(CBS News) In the wake of three ground collisions involving airplane wings in the span of a year, a federal agency wants certain large planes to be equipped with tools that provide the same kind of assistance as rear-view cameras featured in many vehicles.
The National Transportation Safety Board, the agency charged with investigating plane crashes, recommended Wednesday that the Federal Aviation Administration require that planes be outfitted with cameras or some other aid.
The recommendation is intended to assist pilots while taxiing at the nation's airports. Pilots of such models as the Airbus A380, Boeing 747 and McDonnell Douglas MD-10 can't see their aircraft's wingtips without sticking their heads out of the cockpit window, according to the NTSB, which calls that maneuver "often impractical."
"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 chief Deborah 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 agency told the FAA it's investigated 12 accidents since 1993 where a plane's wingtip collided with something on the ground, with the most recent accident taking place May 30.
Then, an EVA Air Boeing 747of an American Eagle Embraer 135 at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. No injuries were reported.
(Watch at left a "CBS Evening News" report on the accident)
Three months earlier, at John F. Kennedy International Airport, an Air France A380 hit the tail of a Comair Bombardier CRJ701, spinning it on the runway but causing no injuries.
(Below, watch a "CBS Evening News" report on the accident)