How I got good forensic video in the spring, and you can too

I’m learning all the time – see below – about new methods of forensic investigation.  Also, hopefully, for my readers, increased understanding of the nature of expert work.  For example, aerial video from a drone has been a real eye-opener for me and some of my clients in recent years.

It struck me recently while walking my dogs in a forest that spring is a good time for taking aerial video during a forensic investigation.  For sure, fall as well.  You see through the leafless trees to a forest floor brightly lit by spring sunshine.  I can see my dogs off at a distance in the leafless forest why not the forest floor from above?

Even as I draft this blog I’m learning.  It occurs to me that a cloudy day would be even better – no shadows to confuse what you’re seeing on the ground.  A hardwood forest is best, of course, after the leaves have fallen.

For example: I flew over a leafless forest last spring during a site assessment case and got excellent aerial video.  You could clearly see a piece of gravel the size of a golf ball from 100 to 200 feet up.  The video was a dispute-resolution maker.

To be upfront with you though, it was seeing my dogs running in the forest that made me realize why I got good video last spring.

Another example: I had another case, a fuel oil contaminated site, that was in a dense hardwood forest that was a prime candidate for this type of aerial video.  It didn’t come to pass – the case went off on another tack – but I was ready to capture good video through a leafless forest.

Aerial video of fuel oil contaminated sites has been a game-changer for me in treeless terrain so why not in leafless terrain?

Why am I telling you this?  Because, if you’re processing a dispute or claim that involves an accident or failure in the built environment now is the time to get aerial video of the site.  If there are leafless trees on or near the site, go aloft now.  COVID-19 is no problem because it’s easy to keep your distance outdoors.

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