Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 9176
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:47 pm

The IFR routing, SNA to CMA, for a TEC routing at 6,000 is out to Catalina Island then north off the coast to abeam CMA, then vectors you land. At 273 KTAS, without any vectoring, it’s 0+22 ETE, so maybe 0+35 to 0+40 in a S-76.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 27445
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:59 pm

dragon6172 wrote:
enilria wrote:
dragon6172 wrote:
This is interesting
https://youtu.be/XSHpbGhy3Ko

Excellent video. Making pretty clear it was not CFID. Still not sure why the copter fell out of the sky at 2100'. Loss of control/stall or mechanical failure?

Loss of situational awareness/spatial disorientation it would appear

Doesn't seem to jive with NTSB saying they were only 20-30 feet short of clearing the mountains, no?

I hate to say but I think some elements of the NTSB presser were painting things in an unrealistic light.

I think the video does jive well with spatial disorientation.

cedarjet wrote:
Revelation wrote:
I suspect a lot of high net wealth individuals are now calling their aviation contacts and inquiring about installation of EGPWS/TAWS into their aircraft.

...which would have made no difference in a loss of control scenario such as Kobe’s

My thought is it would have made it easier to convince the pilot and the VIPs that going forward was not an acceptable plan.

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The IFR routing, SNA to CMA, for a TEC routing at 6,000 is out to Catalina Island then north off the coast to abeam CMA, then vectors you land. At 273 KTAS, without any vectoring, it’s 0+22 ETE, so maybe 0+35 to 0+40 in a S-76.

Very interesting. Seems the notion that an IFR reroute would be unacceptable is not true.
 
flybucky
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:44 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:02 pm

BakerDill wrote:
Based on the sound on these videos, the various witness accounts claiming the helicopter "hovered" or "flew slowly at 4-5 mph" can be dismissed. Clearly a flyover at speed and then crash.

The "hovering" or "flew slowly" could be due to illusion from their perspective as the helicopter was making the final turn.
 
Vladex
Posts: 544
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:44 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:07 pm

This is sound recording. To me it sounds like a normal speed until they hit the terrain
https://twitter.com/ABC/status/1222415652192948225
 
dragon6172
Posts: 1140
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:56 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:09 pm

Revelation wrote:
dragon6172 wrote:
Loss of situational awareness/spatial disorientation it would appear

Doesn't seem to jive with NTSB saying they were only 20-30 feet short of clearing the mountains, no?

I hate to say but I think some elements of the NTSB presser were painting things in an unrealistic light.

I think the video does jive well with spatial disorientation.


Draw a line between the crash site pin and the end of the data in the below image. You will see a ridgeline they crossed, according to the NTSB they cleared this by 20-30 feet. That is how I take that statement anyways. However, they were still in a significant descent.
Image
 
flybucky
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:44 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:14 pm

Revelation wrote:
flybucky wrote:
* Pilot was trying to climb out of the cloud layer at the time.

How can they know that? The data shows a strong descent shortly before the end, and they say they don't have CVR/FDR to fall back on.

NTSB said the pilot told ATC he was climbing to avoid a cloud layer. When ATC asked what the pilot was planning to do, there was no reply afterwards. This was not captured in LiveATC / third party recordings, so I'm guessing NTSB got the audio directly from ATC.

NTSB Media Briefing Jan 27. 7:00 minute mark
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxGbm2EBN-0&t=7m

The pilot requested flight following to continue to Camarillo, but Southern California TRACON advised the pilot that they were too low for flight following. Approximately 4 minutes layer, the pilot advised they were climbing to avoid a cloud layer. When ATC asked what the pilot planned to do, there was no reply. Radar data indicates that the helicopter climbed to 2300 ft, then began a left descending turn.
 
flybucky
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:44 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:18 pm

enilria wrote:
Excellent video. Making pretty clear it was not CFID. Still not sure why the copter fell out of the sky at 2100'. Loss of control/stall or mechanical failure?

A likely scenario is it climbed into the clouds because it couldn't continue anymore due to the rising terrain and low ceiling. Then as the pilot attempted to level off the climb, the spatial disorientation caused him to actually put the heli into a dive.
 
cuban8
Posts: 257
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:17 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:18 pm

THS214 wrote:
SocalApproach wrote:
btfarrwm wrote:
It's amazing how much people will pay to save 1hr on the LA freeways...the helicopter flight looks like it would have taken 30-45 minutes (if completed) and the time estimate for the drive at 9AM on Sunday (from Google Maps) is 1h 15m to 1h 45m.


People pay extra money just to get in a shorter line at Disney Land.... We have shown as a society there is a premium for anything to get whatever it is "sooner"

but having said that Im surprised with the surplus of money Kobe has at his disposal, he did not use a company that can get him from point A to B with an IFR flightplan. Sounds like Island Helicopters or whatever its called did not have the means to get that done which is very odd considering how calculated Kobe Bryant has shown himself to be over his lifestyle, You would think he would spend 5 extra minutes to make sure that the chopper he is flying his family around in is the best of the best in 2020. From what it looks like right now it was the best of the best 7+ years ago....not so much right now. Not trying to make this political but Im sure Trump isnt flying around in helicopters that are not IFR capable or with pilots that are not IFR current.

