Schoharie County

Drone used to map Schoharie limo crash scene

NTSB official: Before drones, mapping of crash scenes could take hours
Investigators continued Monday to probe the area where, on Saturday, a limousine crash claimed 20 lives.
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Investigators continued Monday to probe the area where, on Saturday, a limousine crash claimed 20 lives.

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SCHOHARIE — At approximately 1:45 p.m. Monday, NTSB officials cleared the area near the crash site, asking all TV media  satellite trucks and other equipment to leave, in order to conduct an arial survey of the scene using a drones controlled by an NTSB pilot.

“With the drone, we’re plotting the area so we can overlay it onto a map to show the course of the vehicle in the accident,” Mike LaPonte said. “We always map all of the accidents. We’ve been doing this with drones for three or four years. 

“Before, we did traffic reconstruction using a system called “Total Station,” where we would survey the area and overlay it onto a map. Doing it the old fashioned way, we would have had to clear this whole area for a couple of hours. 

“Now, we can get the drone set up and do it in 20 minutes, or however long it takes to fly the course.” 

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