write:“Why do I have to understand aerodynamics or metallurgy? We have specialists in those areas and there is no point in both of us learning it. ”A common complaint; usually voiced

for that matter. “Why do I have to understand aerodynamics or metallurgy? We have specialists in those areas and there is no point in both of us learning it.”A common complaint; usually voiced by someone who didn’t like math and physics as a child and hasn’t changed his mind as an adult.In a way
the complaint is valid. If you are not already an aeronautical engineer or a metallurgist
reading this book won’t make you one. If you are
reading this book won’t teach you anything you don’t already know. So why bother?The problem is that the specialist only looks at the specialty and is not always capable of relating that to the whole accident. We could define the “whole acci-dent” as being any or all of the subjects covered in Part II. It’s a bit much to expect the metallurgist (for example) to see how his conclusions fit into everything else known about the accident.That’s the job of the investigator and it is a job he cannot do if he doesn’t understand what the aeronautical engineer or the metallurgist is trying to tell him. In Part III
we are trying to provide that understanding.All of the aerodynamic and operational factors discussed in this part have been involved in aircraft accidents. An understanding of these factors is an impor-tant tool in an aircraft accident investigators tool-kit. Some of the subjects covered are often directly involved in the accident sequence. Other subjects are included because they allow the investigator to better understand the phenomena involved in the sequence. Still others are included because they allow the investigator to discover facts which contribute to the understanding of the accident sequence and identification of the root causes of the accident.Although the material presented assumes an understanding of basic physics and aerodynamics
brief reviews of some fundamentals are provided where necessary. For those readers who wish to review these concepts at a pilot’s level (as opposed to a engineering level) the authors recommended either of two texts; Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators by H.H. Hurt or Flight Theory for Pilots by C. E. Dole (see the bibliography for the full citation).Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators is extremely complete and slightly more tech-nical. Although written some time ago
the principles covered in the text remain as applicable today as they were when written. Flight Theory for Pilots is not as deep technically
but is better illustrated and more current. Both are excellent referenc-es. They complement each other and should be included in every aircraft accident investigator’s reference library.


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