Equip all planes with cockpit video recorders

It’s time for the federal government to require real-time video feeds in all large planes, if not all planes. The National Transportation Safety Board recommended video cameras over 20 years ago.

Since then, we’ve had several major plane crashes, including the four hijacked 9-11 planes.

In 2009, Air France Flight 447 slammed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 228. For two years, no one knew why, until the black boxes were found 2.5 miles below the surface. If those boxes had never been found, we would have had no data.

Malaysia Flight 370, with 239 aboard, disappeared in 2014 over the Indian Ocean and has never been found. No one knows what happened.

The voice recorder from Germanwings Flight 9525, which crashed into the French Alps in 2015, was damaged. If it had been unusable, we would have never known that the pilot was banging on the cockpit door while his co-pilot intentionally crashed the plane, killing 150.

Most recently, we have a short video from the Yeti Airlines Flight 691 crash in Nepal that was live-streamed by a doomed passenger. Instead of looking at that, investigators should have had access to an official and complete video from the cockpit.

Cockpit video would eliminate almost all the guessing. It would provide clear answers to grieving relatives. And it would help the industry prevent similar accidents in the future through improved technology and pilot training, saving many lives.

Matthew Barry


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