Afaik i did not have any metal on me, but the hand scanner went off on a pack of cigs. There was no lighter in there, just the cigs. It turns out that some brands of cigs have a metal lining inside that is enough to set off the detector, as the security guy demonstrated by waving is beeping wand over the pack.

Mind you that i am used to setting off certain metal detector gates due to having some metal implants in my body used to correct fractures and such. Though not very large, some detector gates seem very sensitive, and as they are in my extremities poiting at the surgical scar usually explains enough.
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