I get kobe isnt a pilot but the media portrays him as an individual who would take the time to get familiar with what is going above and beyond for safety over whats "enough" to get a helicopter charted to fly him around. Dont take what im saying out of context but from what we all know here about VFR/IFR rules I doubt any of us would be signing off for a pilot that wants to fly SVFR to get us to our destination when we have the money to avoid that option. I also do not know what happened and its all speculation at this point but from everything we know so far I am shocked at what we do know about this charter company and how they operate flying around iconic celebrities. Apparently they flew Kawhi Leonard of the LA Clippers around too. Still in shock about all of this


That is a big question. Many people who get always what they want become blind. So they want the pilot who can get the job done. Those who refuse to fly because the weather is not good enough, who want to go IFR, won't fly them again but the pilot who can get the job done. That's why VFR and scud running. And then one too many times.

Those who rent the ride don't know and then they think that the pilot who always get the job done is a great pilot. They never know the danger involved.

This accident is a great example of this. Extremely poor weather, flying low and fast in a mountainous area. A receipt for disaster. But Kobe didn't know. "My pilot can get us there, he is so good." Just one too many times.

For the pilot, once you are THE pilot who can get the job done, a celebrity appreciates it, its really hard to not deliver. You've done it before so you can do it again. Just that this time it was one too many times.

I’m not sure I agree with you. The pilot might have been THE pilot, but is it really that hard to say no to a flight with a celebrity? I can understand that it might be hard to say no on his first couple of “celebrity” flights, but it seems like he’d been around for some time. With that experience/reputation, I doubt anyone would push for it if THE pilot decided it was too risky.

Regardless of the equipment of the helo or the cause of the crash, I find it inexplicable how High-Net-Worth individuals decides to fly in single pilot operations. As a poster mentioned earlier, who would take over the controls in case of the pilot having a heart attack or another severe illness?

Many accidents could possibly have been avoided with one extra set of eyes. From the top of my head:

Emiliano Sala, English Channel (2019)
Bin Laden family, Blackbushe (2017)
Aaliyah, Marsh Harbour (2001)

Until we make significant progress technologically, I will always be against single pilot operations in commercial aviation. Unfortunately, it saddens me to see Kobe as another victim of this unnecessary practice.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 9176
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:29 pm

Exactly, how many fit, medically qualified 50-year old pilots expire in the air every year? Having two pilots for that reason is probably hard to justify, but having two for CRM, monitoring and assisting is justifiable. BUT, helicopters are a very single-pilot centric community, I’d bet a lot this pilot has fewer than 500 in a crewed cockpit. That’s not how helos operate. Just as IFR helos are a comparative rarity while nobody flies a jet VFR in passenger service.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 27445
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:34 pm

flybucky wrote:
Revelation wrote:
flybucky wrote:
* Pilot was trying to climb out of the cloud layer at the time.

How can they know that? The data shows a strong descent shortly before the end, and they say they don't have CVR/FDR to fall back on.

NTSB said the pilot told ATC he was climbing to avoid a cloud layer. When ATC asked what the pilot was planning to do, there was no reply afterwards. This was not captured in LiveATC / third party recordings, so I'm guessing NTSB got the audio directly from ATC.

NTSB Media Briefing Jan 27. 7:00 minute mark
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxGbm2EBN-0&t=7m

The pilot requested flight following to continue to Camarillo, but Southern California TRACON advised the pilot that they were too low for flight following. Approximately 4 minutes layer, the pilot advised they were climbing to avoid a cloud layer. When ATC asked what the pilot planned to do, there was no reply. Radar data indicates that the helicopter climbed to 2300 ft, then began a left descending turn.

So a more complete statement from NTSB would be "the pilot indicated he was climbing but in fact was descending".

It seems NTSB was being conservative with the truth.

I guess we can all understand why, but usually NTSB is less obtuse.

dragon6172 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
dragon6172 wrote:
Loss of situational awareness/spatial disorientation it would appear

Doesn't seem to jive with NTSB saying they were only 20-30 feet short of clearing the mountains, no?

I hate to say but I think some elements of the NTSB presser were painting things in an unrealistic light.

I think the video does jive well with spatial disorientation.


Draw a line between the crash site pin and the end of the data in the below image. You will see a ridgeline they crossed, according to the NTSB they cleared this by 20-30 feet. That is how I take that statement anyways. However, they were still in a significant descent.

Another case where NTSB did not communicate the situation very well, IMO.
 
dragon6172
Posts: 1140
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:56 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:53 pm

Revelation wrote:
The pilot requested flight following to continue to Camarillo, but Southern California TRACON advised the pilot that they were too low for flight following. Approximately 4 minutes layer, the pilot advised they were climbing to avoid a cloud layer. When ATC asked what the pilot planned to do, there was no reply. Radar data indicates that the helicopter climbed to 2300 ft, then began a left descending turn.

So a more complete statement from NTSB would be "the pilot indicated he was climbing but in fact was descending".

It seems NTSB was being conservative with the truth.

I guess we can all understand why, but usually NTSB is less obtuse.

