SAE Update - February 2023 - 32

pUBLICATIOnS
A deep dive into aircraft accident reconstruction
By SHErrY NIGAM, publisher, SAE Books
While the flight data recorder (FDR) is
considered one of the most important
witnesses to an aircraft accident, what
happens if it has corrupted data, is not
recovered, or is not installed in the aircraft?
Donald Knutson shares his experience with
performing hundreds of crash investigations
in his book, Basic Science and Art of Aircraft
Wreckage Reconstruction, to help answer
this question.
In fact, according to Knutson, the vast
majority of crashes and failures don't
conveniently come with " black boxes "
because aircraft required to be equipped
with them (e.g., commercial airliners and
some corporate airplanes) make up less
than 10% of the total aircraft involved in
crashes. This fact furthers the need to
understand how to (a) piece together
evidence concerning the person, machine,
and environment; (b) " visualize " the
situations and " read " the wreckage; (c) be
innovative and creative to analyze or test
for potential causes and contributing
factors; and (d) comprehensively document
and clearly articulate what happened to the
decision-makers.
The book provides basic investigative
methodologies and techniques that apply
to all kinds of aircraft, whether they are
32 February 2023
Don Knutson has performed hundreds of crash investigations
domestically and internationally involving various models of
civilian and military aircraft since 1991. He is president of
Knutson Aviation Services, a consulting firm specializing in
aircraft (airplane and helicopter) accident and wreckage
reconstruction, airframe and powerplant (piston and turbine)
system failure analysis, and air safety education and research.
" heavy iron " or light sport. Knutson
carefully presents the content in a way it is
not sensationalized, and encourages
investigators to work towards " connecting
all the dots " from the beginning to the end
of an event, without " cherry-picking "
findings that conveniently fit or hastily
jump to a conclusion.
Alan Simmons, Fellow of the Royal
Aeronautical Society, recently reviewed the
book and observed, " Some of the subjects
covered - witness statements,
crashworthiness, impact forces, human
factors, and the 'see and avoid' concept, for
example - may seem surprising, but they
are all areas where the investigator who is
'kicking tin' must have a degree of
expertise. The author introduces these
matters with clarity and accuracy. His
description of an initial visual appraisal
UPDATE
Donald Knutson
https://saemobilus.sae.org/content/R-480/ https://saemobilus.sae.org/content/R-480/ https://saemobilus.sae.org/content/R-480/

SAE Update - February 2023

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SAE Update - February 2023 - Cov1
SAE Update - February 2023 - Cov2
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