How about the cockpit

Video cameras in the cockpit could help with clarification

In order to be able to clarify the cause as quickly as possible after a plane crash, the investigators need the black box. It consists of two independent parts: the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder. The almost indestructible devices record data which, when examined, can provide information about what led to the accident.

With the recording of the flight data (including flight altitude, speed, positions of the rudders or flaps as well as the setting of the autopilot) and the voices in the cockpit, there is another source that would help with the reconnaissance. However, it has not yet been used. Video cameras would also give the investigators visual insights into what is happening in the cockpit.

NTSB has been fighting for years

The National Transport Safety Board NTSB has a clear opinion on the cameras. For the first time, the US traffic safety agency submitted the proposal to install the visual devices in 2000. At that time, most airlines rejected the idea. The costs are too high and the invasion of the pilots' privacy is not justifiable.

Now the NTSB is reiterating its request in a wish list of the most important things to improve security. "Such a video would have been extremely helpful in determining the actions of the flight crew in the recent crashes in Texas, Indonesia and Ethiopia," she explains. This refers to the accidents involving a Boeing 767 operated by Atlas Air on behalf of Amazon Air and the accidents involving the Boeing 737 Max operated by Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines.

No law for VCRs

Opponents argue, however, that the video material does not provide much more information than the previous systems. The NTSB disagrees. If pilots are incapacitated, for example, it is difficult to determine using voice recorders and flight data. However, the National Transport Safety Board cannot legally force the airlines to do so.

The Federal Aviation Administration FAA also made repeated comments about the video recorders on board aircraft. They don't want to make this system mandatory, according to the US Aviation Administration. They are expensive and the privacy of the pilots is affected.

Icao is for it too

A committee of the International Civil Aviation Organization Icao also took a position in the long-running debate in which convenience and costs are currently more important than security. "The availability of video recordings of the situation in the cockpit, which are available to the investigators, could efficiently accelerate the investigation process," it wrote in 2017. However, it did not want to make a recommendation at the time.