I am not sure how you can come to that conclusion? The only thing the NTSB didn't provide was the second to second timeline of when the radio transmissions fit within the ADS-B data. They can't say "he reported a climb when he was in fact descending" if the radio transmission happened while he was actually climbing!
Revelation wrote:
dragon6172 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Doesn't seem to jive with NTSB saying they were only 20-30 feet short of clearing the mountains, no?

I hate to say but I think some elements of the NTSB presser were painting things in an unrealistic light.

I think the video does jive well with spatial disorientation.


Draw a line between the crash site pin and the end of the data in the below image. You will see a ridgeline they crossed, according to the NTSB they cleared this by 20-30 feet. That is how I take that statement anyways. However, they were still in a significant descent.

Another case where NTSB did not communicate the situation very well, IMO.

Pretty clear when you watch the video of the presser what they meant.
 
cuisinart
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:47 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:55 pm

Revelation wrote:
flybucky wrote:
Draw a line between the crash site pin and the end of the data in the below image. You will see a ridgeline they crossed, according to the NTSB they cleared this by 20-30 feet. That is how I take that statement anyways. However, they were still in a significant descent.

Another case where NTSB did not communicate the situation very well, IMO.


My read is the NTSB was saying the missed clearing the ridge line by 20-30 feet, not that they cleared it. They went on to say that even if they had cleared it, based on rate of descent and speed they may have hit other surrounding ridges in the area.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 15223
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:02 pm

Does 9 people on this type change it’s handling characteristics?
 
slider
Posts: 7791
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:42 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:03 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSHpbGh ... Tujb0gK5fA

This was done by a pilot, he's very reasonable in saying this was his montage and isn't fact or may not be accurate. But it gives a good perspective to consider.

One thing that is germane is that the S76 requires two pilots for IFR flying; this flight had one. And if he wasn't experienced in flying in IMC conditions, not unheard of if he were just flying in LA, spatial disorientation is a very real and likely possibility.
 
hivue
Posts: 2183
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:26 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:12 pm

Revelation wrote:
So a more complete statement from NTSB would be "the pilot indicated he was climbing but in fact was descending".

It seems NTSB was being conservative with the truth.

I guess we can all understand why, but usually NTSB is less obtuse.


At this point the NTSB is reporting facts they have, not drawing conclusions.
 
rfields5421
Posts: 6374
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:20 pm

cuisinart wrote:
Revelation wrote:
flybucky wrote:
Draw a line between the crash site pin and the end of the data in the below image. You will see a ridgeline they crossed, according to the NTSB they cleared this by 20-30 feet. That is how I take that statement anyways. However, they were still in a significant descent.

Another case where NTSB did not communicate the situation very well, IMO.


My read is the NTSB was saying the missed clearing the ridge line by 20-30 feet, not that they cleared it. They went on to say that even if they had cleared it, based on rate of descent and speed they may have hit other surrounding ridges in the area.


That's my read also. I believe the ridge line he missed clearing is at the impact point marker, not the previous one between the last data point and the marker. Hard to see but the still photos show the aircraft crashed into an upslope on a ridge. With some of the debris falling to one side and most of the debris falling to the other. I also feel from the still photos that he hit hard enough that the rotor separated from the wreckage and flew forward to clear the '20-30 ft' ridge to the left of the crash marker pinpoint.

I wish the frame in the shot above extended a bit to the left/ south.

I also believe the data will show he was still descending when he struck the ridge/ ground, not trying to climb over terrain. Even if he saw the ground in the last few seconds, the aircraft may not have responded to a control input to climb if it still had downward inertia.
 
User avatar
ikolkyo
Posts: 3522
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:43 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:33 pm

Can’t believe the aircraft didn’t have a terrain avoidance system. Why is this not mandatory on all aircraft no matter the size. Ugh.
 
dwillens
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:34 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:40 pm

I think those of you who are talking about "why couldn't he have just filed IFR instead?" are missing the point. If what is being disseminated is correct, Island Express was not certified for single pilot IFR operations, it was a VFR-only operation regardless of the fact that the helicopter was fully equipped for IFR flight. I would guess that this could also explain why the pilot may have been resistant to doing a "pop-up IFR" enroute when things started to go sideways, even if he himself was IFR certified and current. I am not suggesting that he could not have declared an emergency and gotten a clearance, but the fact that he had reportedly told SoCal that he was "climbing to avoid clouds" but did not request an IFR clearance suggests that he was trying to maintain VFR in a situation where the weather was deteriorating in hilly terrain. I also tend to agree that while the pilot might have been IFR current (we don't know yet but I will assume he was complying with currency requirements), we can probably reasonably suspect that he was not regularly operating in an IMC environment given that his employer was a VFR-only operation. Which would definitely make a difference when we are talking about why a rated and current IFR pilot might get disoriented when suddenly losing visual reference.

I will make all the same disclaimers about letting the NTSB do its job, but I strongly subscribe to Occam's Razor in this situation: the most obvious answer is probably the right one. Pilot failure to maintain adequate terrain clearance in low visibility conditions. Whether it was CFIT or spatial disorientation or whatever, the end result is the same.
 
flybucky
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:44 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:52 pm

Revelation wrote:
So a more complete statement from NTSB would be "the pilot indicated he was climbing but in fact was descending". It seems NTSB was being conservative with the truth.

