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The Kobe Bryant crash

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by Juan-Manuel Fantango, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Juan-Manuel Fantango

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    God how awful. Why did this happen? I know there are some serious helicopter pilots here. Yes the reports will come out, but if it is as simple as the age old "flying when you should'nt", how does this happen? With today's technology I wrongly would have thought they were systems to help prevent this. I know the helicopter was a 1991 model but usually technology is updated. There have been a few of these crashes lately like the Cline crash.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2019/07/24/billionaire-chris-clines-helicopter-spun-out-of-control-before-fatal-bahamas-crash/

    Assuming it is spatial disorientation do we not have the technology to help in this situation? A helicopter can hover. I did see a video that said auto pilot would not work under 60 knots? Not sure if that is true. If there is a "wing leveler emergency button" for fixed winged offered by Garmin, and auto land then why not a hover and recover for the most sophisticated helicopters?

    From preliminary reports it just seems to be a senseless lost of life and that they should not have even been in the air. It is tragic.
     
  2. INRange

    INRange F1 Rookie
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    Early report:

    Audio reviewed by ESPN indicates that a few minutes prior to the crash, an air traffic controller told the pilot that he was "still too low level for flight following," meaning the aircraft was below the level at which it could be picked up by radar due to the area's hilly terrain. That audio came from recordings posted on LiveATC.net, which has partial audio of the communication between the pilot and air traffic controllers.

    Additional recordings between the pilot and air traffic controllers posted on the site indicate that the pilot was getting guidance from controllers as he navigated what was reported to be dense morning fog.

    Air traffic controllers noted poor visibility around Burbank, just to the north, and Van Nuys, to the northwest. After holding up the helicopter for other aircraft, the controllers cleared the Sikorsky S-76 to proceed north along Interstate 5 through Burbank before turning west to follow U.S. Route 101, the Ventura Highway.

    Shortly after 9:40 a.m., the helicopter turned again, toward the southeast, and climbed to more than 2,000 feet above sea level. It then descended and crashed into a hillside at about 1,400 feet, according to data from Flightradar24.

    When it struck the ground, the helicopter was flying at about 160 knots (184 mph) and descending at a rate of more than 4,000 feet per minute (45 mph), the Flightradar24 data showed.
     
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  3. crinoid

    crinoid F1 Veteran
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    Unfortunately this incident seems completely down to pilot error.
     
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  4. Tcar

    Tcar F1 Rookie

    S-76 is listed as needing a crew of 2.... true?

    Also read that Bryant was a rated chopper pilot.... it was his plane.
    Would he be the other crew?
     
  5. tritone

    tritone F1 Rookie
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    #5 tritone, Jan 27, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2020
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  6. Tcar

    Tcar F1 Rookie

    #6 Tcar, Jan 27, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2020
  7. Juan-Manuel Fantango

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    #7 Juan-Manuel Fantango, Jan 27, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2020
  8. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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  9. tejasemser

    tejasemser Rookie

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    15,000+/- hour pilot here, with 13,00+ hours in helicopters. I flew helicopter gun ships in Vietnam, stayed in the army, and retired from flying civilian EMS helicopters four years ago at age 72. I honestly don't want to speculate, but feel confident this will end up being pilot error and CFIT (Controlled Flight Into Terrain.) The pilot probably should never have taken-off, should have turned around, could have landed in a field ... and damn well should have slowed down if he was going to scud-run with a SVFR clearance. Over confidence, git-er-done attitude, inexperience, lack of basic IFR skills, lack of IFR currency, aircraft limitations, wanting to please the passenger-chief pilot or DO ... pick one. The S-76 is a fine helicopter ... even an old one, and can be flown SP/IFR if company op-specs allow. But believe me, it's a busy cockpit. Damn shame.... All will become clear in 18 months or so.
     
  10. cobmw

    cobmw Formula Junior
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    Question is why didn't they file for IFR? Tower-to-tower IFR is easy to file in SoCal. Might have a bit of a wait on a crummy day. Answer might lie in where they were going. All reports say they were going to Thousand Oaks and not to the nearest airport (Camarillo). Could it be that Amgen, across the street from Mamba, allowed Bryant to use their helipad? And such a helipad would not have an instrument approach? So all of Bryant's trips had to be done VFR?
     
