Orloff Consulting

Aviation Accident Reconstruction Services

Dr. Kenneth Orloff Ph.D


Dr. Orloff has a Master's degree in Physics and a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from the University of California.

From 1971 until 1984 he worked as a research scientist of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at the Ames Research Center where he was involved in airplane and helicopter aerodynamics research.

Under NASA sponsorship, he has taught physics, engineering, aerodynamics, and aeronautics courses at the university level.  He is a licensed Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic and he holds FAA Inspection Authorization.  He holds an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate and has accumulated in excess of 8,000 hours of flight time.  He is a Certified Flight Instructor for airplanes, helicopters and instrument flight.

For over 25 years, Dr. Orloff and his staff have provided consulting services to plaintiffs and defendants in litigation resulting from aircraft accidents.  They have analyzed and reconstructed hundreds of fixed-wing and rotary-wing accidents.  Typical areas in which they have been asked to conduct forensic investigation and render expert opinions are: 

  • Midair collisions
  • Aircraft wire strikes
  • Analysis of recorded radar data
  • Flight path analysis and reconstruction
  • Aircraft wake turbulence encounters
  • Aircraft maintenance, inspection, alteration, and repair
  • Aircraft structures and structural failure
  • Aircraft piloting and pilot error
  • Integration and Correlation of GPS information, Flight Data Recorder (FDR), And Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) with flight path analysis

Dr. Orloff has testified in Federal and State courts in the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, and as far reaching as Guam.  In order to help judges and juries better understand his opinions and the foundation of the opinions, he frequently uses multi-media graphics, computer simulation, and animation to simplify complex subjects.


B.S. Physics, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA.    1962-1966

M.A. Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA.    1966-1968

Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA. 1968-1971

Technical, Engineering, and Research Experience

  • Solid-State Research Engineer, Sigmatron, Inc., Goleta, CA. 1968
  • Research Assistant, Department of Medical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA. 1968-1971
  • Aerospace Engineer and Aeronautical Research Scientist, NASA-Ames Research Center, Low-Speed Aircraft Research Branch, Moffett Field, CA 1971-1984

Major Areas of Research

  • Aircraft Wake Turbulence
  • Helicopter Rotor Performance
  • Theoretical Aerodynamics
  • Experimental Techniques
  • Multi-element Airfoils
  • V/STOL Aircraft

Research into methods for analyzing recorded radar data to determine aircraft flight path and performance 1984-Present


From 1969 to 1984: 39 publications (Technical Journals and NASA Reports)

1976: Contributed article on Aircraft Testing to the McGraw-Hill Year of Science and Technology

Orloff, K.L.: WHY NOT SHOW IT LIKE IT PROBABLY WAS?.  Proceedings of the 21st Annual SMU Air Law Symposium, March 5-7, 1987, Dallas, Texas.


Presented Paper No. ICAS-98-6, 5,3; Proceedings of the 21st Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 13-18 September, 1998.

Congressional Testimony

"Lasers in Aerodynamics Research" - Statement before the subcommittee on Aviation and Transportation R&D Science and Technology, House of Representatives, and printed in the congressional Record, Washington, D.C., February, 1975.

NASA Awards and Patents

Certificate of Recognition and Award for Patent on "Dual-Wavelength Scanning Doppler Velocimeter", 1975

Certificate of Recognition and Award for Patent on "Combined Dual-Scatter, Local-Oscillator Laser Velocimeter", 1975

NASA Exceptional Service Medal, November 1978

Patent on "Rhomboid Prism for Rotating the Plane of Parallel Light Beams, 1982

Academic Experience

Physics Instructor (part-time), West Valley College, Saratoga, CA    1972-1974

Aviation Instructor (part-time), Math-Science Department, West Valley College, Saratoga, CA    1974-1979

Visiting Professor of Engineering and Aeronautics, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA (Full-time, temporary NASA assignment)    1975

Professor of Aeronautics (part-time), San Jose State University, San Jose, CA,    1980-1981, 1982-1984

Subjects taught:

  • Subsonic Aerodynamics
  • Aircraft Performance
  • Aircraft Propeller Theory
  • Aircraft Stability and Control
  • Wind Tunnel Laboratory

Visiting Professor of Aeronautics, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, (full-time temporary NASA assignment)    1981-1982

Subjects taught:

  • All Subjects listed above
  • Aviation Fundamentals
  • Aircraft Production Processes Laboratory
  • Aircraft Systems Laboratory

Aviation Experience

Charter Pilot (FAR 135), Maui Flying Service, Kahului, Maui, Hawaii    1966

Flight Instruction Experience:

  • Claire Walters Flight Academy, Santa Monica, CA    1967
  • Flying Club, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA    1968-1971
  • Santa Barbara Aviation    1967-1970
  • Bates Aeronautics Program, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA    1975 Part-time    1976-Present

Aircraft Ownership:

  • Piper J-3    1966-1968
  • Taylorcraft BC-12D    1968-1971
  • Beechcraft J-35 Bonanza    1971-1983
  • Taylorcraft F-19    1975-1979
  • Spezia DAL-1 (experimental)    1976-1987
  • Cessna 172    1981-1985
  • Hughes 269C Helicopter    1985-1993
  • Beechcraft B55 Baron    1990-1993
  • Cessna 172L    1996-1999
  • Cessna A152    1987-2003
  • Beechcraft V-35B Bonanza    1983-Present
  • Lancair IV-P (experimental)    2002-Present
  • Marquart Charger MA-5 (experimental)    2015-Present

Aircraft Maintenance, Repair, Inspection and Construction

Built an experimental aircraft, conducted stress analysis of in-flight loads to determine changes necessary to the wing struts to prevent structural failure.

Conducted engineering, performed work and interacted closely with FAA maintenance personnel for airworthiness approvals on several aircraft modifications for which no Supplemental Type Certificates were available.

Have owned and operated and operated maintenance facility (K&M Aero) at Pine Mountain Lake Airport, Groveland, CA, since 1979.  Specializing in annual inspections, major and minor repairs, and major alterations for single and multi-engine general aviation aircraft.

FAA Certificates, Ratings and Flight Hours

  • Airline Transport Pilot Multi-Engine Land Airplane
  • Commercial Single-Engine Land Airplane
  • Commercial Helicopter
  • Private Glider
  • Instrument Airplane
  • Flight Instructor: Airplane, Helicopter, Instrument Airplane
  • Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic
  • FAA Inspection Authorization
  • Total Flight Hours - 8,000+


Experimental Aircraft Association - Member

American Bonanza Society - Member

Mother Lode Aviation, Pine Mountain Lake Airport, Groveland, CA - President

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