Scene System’s animation of the crash of US Airways Flight 1549 is a viral hit. The litigation support firm combined available ATC audio tapes, flight track information, and an on-scene photograph into a great recreation. This is the exactly the type of animation used in court to help juries understand the details of an aviation accident.
But would this particular animation be admissible in a lawsuit? Probably not. It incorporates too much guesswork. For example, Scene System overlays the animation with audio from Air Traffic Control tapes. Are the movements and positions of the aircraft properly synchronized with the audio? To do that right, you’d most likely need information from the Flight Data Recorder , which isn’t yet available. Without that data, the animation is objectionable as “lacking foundation.” It’s safe to say that, before it could be shown in court, the animation would require hundreds more hours of work and refinement.
Of course, Scene Systems wasn’t out to produce a recreation that was admissible in court. It was just trying to show the type of product it is capable of. And it did that very nicely.