No, that would not be an accurate statement. The pilot did not indicate he was climbing when he was descending.

I think the NTSB was quite clear explaining and withholding any facts about this part. Here's the presumed sequence of events:

1. Pilot advised ATC they were climbing to avoid a cloud layer.
2. They climb into the clouds.
3. Due to some issue (spatial disorientation, mechanical, medical event, etc), they end up descending and crashing.

The data is pretty clear that it was not a controlled/intentional descent. There's no way the pilot was communicating with ATC during the descent.
 
PhilMcCrackin
Posts: 410
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:54 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:58 pm

The helicopter wreckage has been moved to a "aircraft yard" in Phoenix. Being local, I'm curious where that's at.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 27445
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:04 pm

dragon6172 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
The pilot requested flight following to continue to Camarillo, but Southern California TRACON advised the pilot that they were too low for flight following. Approximately 4 minutes layer, the pilot advised they were climbing to avoid a cloud layer. When ATC asked what the pilot planned to do, there was no reply. Radar data indicates that the helicopter climbed to 2300 ft, then began a left descending turn.

So a more complete statement from NTSB would be "the pilot indicated he was climbing but in fact was descending".

It seems NTSB was being conservative with the truth.

I guess we can all understand why, but usually NTSB is less obtuse.

I am not sure how you can come to that conclusion? The only thing the NTSB didn't provide was the second to second timeline of when the radio transmissions fit within the ADS-B data. They can't say "he reported a climb when he was in fact descending" if the radio transmission happened while he was actually climbing!

Ok, then "the pilot indicated he was climbing but shortly after started a rapid descent"?
 
djm18
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:19 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:14 pm

I have a cousin who is a now retired military helicopter pilot, he is wondering in which seat the pilot was sitting and if anyone was "flying" with him from the other seat. He is wondering about the turn to the left, he usually occupied the right seat and his preference was always to turn in that direction.
 
aerosreenivas
Posts: 225
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:40 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:26 pm

The death of one of the greatest Basket Ball Player in the world, Kobe Bryant, this Sunday, due to helicopter crash has left everyone saddened. As the report says, the helicopter flew when the weather was very bad.

My question is Could it have been avoided had one of the victims strongly objected to flying in the very bad weather?

As a fan of this great player after Michael Jordan, I feel that he has 'Died Pretty Soon'. He had lots of things to be fulfilled, both for him personally and for his family.

Please Note: This is taken from the Topic of mine that was created in the Non-Aviation Forum and was shifted locked by the moderators.

Request all the members to share their views on this thought.

Cheers!
 
flybucky
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:44 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:33 pm

Revelation wrote:
Doesn't seem to jive with NTSB saying they were only 20-30 feet short of clearing the mountains, no?
Another case where NTSB did not communicate the situation very well, IMO.

Yeah, the NTSB misinterpreted the question from the reporter (possibly due to poor wording by the reporter). I'm pretty sure the reporter was asking how much the helicopter missed clearing the ENTIRE mountain by, not just the little hill that it hit. So I think their answer was misleading. But if you look at their answer to the followup question later in the briefing, it's clear they were just talking about the little hill that it hit, and there were higher hills surrounding.

Here's the transcript of the NTSB responses (2 parts) from the Jan 28 Media Briefing.

10:40
Jennifer Homendy: There were other hills in the area, but the impact area is at 1085 ft. How much did they clear missing the mountain by? Maybe 20-30 ft. [That should probably be "how much did they MISS CLEARING the mountain by?" The question was not intelligible in the audio, so I don't know if the reporter worded it that way.]

17:25
Jennifer Homendy: The question is on the 20-30 ft. Somebody just asked where the impact site was. It was 1085 ft up. He asked what the height of the hill was, and it was about 20-30 ft above that.

NTSB man: The question was how much did the helicopter miss the hill. It's important to realize there's not one hill. It's a ravine with undulating terrain, so the small outcropping that had the main impact in it. The main impact was about 20-30 from the top of that small hill. But there are actually other higher hills surrounding it. It's in this canyon with small hills within it.

Jennifer Homendy: I don't know that we can say it probably would have hit another hill. That's an assumption so we can't state that.
 
flybucky
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:44 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:45 pm

This is the "hill" (outcropping) that the helicopter struck, that was referred to as 20-30 ft above the main impact site.

Image
 
flybucky
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:44 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:57 pm

There was a question in the NTSB final briefing if the dive was recoverable if they didn't hit the hill/outcropping. Of course, the NTSB could not answer that since it is too early for them to declare any conclusions.

I looked the highest ridge in front of the helicopter's path if it had cleared the hill/outcropping. That ridge is around 1450 ft. It would not have been able to get over 1450 ft from 1085 ft, -4000 fpm, 161 kt (already over 155 kt max speed).

I don't think it could have gone around the ridge either, it is very wide. At 161 kt, I don't think it could have turned that quickly.

Image
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 9176
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:29 pm

ikolkyo wrote:
Can’t believe the aircraft didn’t have a terrain avoidance system. Why is this not mandatory on all aircraft no matter the size. Ugh.


