Flight Reconstruction from GPS Data

Investigation Course

See Course Schedule

For many years, flight operations directors, safety managers and accident investigators have been using radar timed-position or flight recorder data to review flight operations, learn about causes of an accident, or improve flight training. However, many flight operations occur where there is no radar coverage or if there are radar data, the coverage, accuracy or time-frequency often leaves much to be desired. In contrast, the Global Positioning System (GPS) today is a worldwide available technology with many military and commercial applications. Most aircraft now have GPS avionics for navigation. The coverage, accuracy and time-frequency of GPS timed-position data is at least an order-of-magnitude better than existing radar systems and is often available for review.

What is the value of GPS timed-position information to the manager or accident investigator? How can this information be used to improve flight safety? The purpose and content of this 5-day, hands-on course is designed to answer these questions.

Who Should Attend

This course is intended for flight operations managers, accident investigators and flight training directors or anyone else who wants an understanding of how to employ GPS timed-position data for review of flight operations, accident investigation or flight training improvement.

How You Will Benefit

  • This is a hands-on course where learning occurs primarily by doing. Your course experience will be hands-on from learning the theory, through preparing the data for an actual flight reconstruction using the latest flight-reconstruction software, to drawing conclusions.
  • You will learn the value of timed-position data in reviewing flight operations, understanding the causes of an accident, or improving flight training.
  • You will learn the difference in accuracy between GPS data and radar data.
  • You will come away from this course having had practice in using GPS data to review flight ops, reconstruct accidents, and improve flight training.
  • This course is an elective course for the SCSI the Certificate in Aircraft Accident Investigation.
  • The Board of Certified Safety Professionals accepts this course for Continuation of Certification Credit.
  • SCSI will award 3.6 CEUs to each participant who successfully completes this course.

Course Topics

This is a hands-on 5-day course. Bring your laptop computer! In this course you will learn:

  • Day-1 morning: Review of basic flight-mechanics
  • Day-1 afternoon: Theory of smoothing noisy timed-position data
  • Day-2 morning: UHL-Flight Reconstruction System (FRS) overview with sample flight reconstruction demonstrations
  • Day-2 afternoon: Examine sample position data (radar & GPS); how to use Microsoft EXCEL to prepare data; load UHL-FRS software from CD-ROM
  • Day-3 morning: EXCEL preparation of FRSxxxxx.dat file format; Aircraft.dat data
  • Day-3 afternoon: Prepare scene objects (runways, landing patterns, ground references) to enhance graphic reconstruction understanding
  • Day-4 morning: Reconstruct a sample accident using the UHL-FRS software; IFLxxxxx.dat file preparation; using the WinView replay software
  • Day-4 afternoon: Using the plot file; preparing a placard file; do FOQA analysis
  • Day-5 morning: Computer Show & Tell of your flight ops review, accident reconstruction, or flight training improvement to class.

Course Materials

  • CD-ROM with UHL-FRS software and data (provided)
  • LA sectional (provided)
  • Windows computer with Microsoft Excel, USB port, DVD-CD ROM (you bring)

Course Administration

The Accident Reconstruction Course consists of 4.5 days (36 hours) of instruction. Students receive lecture outlines, additional reference material and a Certificate of Completion. Classes begin daily at 0800 and end at 1200 on the final day of class.