Fort Rucker Crash Lab

By: Ashley Edlund
By: Ashley Edlund

For Perry Alliman, the idea started on a fateful day in Somalia when his aircraft was shot down.

Alliman lived, but three crew members didn't.

Accident Investigation Course Instructor Perry Alliman said, "My whole career was really focused on helping preventing loss of life, whether it be combat or accidentally."

That's when Alliman teamed up with army general Bill Wolf.

Alliman said, "Add some ground vehicles, some real live accidents from the ground side and he looked at me and he said execute"

This aircraft behind me may never fly again, but there's a lesson to be learned from the wreckage.

That’s now the crash dynamics lab and the idea is to help army personnel prevent accidents, whether they're in military vehicles or not.

Training director for the army safety center Dr. Michael Wesolek said "We lose a lot of soldiers every year, more soldiers than anywhere else through privately owned vehicles and motorcycle accidents."

At the lab on Fort Rucker, you'll find fourteen different crashed vehicles. Some of them are regular motorcycles and cars, while others are military grade. Some came from as far away as Afghanistan.

Director of Army Safety Bill Wolf said, “This is a real world accident that occurred two years ago on a mountain top in Colorado, or in the Hindu Cush in Afghanistan, that they can really learn from"

Safety officials agree, and say the lab is about training soldiers for accident prevention, not about pointing the finger.

Dr. Wesolek said, "The findings are used strictly for training and awareness."

Wolf said, "What they learned here is the methodology of peeling the onion back and learning more than what pieces are on the field."

They hope those pieces will lead to fewer accidents and save more lives.

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