Why? Because a VFR helicopter flies VISUALLY, the Pilot is supposed to remain clear of terrain by visual reference to the ground. When a helicopter operates continually at low-ish altitudes, the TAWS would turn in a distraction with frequent nuisance warnings. TAWS systems are designed to warn of terrain when the pilot cannot visually sight them and the entire flight trajectory is designed to be well clear (IFR minimum altitudes) and terrain separation is accidentally compromised, perhaps once in a career. A helicopter pilot is frequently compromising terrain clearance, by the nature of a helicopter.
 
User avatar
Aesma
Posts: 15330
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:44 pm

Basketball is a popular sport around the world, but a major sport only in the US. Most people around the world had never heard of Kobe Bryant before his death (and I'm sure the accident didn't make the news everywhere either). Just saying.

rfields5421 wrote:
I've seen more than one source that the flight plan destination was the Camarillo Airport. The crash site is about 12 driving miles from the academy, the airport is another 12 driving miles farther west. I suspect - and pure guess work - that the plan was to land in a clear area next to a parking lot across the street from the Academy. Disembark the pax, and move the bird on to Camarillo. The flying low down US-101 would support that in my opinion. While a pilot could file IFR into the small Camarillo airport, he could not fly IFR into a parking lot.


Can a private citizen in the US just land his helicopter on a parking lot just like that ?
 
UWS
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:34 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:50 pm

[threeid][threeid][/threeid][/threeid]

I have one year of experience flying helicopters (approx. 400 flight hours) and some IMC / IFR experience (approx 100 hours), mostly in a simulator (but am not instrumented rated)

I also lived on Las Virgenes Rd for almost 3 years, about three miles north of the crash site, so I know the area well. I have hiked in the hills near the crash site.

IMO, here's what happened. He is flying directly over the 101 at about 300 feet AGL, but the height above sea level is constantly increasing, so as he flies, he has to constantly increase his alt. to stay the same height above ground. He is just below the ceiling and forward visibility is poor (less than a mile). At Las Virgenes, the 101 turns sharply to the left to avoid a large hill at the right (approx 700' tall, perhaps more). He sees the hill and starts a rapid ascent. At this point, he knows he is in over his head because he is close enough to see the hill (based on how close his track passed the hill) even though visibility is close to zero (he is in the clouds). So he does the right thing and begins an emergency 180 left turn. This is standard maneuver when on VFR and inadvertently enter IMC. The idea is to simply go back out the way you came in.

His left turn has a fairly consistent radius, and that tells me he is under control of the AC. Plus, his rate of descent, while fast, is also consistent up until the final ten seconds or so whey you start seeing some spikes. He also knows that his IMC skills are rusty (his company has a policy that their pilots are not allowed to fly in IMC), so he is desperate to get back below the clouds. Since it is easier to begin a gradual left turn rather than to turn on a dime while in the clouds, he starts his turn. However, he is going extremely fast (160 mph or so), so the turning radius is large.

He is descending very fast, so he pulls up a bit to slow the descent at the same time he is turning. That's the first spike you see at around 14 seconds prior to impact. He pulls up again a few seconds later, but he is still in the clouds. Witnesses on the ground hear the chopper blades whirling, but because the AC is in a turn with the witnesses more or less at the center of the turn, they incorrectly perceive a slow speed. However, moments before impact, he breaks through the bottom of the cloud layer and sees another large hill directly in front of him. He tries to pull the nose up but is too late and impact occurs a few seconds later.

He essentially flew the AC into the hill because he did not have VFR conditions until it was too late and becasue he did not know the terrain. This mirrors the Stevie Ray Vaughn crash.

My Conclusions:

1) Pilot should not have entered the hilly Calabasas area under those IMC conditions.

2) Pilot was not allowed to enter IMC but did so anyway.

3) Pilot was going way too fast for the circumstances.

4) Pilot not familiar with the terrain.






at
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 27445
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:52 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Why? Because a VFR helicopter flies VISUALLY, the Pilot is supposed to remain clear of terrain by visual reference to the ground. When a helicopter operates continually at low-ish altitudes, the TAWS would turn in a distraction with frequent nuisance warnings. TAWS systems are designed to warn of terrain when the pilot cannot visually sight them and the entire flight trajectory is designed to be well clear (IFR minimum altitudes) and terrain separation is accidentally compromised, perhaps once in a career. A helicopter pilot is frequently compromising terrain clearance, by the nature of a helicopter.

Thanks for the information, it makes sense to me.

Seems there is no automation to do real time measurement of the minimums i.e. just how far away is that cloud? Seems such a thing could find a pretty good market. Guess the moisture in clouds isn't reflective enough to support measuring distance?

It would be good for a pilot to have a tool to show a VIP exactly why they are turning around. I do realize that weather changes rapidly, but again am wondering if there isn't a way for tech to assist the Mk1 human eye.

Aesma wrote:
Basketball is a popular sport around the world, but a major sport only in the US. Most people around the world had never heard of Kobe Bryant before his death (and I'm sure the accident didn't make the news everywhere either). Just saying.

Kobe (yes, he is a "single name" celebrity here in the US) is much more than a basketball player here. I maybe watch one NBA game a year at most, but am fully aware of who he is and what he represents to others. I'd venture that he's more well known here than any word footballer is, and just like world footballers his off the court/pitch life was something his fans followed along with his sports life.
 
