j2 sets the bar in air accident investigation j2 Air Accident Investigation (j2aai) is calling for better application of flight physics knowledge and capability over subjective expert opinion and witness reports following a `not guilty’ verdict in the high profile Regina V Scott Hoyle case earlier this year.

In the case, Scott Hoyle was found not guilty of causing a crash that killed his passenger Orlando Rogers having been accused of attempting a loop in a Tiger Moth aircraft. j2aai, part of j2 Aircraft Dynamics Ltd, was asked to give expert testimony to the court by the defendant’s representatives, FMW Law.

John Jeffery, an aeronautical engineer and CEO of j2 Aircraft Dynamics, employed the company’s j2 Universal Tool-Kit software to analyse data arising from the accident. The j2 Universal Tool-Kit is able to use any and all available information to determine which events and actions best support the evidence trail for an accident. It can recreate events from a variety of data sources including flight data recorder (FDR) information and can also examine pilot inputs and their impact by developing and using high fidelity predictive models of the aircraft.

A series of scenarios, based on variable elements, such as reported altitude, flight path, airspeed and wind/weather conditions can then be simulated within the software. The laws of flight physics are then applied producing data outcomes which can be used to develop firm conclusions about which scenario most likely occurred.

In this particular instance, Mr Jeffery developed a high fidelity model of a Tiger Moth which included mass balance and inertia information. Using air speeds and the flight path, extracted from the GPS data, it was possible to provide a very accurate interpretation to court concluding that the only scenario he believed fitted the available data was the one matching the pilot’s documented sequence of events. Hoyle claimed he didn’t attempt a loop but lost control when the left rudder pedal jammed with full left rudder deployed on exiting a left turn in the aircraft.

Commenting upon the evidence, John Jeffery said: “This case demonstrates how the use of mathematical models and principles of flight physics are able to contribute to any air accident investigation and in this case get to the truth of what actually happened.

Ultimately what is imperative for all parties is that standards of flight safety improve and we should continue to gain as much understanding from air accidents as we possibly can using the technology that is available to us. Our software enables that as it applies the laws of flight physics and delivers factual information quickly and cost effectively making it a valid and accessible tool in air accident investigation.

“We have been told that our work was invaluable in this instance and we understand that this case will be judged and debated for many years to come. There has been significant interest in the performance of our software and we hope we can help bring continued improvement in the standards of air accident investigation and analysis in the future and deliver more flight physics based evidence which can be fully supported.”

j2 Aircraft Dynamics’ proprietary software The j2 Universal Tool-Kit is used throughout the global aerospace industry as a fundamental toolset for the design, analysis and modelling of fixed wing aircraft. The j2 Universal Tool-Kit is a powerful framework coupled with a fully integrated suite of plug-in modules which cover a full range of design, analysis, visualisation, simulation and flight test data matching capability.

A UK-based company, j2 also continues to support a growing number of colleges and universities around the world with free j2 Universal Tool-Kit software for teaching and more advanced research into aerodynamics, design and modelling and simulation disciplines.

For further information about j2 visit www.j2aircraft.com