'Miracle On The Hudson,' Animated

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The NTSB in June released an animation of the short flight of US Airways Flight 1549, which ditched in the Hudson in January, but now a private company has posted online its own animated rendering of the data that is like watching a movie of the event. K3 Resources, a Denver-based company that specializes in technical animation and accident reconstruction, took on the project at first as a marketing promotion, but Kas Osterbhur, a vice-president of engineering who is also a flight instructor, got intrigued with the project and invested about 200 hours in it. "The human brain is an amazing computer but it doesn't do very well at reading gigabytes of raw data," Osterbhur told EAA. "My goal is to bring together as much information into one place as possible, usually in a graphic way, and allow that human computer to do its job."

The resulting HD seven-minute animation combines an in-cockpit view, an overview of the airplane in flight above New York City, the ATC audio, the in-cockpit discussion as released in the NTSB transcript, and a reconstruction of the altimeter and rate-of-climb indications. The K3 Web site also includes an extensive analysis of the available data and additional animations showing weather and the radar tracks of birds and airplanes.