Forensic Animation Videos Help Decipher Accidents

AINsafety » February 10, 2014
Eyewitness Animations produces videos accurate enough to be admissible as evidence.
February 10, 2014, 1:38 PM

Eyewitness Animations creates video representations of aircraft accidents based on recovered data. The goal is to present something close to what an eyewitness would have seen at the time. Aircraft accident animations offer investigators a chance to understand the dynamics of an accident or incident and determine whether a person or a product failed somewhere along the way. Company president Jack Suchocki, a former Eastern Airlines pilot, coined the term “forensic animation” to explain what his company does. His clients include law firms representing both the plaintiff and defense side of disputes.

Eyewitness Animations created a video that went viral online after the Asiana Airlines 777 crash in San Francisco last July.

Creating an accurate video involves reviewing reams of data from flight data recorders, ATC recordings, weather and aircraft performance reports to create a video that replicates what happened.

Suchocki recalled creating a video for an airline whose crew was accused of flying too low near an airport. Based on ATC radar data, the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, the re-creation clearly showed the airline’s management and union teams what really happened. In another case, an attorney was certain his client would be exonerated after a midair between two GA aircraft. “When we finished the re-creation, we explained that we were able to place a virtual camera inside the cockpit of his client’s airplane,” Suchocki told AIN. “That’s when the attorney realized his client had actually had plenty of warning and should have noticed the other airplane before the accident.”

 

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