significance of the investigator's finding. While the
investigator's report must contain a detailed write-up of
the damage, it is still true that one picture can often take
the place of many words (fig. 6-10). The investigator
should use photographs as another tool in complete and
accurate reporting. Each photograph included in the
report should purport to show a separate point or detail
relative to the accident.
When evidence is to be presented, get a good picture
of it. You are not a mind reader and cannot be expected
to get the pictures that are contained only in the
investigator's mind. Normally, you must ask the
investigator exactly what is to be photographed.
Pertinent photographs of the following details are
General view of the scene along the wreckage
pattern to the point of first contact.
Aerial view of the accident scene (aircraft).
Damage to objects struck
BUNO or license plate.
All major parts of the wreckage.
Detailed view of the cockpit, instrument panels,
switch settings, and control handles (aircraft).
Engines and propellers.
Wheels and landing gear assemblies (aircraft).
All parts involved in, or suspected of structural
failure, or of having contributed directly to the accident.
These photographs should have sufficient detail to show
the grain of the metal at the failure point or other detailed
information, such as the direction of shear of the rivets.
Any failed part that has been established as the
cause of the accident or is believed to be significant to
the cause of the accident should be photographed in
When photographing small, important pieces of
evidence, the parts should not only be photographed in
the field but they should be removed from the scene and
photographed in the studio under controlled conditions.
This ensures that the photographs of the items in
question are clear and well defined. It is a good practice
to photograph the failed part and an undamaged like
item in the same exposure so the failure is readily
To avoid confusion, you should assign all aircraft
accident photographs exhibit numbers and carry
descriptive captions to point out the details of evidence
to which they contribute. A picture without an
explanation is confusing and worthless.
Each aircraft accident photograph should be readily
identifiable, and to ensure this necessary requirement,
you must identify all photographs with the following
Date of accident
Location of accident
Type of accident
Type of aircraft
BUNO of aircraft
Part and part number (where applicable)
Aircraft accident report number
Special handling note according to OPNAVINST
At a minimum, the following items should be
included in your camera bag for an accident or arson
Camera and normal lens
Wide angle and telephoto lenses
Flash unit and extra batteries
Large amount of color and
Extra sync cord for the flash
Note pad and pen
Macro lens or closeup filters
Product, or illustrative, photography is used to show
and explain an object more completely and concisely
than is possible with words alone. By using the
photographic medium, it is possible to illustrate a variety
of items to show size, shape, location, and condition. In
the Navy, product, or illustrative, photography is used
to show new equipment-from ships to pencil sharpeners
and from buildings under construction to damaged