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Pattern of Injury and their Role in Aircraft Reconstruction

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posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 05:11 AM
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With the recent crash of Air France 447 in the mid-Atlantic and the subsequent recovery of some bodies, I was doing some research on how the investigators are going about reconstructing the events of the actual crash.
I came across an interesting document released by NATO and relating primarily to military accidents but there is some reference to civil aviation accidents as well:


The pattern of injuries sustained by the victims of aircraft accidents may give valuable clues that may aid the reconstruction of the sequence and circumstances of the accident. The “typical” passenger carrying aircraft crash is likely to result in either a uniformity of injuries or a steady logical gradation of injuries. Study of the injury patterns may allow the investigators to compare different accidents. This is particularly important when the circumstances of an accident are unknown such as when an aircraft crashes into the sea when there is no wreckage trail from which the impact attitude may be deduced and when little or no aircraft wreckage may be available for engineering investigation.


An Injury Severity Score is used to determine certain aspects such as G-Force impact etc and is especially useful for accidents that occur over the sea:

An analysis of the injuries using the Abbreviated Injury Score (AIS) was used. The AIS was then used to derive the Injury Severity Score (ISS). The square root of the ISS was then used in the analyses to allow direct comparisons with other linear measurements of a similar scale (White et al 1993). The severity of the injuries mirrored the damage to the aircraft. While this is entirely to be expected these data may be used in the analysis of accidents where it is not possible to examine the crashed aeroplane, such as accidents over the sea.


Link to NATO Document

As grisly as this may seem, and with due consideration to next-of-kin, I am curious as the state of the bodies which indicates the stress (G-Force) encountered during the crash as indicated in the chart below:
Pulmonary contusion 25 G
Nose fracture 30 G
Vertebral body compression 20-30 G
Fracture dislocation of C1-C2 20-40 G
Mandible fracture 40 G
Maxilla fracture 50 G
Aorta intimal tear 50 G
Aorta transection 80-100 G
Pelvic fracture 100-200 G
Vertebral body transection 200-300 G
Total body fragmentation 350 G
Concussion over 0.02 sec. 60 G
Concussion over 0.005 sec. 100 G
Concussion over 0.002 sec. 180 G

Total Body Fragmentation is common when an aircraft slams into the ground or is destroyed in an large explosion. The fact that bodies were encountered immediately rules out the LARGE explosion theory.
There is not yet enough information available to pursue other causes such as explosive decompression etc.


This link is to a Training Manual for Searchers conducting typical search operations and gives an idea of things such as probability of finding aircraft etc:
Scanner Familiarization and Prepatory Training

Most aircraft sink very rapidly, even after a controlled ditching. Where an aircraft has gone down into water; oil slicks, foam, and small bits of floating debris are apparent for a few hours after the impact. With time, the foam dissipates, the oil slicks spread and streak, and the debris become widely separated due to action of wind and currents. Sometimes emergency life rafts are ejected but, unless manned by survivors, will drift very rapidly with the wind




posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 09:03 AM
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Investigating further, I am not sure if this is known but this aircraft suffered a ground collision in 2006 when it's wing was slightly damaged:

Aircraft A330-200 msn 660, F-GZCP Aircraft total flight hours: 18.870 TT Last major overhaul: 16.APR 2009 F-GZCP entered service with Air France on: 18.APR 2005. Until the accident, 16 A330-200s operate for Air France. The aircraft (msn 660) was involved in a ground collision on 16.AUG 2006 at Paris-CDG Airport when its wing collided with the tail of an A321 causing minor damage.

JADEC Special Report



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 11:32 PM
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Latest news on the Air France crash that is related to my thread:

Sao Paulo - Experts say post mortems on victims of the Air France disaster suggest the plane broke up in the air. A spokesperson for Brazilian medical examiners says they had multiple fractures of legs, hips and arms.


and

A forensic expert who once worked at the US National Transportation Safety Board says those injuries could mean the plane broke apart in the air. Frank Ciacco says large chunks of the plane recovered are another clue

Link



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