The first part of this solution involves a "persistent" wireless
network that keeps all planes in the air in constant contact
with a centralized, international "ground station" that
monitors all of the "vital signs" of an aircraft. There is no
longer the need for a "black box" because the same
being transmitted via satellite or wireless connection to the
ground station, where the data is constantly being
recorded, and archived.
When something goes awry, either an engine failure, fire, or
deviation from the planned flight route, the ground station
alerts all relevant parties, who can then access the planes
data and voice.
All planes are required to have microphones and small video
cameras embedded throughout the aircraft, not only the
cockpit, but in the passenger area, bathrooms, even the
area, and the outside of the plane, so the whole condition
the aircraft can be inspected - if a fin isn't responding
properly they can see it on a monitor.
Cameras and microphones in the cockpit can NEVER be
off. They are not optional - they are ALWAYS ON and
accessible. The cameras and microphones can be hidden in
several places, behind instruments in the panels, in the air
Larger aircraft (or perhaps ALL aircraft) are equipped with a
re-designed cockpit which looks and operates as cockpits
today, but are retro-fitted in such a way that every knob,
lever, etc... is not "hard-wired" directly to the planes
rather is routed to a "central control unit" elsewhere in the
aircraft. Under normal conditions, the CCU simply relays the
cockpit controls to the various aircraft systems.
In situations where the crew becomes unable to control
aircraft, either because of a fire, a heart attack, or a
hijacking, the central ground station is alerted where pilots
trained in emergency manouvers are on standby - and have
access to one of many "cockpit simulators".
These simulators can be set to take over complete control
the aircraft. In order to work effectively, there must be a
extremely reliable wireless network made up of satellite and
ground transponders that are capable of relaying vast
of data in real-time between the central ground station and
the aircraft. High-definition 3-D video cameras at the front
aircraft capture a panoramic, three-dimensional view that is
as good as or
than the view from the cockpit.
The pilot at the ground station must see exactly what the
pilot of the aircraft would see. All the knobs, dials guages,
and levers on the ground station cocpit must be motorized
match exactly what is in the aircraft. Signals sent from the
ground station cocpit controls are relayed directly to the
on the aircraft, overriding the aircraft's cockpit. The
pilot at gound station can then operate as though they
in the aircraft itself and guide it to safety.
A security team at ground control can monitor the
in the remainder of the aircraft and take control of
they may put peoples lives in danger. In a hijacking
since they can no longer control the aircraft they can
threaten the lives of the passengers with weapons or
The simplest solution may be for ground control to trigger a
switch which releases a sedative gas into the aircraft that
simply puts everyone to sleep, or safely immobilizes them
enough to get the plane returned to a safe place.
There would inevitably be a 2 or 3 second time lag
between the ground control and the aircraft, and the
pilot on thr ground would have to be specially trained to
accomodate this time lag. Improved wireltss networking
technology and digital signal processing might help to
reduce this delay, and if there were enough "central
controls" around the world we could overcome the
sluggish speed of light as well.