User avatar
DIRECTFLT
Posts: 2907
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:00 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:57 pm

Stephen Colbert and Jon Batiste offer their condolences and discuss the tragic helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester and Ara Zobayan.

Also is Cobert's plea to the NTSB.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1IX-MF82SI
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 9176
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:06 pm

Aesma wrote:
Basketball is a popular sport around the world, but a major sport only in the US. Most people around the world had never heard of Kobe Bryant before his death (and I'm sure the accident didn't make the news everywhere either). Just saying.

rfields5421 wrote:
I've seen more than one source that the flight plan destination was the Camarillo Airport. The crash site is about 12 driving miles from the academy, the airport is another 12 driving miles farther west. I suspect - and pure guess work - that the plan was to land in a clear area next to a parking lot across the street from the Academy. Disembark the pax, and move the bird on to Camarillo. The flying low down US-101 would support that in my opinion. While a pilot could file IFR into the small Camarillo airport, he could not fly IFR into a parking lot.


Can a private citizen in the US just land his helicopter on a parking lot just like that ?


A guy down the road from me used to land his helo in his front yard regularly, then he moved. A rich guy flies into our clays range, lands right front of the lot all the time. It’s a helicopter, after all.
 
airbazar
Posts: 10736
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:09 pm

Aesma wrote:
Basketball is a popular sport around the world, but a major sport only in the US. Most people around the world had never heard of Kobe Bryant before his death (and I'm sure the accident didn't make the news everywhere either). Just saying.

You're either completely delusional or you've been living under a rock for the past 20 years.
Basketball is a major sport with well established professional leagues in many countries. The fact that soccer teams in La Liga, and pro tennis players at the Australian Open chose to honor Kobe Bryant proves that many people knew about him before his death.
I'm from Europe and naturally I read and receive new feeds from European sources and I can tell you it was front page just about everywhere. Heck the BBC interrupted the broadcast to report the accident.
 
flybucky
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:44 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:13 pm

aerosreenivas wrote:
My question is Could it have been avoided had one of the victims strongly objected to flying in the very bad weather?

I'm sure if Kobe objected, the pilot would have cancelled or aborted the flight. Kobe's the one hiring him to fly.
 
rfields5421
Posts: 6374
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:26 pm

Aesma wrote:
Can a private citizen in the US just land his helicopter on a parking lot just like that ?


The parking lot looks 'funny' to me in that the majority of it is not marked for automobile parking. I looked all around the area on Bing maps, and saw nothing marked like a helo pad.

As far where someone can land, I've been to several tourist places across the US over the past six years since selling our home and moving full-time into a RV travel trailer.

In Florida, Michigan and Washington State - I've seen painted signs on six places - that helicopter landings are not allowed by the property owner. One place in Florida when I asked said that they had horses killed as they panicked when some 'rich asshole' decide to land his helicopter to visit the attraction.

The only helicopter landings which I've been a part of since retiring from the US military have been of private property. Specifically two small 1/4 mile dirt oval car race tracks. At one track, one pilot insisted upon landing on the front straight between the 80' tall main light towers, and the 65' tall towers behind the grandstands. We had to move the crowd off the grandstands so the rotor wash would not hit them. (And I've seen a blade strike from a CH-53 throw rotor debris a couple hundred yards. I did not the crowd of a few thousand anywhere close if something happened.) Another evac from the same track by the same air ambulance company less than a year later, the pilot insisted upon landing on the public roadway almost a quarter mile away. Coordinating that landing while he circled over the race track was difficult because the county line ran down the middle of the road.

I've seen helicopters parked in driveways of very nice homes north of Dallas. None of those landing areas are marked on VFR or other aviation charts. I've heard more than one helo pilot tell ATC that he was making an off-airport landing at his client request while I was flying.

But I'm not saying that was the intention of this flight, just a possibility.

Remember this company put a special wrap on the crash aircraft and flew Bryant away from his final game. From a parking lot.
 
User avatar
Aesma
Posts: 15330
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:30 pm

airbazar wrote:
Aesma wrote:
Basketball is a popular sport around the world, but a major sport only in the US. Most people around the world had never heard of Kobe Bryant before his death (and I'm sure the accident didn't make the news everywhere either). Just saying.

You're either completely delusional or you've been living under a rock for the past 20 years.
Basketball is a major sport with well established professional leagues in many countries. The fact that soccer teams in La Liga, and pro tennis players at the Australian Open chose to honor Kobe Bryant proves that many people knew about him before his death.
I'm from Europe and naturally I read and receive new feeds from European sources and I can tell you it was front page just about everywhere. Heck the BBC interrupted the broadcast to report the accident.


High flying professional sportspeople mourning another high flying professional sportsman isn't the same thing as him being well known around the world.
 
SoCalPilot
Posts: 211
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:37 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:56 pm

Aesma wrote:
airbazar wrote:
Aesma wrote:
Basketball is a popular sport around the world, but a major sport only in the US. Most people around the world had never heard of Kobe Bryant before his death (and I'm sure the accident didn't make the news everywhere either). Just saying.