  11. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

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    I'm not a pilot but that seems like a rather fast speed and/or descent given the cruising altitude doesn't it?
     
  12. NürScud

    NürScud F1 Veteran

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    Here is a video that shows what happened.

    RIP

     
  13. TexasF355F1

    TexasF355F1 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    A video of a witness that called 911 and has aviation knowledge it appears.

     
  14. spicedriver

    spicedriver Formula 3

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    Looks like he was trying to find the 101 and couldn't see it with the fog. Also radio trouble. Overshot and ran into the mountains. A tour helicopter crashed in Hawaii a few weeks ago in the fog. Ran into the side of a mountain as well.

    Without visibility, I would think the thing to do would be to stop your forward motion, and go straight up. Higher than any possible obstructions in the area. This would also help the radio situation.
     
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  15. Simon^2

    Simon^2 F1 World Champ

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    I have a long dormant pilots license. Too often that bird on my shoulder whispered,... "I have to be there". As a pilot you have to have the mindset... YOU NEVER HAVE TO BE THERE.
     
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  16. BJK

    BJK Formula 3

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    "The Sikorsky S-76B lifted off from John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana at 9:06 a.m. local time,
    ascending into a fog so dense that even the Los Angeles Police Department and county sheriff’s department had grounded its helicopters."
     
  17. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    There was activity in and out of the Van Nuys airport so visibility in the San Fernando Valley itself may have been acceptable, but there are mountains along the western edge of the valley, and it appears that is about where the chopper crashed. As an old adage says, it appears that the pilot "ran out of altitude and information simultaneously".
     
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  18. INRange

    INRange F1 Rookie
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    #18 INRange, Jan 27, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2020
    The eyewitness report and No Doubt's radar track link pretty much confirms pilot error which is horribly tragic. May God bless the souls on board and hopefully they did not suffer.

    Looks like early reports were wrong regarding airspeed and descent rate. It looks like he just hovered his way into a mountain at a relatively slow pace.

    [*** P&R deleted ***]
     
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  19. Bob Parks

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    #19 Bob Parks, Jan 27, 2020
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    Legislation can't fix careless.
     
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  20. Jedi

    Jedi Two Time F1 World Champ
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    The pilot should have just said "no way - too foggy - sorry boss" and they'd rent a few limos and drive up. Geez. So tragic and so STUPID.

    Chopper would have been on the ground in Thousand Oaks later in the day when the fog had cleared, to take them all back home in the SoCal sunshine and life would have gone on for all nine of them.

    Instead, this.

    Jedi
     
  21. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

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    Don't these helis have some kind of ground-avoidance/alert system that works in fog? If not, why not?
     
  22. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    Modern cockpit displays are amazing as far as terrain depiction using synthetic vision, e.g. Garmin, Aspen, etc. Unfortunately not everyone has that equipment.
     
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  23. Jedi

    Jedi Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Add to that the pilot was flying alone in a helicopter that usually calls for two pilots, in what is often described as a "busy cockpit" - and all of this under what were surely very stressy circumstances for the pilot - he very possibly DID have such systems but was too busy figuring out other stuff he just never noticed due to being overwhelmed and confused.

    There is just so much wrong with this whole thing it's astounding to me.

    Jedi
     
  24. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    disclaimer: I have only flown in a copter once, 50yrs ago for 15 min.

    Unlike an airplane a helicopter can stop forward progress. You literally can not get caught in a 'box canyon' scenario. Unless he had mechanical issues the only issue of importance was ensuring he knew where he was going in IFR conditions. However .....

    I had an IFR rating. It is not something you just use whenever the situation presents itself. Being competent flying IFR requires practice. Recent practice. Even for someone who is current there is a difference between planning to fly IFR and suddenly being thrown into IFR.

    Tragic accident, but as usual the end result is a series of (bad) decisions with the first being taking off.
     
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  25. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

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    I heard this particular aircraft didn't have a black box. Is that true? If that's the case how much analysis can be done?
     

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