Army Crash Dynamics Lab nears completion
January 20, 2012
Fort Rucker, Ala.--The Crash Dynamics Lab (CDL), a state-of-the-art training facility for Army safety investigators, took a giant step toward completion Jan. 18 with the placement of a salvaged CH-47 'Chinook' helicopter for an accident display.
"We've been working for a year and a half to build a modern facility to recreate actual accident sites," said Perry Alliman, accident course investigation manager, aviation training branch, Current Operations Directorate, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center. "We use this site for training Army accident investigators."
The CDL is a unique accident investigation and analysis military training facility. It serves as a state-of-the-art training aid to educate Army safety professionals on investigative techniques in order to understand and take action to mitigate similar accidents. It displays recreations of 14 accident scenes involving Army rotary wing aircraft, Army military vehicles, and unmanned aircraft systems, recreational and privately owned vehicles. Trainees in the Army Safely training program follow the rigorous procedures of Army accident investigations, with a goal of understanding causes to prevent similar incidents in the future.
"The latest Army aircraft we've added include a UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64D Apache Longbow and CH-47 Chinook. The Black Hawk and Apache were actual accident aircraft. The Chinook we added today was assembled from scrap parts, but represents an actual accident scene," Alliman explained.
Army officials feel the diversity of the CDL at Fort Rucker makes it a one of a kind in the world and other Department of Defense and civil agencies may use it in the future.
Although the facility is now in use for training classes, the official opening is slated for Feb. 14, 2012.
Perry Alliman, right, Current Operations Directorate, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center, discusses details of an engineering project with a crane operator from the Holland Crane Company of Dothan Ala., Jan. 18th at Fort Rucker, Ala. A salvaged CH-47 'Chinook' Army helicopter was lowered into place at the Crash Dynamics Lab, a state-of-the-art training facility operated by the USACR/Safety Center. Students being trained as Army accident investigators use recreations of 14 accident scenes at the CDL in their training. (Photo by Art Powell)