You're either completely delusional or you've been living under a rock for the past 20 years.
Basketball is a major sport with well established professional leagues in many countries. The fact that soccer teams in La Liga, and pro tennis players at the Australian Open chose to honor Kobe Bryant proves that many people knew about him before his death.
I'm from Europe and naturally I read and receive new feeds from European sources and I can tell you it was front page just about everywhere. Heck the BBC interrupted the broadcast to report the accident.


High flying professional sportspeople mourning another high flying professional sportsman isn't the same thing as him being well known around the world.

Eh, sorry, but you're wrong on this one..

In traveling around the world, I too was shocked to learn how popular the NBA was (mostly Lakers and Golden State - the two teams most everyone knows), especially in Asian countries. My fiance is Filipino and all of her friends and family back in the Philippines were going nuts about the news, it was on the front page of almost all the news sites over there.

A simple search of the web turns up news reports about his death in countless countries around the world. From Asia to Australia/New Zealand to Kenya to Europe to the UAE and even Pakistan - his death made headlines around the globe.
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 2885
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:59 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
cessna2 wrote:
The fact they missed clearing the hill by 20-30 feet is unfortunate. A sad day for the LA community and the world.


There is nothing in my view that suggests how missing this hill would have put this craft definitively in the clear. It seems like it was destined for certain catastrophy at that velocity and weather characteristic.


Yes, when descending 2,000 FPM clearing a ridge by 30 feet (vs not by that 30 feet) does not solve much. 15 seconds later at that rate it is below the valley floor.

The NTSB speaker paused on the 2nd question about this, she replied earlier with the clearing of the hill distance, but then basically answered that it clearing was basically a moot point - just moving the debris field to the next valley.
 
User avatar
Aesma
Posts: 15330
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:13 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Aesma wrote:
Basketball is a popular sport around the world, but a major sport only in the US. Most people around the world had never heard of Kobe Bryant before his death (and I'm sure the accident didn't make the news everywhere either). Just saying.

rfields5421 wrote:
I've seen more than one source that the flight plan destination was the Camarillo Airport. The crash site is about 12 driving miles from the academy, the airport is another 12 driving miles farther west. I suspect - and pure guess work - that the plan was to land in a clear area next to a parking lot across the street from the Academy. Disembark the pax, and move the bird on to Camarillo. The flying low down US-101 would support that in my opinion. While a pilot could file IFR into the small Camarillo airport, he could not fly IFR into a parking lot.


Can a private citizen in the US just land his helicopter on a parking lot just like that ?


A guy down the road from me used to land his helo in his front yard regularly, then he moved. A rich guy flies into our clays range, lands right front of the lot all the time. It’s a helicopter, after all.


I checked French rules and you can land anywhere, if the owner agrees, and if it's outside of a city. So no parking lot unless it's in the middle of nowhere.
 
SuperiorPilotMe
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:55 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:28 pm

flybucky wrote:
This is the "hill" (outcropping) that the helicopter struck, that was referred to as 20-30 ft above the main impact site.

Image


This in my mind leaves no doubt it’s CFIT
 
TTailedTiger
Posts: 2953
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:19 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:52 pm

cuban8 wrote:
THS214 wrote:
SocalApproach wrote:

People pay extra money just to get in a shorter line at Disney Land.... We have shown as a society there is a premium for anything to get whatever it is "sooner"

but having said that Im surprised with the surplus of money Kobe has at his disposal, he did not use a company that can get him from point A to B with an IFR flightplan. Sounds like Island Helicopters or whatever its called did not have the means to get that done which is very odd considering how calculated Kobe Bryant has shown himself to be over his lifestyle, You would think he would spend 5 extra minutes to make sure that the chopper he is flying his family around in is the best of the best in 2020. From what it looks like right now it was the best of the best 7+ years ago....not so much right now. Not trying to make this political but Im sure Trump isnt flying around in helicopters that are not IFR capable or with pilots that are not IFR current.

I get kobe isnt a pilot but the media portrays him as an individual who would take the time to get familiar with what is going above and beyond for safety over whats "enough" to get a helicopter charted to fly him around. Dont take what im saying out of context but from what we all know here about VFR/IFR rules I doubt any of us would be signing off for a pilot that wants to fly SVFR to get us to our destination when we have the money to avoid that option. I also do not know what happened and its all speculation at this point but from everything we know so far I am shocked at what we do know about this charter company and how they operate flying around iconic celebrities. Apparently they flew Kawhi Leonard of the LA Clippers around too. Still in shock about all of this


That is a big question. Many people who get always what they want become blind. So they want the pilot who can get the job done. Those who refuse to fly because the weather is not good enough, who want to go IFR, won't fly them again but the pilot who can get the job done. That's why VFR and scud running. And then one too many times.

Those who rent the ride don't know and then they think that the pilot who always get the job done is a great pilot. They never know the danger involved.

This accident is a great example of this. Extremely poor weather, flying low and fast in a mountainous area. A receipt for disaster. But Kobe didn't know. "My pilot can get us there, he is so good." Just one too many times.

For the pilot, once you are THE pilot who can get the job done, a celebrity appreciates it, its really hard to not deliver. You've done it before so you can do it again. Just that this time it was one too many times.

