I wrote this post in response to a wired article about black boxes.
After having watched numerous Air Emergency shows, I feel that what’s really missing in the cockpit are simple cameras that look out over the airplane, highlighting sections like the wing, engines, tail section etc.
What struck me the most was that pilots were only relying on instruments and the external view to the front of the plane to guide their behavior. In addition, what they should have had is a “gods view” of their plane – so that they could see exactly what was happening. There were so many episodes where passengers were seeing flames shooting out of the engines, but the pilot had no view of them and ended up making bad decisions because of the lack of visual information.