I’m not sure I agree with you. The pilot might have been THE pilot, but is it really that hard to say no to a flight with a celebrity? I can understand that it might be hard to say no on his first couple of “celebrity” flights, but it seems like he’d been around for some time. With that experience/reputation, I doubt anyone would push for it if THE pilot decided it was too risky.

Regardless of the equipment of the helo or the cause of the crash, I find it inexplicable how High-Net-Worth individuals decides to fly in single pilot operations. As a poster mentioned earlier, who would take over the controls in case of the pilot having a heart attack or another severe illness?

Many accidents could possibly have been avoided with one extra set of eyes. From the top of my head:

Emiliano Sala, English Channel (2019)
Bin Laden family, Blackbushe (2017)
Aaliyah, Marsh Harbour (2001)

Until we make significant progress technologically, I will always be against single pilot operations in commercial aviation. Unfortunately, it saddens me to see Kobe as another victim of this unnecessary practice.


Agreed. I am very much against single pilot jet operations like Citations and Phenoms. There is just too much to go wrong with only one pilot. It's always better to have another set of eyes and hands.
 
Chemist
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:46 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:16 pm

This in my mind leaves no doubt it’s CFIT


I'm feeling it's UNCONTROLLED flight into terrain. Minus 4000'/minute at or over max speed for the aircraft doesn't appear to be controlled.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 9176
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:19 pm

Chemist wrote:
I'm feeling it's UNCONTROLLED flight into terrain. Minus 4000'/minute at or over max speed for the aircraft doesn't appear to be controlled.


In NTSB lingo, that is Loss of Control-Inflight resulting in ground collision.



Gf
 
heyjoojoo
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 8:28 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:24 pm

airbazar wrote:
Aesma wrote:
Basketball is a popular sport around the world, but a major sport only in the US. Most people around the world had never heard of Kobe Bryant before his death (and I'm sure the accident didn't make the news everywhere either). Just saying.

You're either completely delusional or you've been living under a rock for the past 20 years.
Basketball is a major sport with well established professional leagues in many countries. The fact that soccer teams in La Liga, and pro tennis players at the Australian Open chose to honor Kobe Bryant proves that many people knew about him before his death.
I'm from Europe and naturally I read and receive new feeds from European sources and I can tell you it was front page just about everywhere. Heck the BBC interrupted the broadcast to report the accident.


Not understanding the reason for insults here.

The other party is stating facts.

Not everyone knows famous basketball celebrities. I'm always shocked that people in our own country don't even know who the VP is.

Humans.
 
SuperiorPilotMe
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:55 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:29 pm

heyjoojoo wrote:
airbazar wrote:
Aesma wrote:
Basketball is a popular sport around the world, but a major sport only in the US. Most people around the world had never heard of Kobe Bryant before his death (and I'm sure the accident didn't make the news everywhere either). Just saying.

You're either completely delusional or you've been living under a rock for the past 20 years.
Basketball is a major sport with well established professional leagues in many countries. The fact that soccer teams in La Liga, and pro tennis players at the Australian Open chose to honor Kobe Bryant proves that many people knew about him before his death.
I'm from Europe and naturally I read and receive new feeds from European sources and I can tell you it was front page just about everywhere. Heck the BBC interrupted the broadcast to report the accident.


Not understanding the reason for insults here.

The other party is stating facts.

Not everyone knows famous basketball celebrities. I'm always shocked that people in our own country don't even know who the VP is.

Humans.


That statement is not necessarily a directed insult but rather exaggerated to illustrate Kobe’s global fame.
 
MontaukMonster
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:41 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:32 pm

Hopefully this will be a lesson to others so they won’t risk or end the lives of their passengers by launching a flight into marginal weather conditions and continuing a flight into deteriorating weather conditions. This flight past over two airports and proceeded into the mountains. Insane. Probably went IMC got spatially disoriented end of story. It happens fast and when you’re close to the ground there’s no time to recover. I feel sorry for all those involved.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 9176
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:37 pm

But, but, probably everyday there’s a marine layer over the LA basin dozens, perhaps hundreds of helicopter flights are flown very safely. Heck, it was 1100-21/2 miles and better at Camarillo, is close to VFR.

GF
 
User avatar
remcor
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:25 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:55 pm

aerosreenivas wrote:
My question is Could it have been avoided had one of the victims strongly objected to flying in the very bad weather?


I mean yeah, if Kobe said he didn't want to fly they wouldn't fly... he was paying. But the Pilot in Command is in command for a reason: you trust them to make those decisions. I took a friend and his two kids up flying around San Diego in a Cessna last Saturday. They trusted ME to exercise the judgement on whether it was safe or not - and I'm just an amateur. A professional pilot holds even more trust. Likewise when you get on a commercial flight you don't expect to question the judgement of the pilots.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 15223
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:21 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
But, but, probably everyday there’s a marine layer over the LA basin dozens, perhaps hundreds of helicopter flights are flown very safely. Heck, it was 1100-21/2 miles and better at Camarillo, is close to VFR.

GF

New rule of thumb: If the Sheriff isn’t flying, DRIVE!
 
SuperiorPilotMe
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:55 pm

Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:23 am

MontaukMonster wrote:
Hopefully this will be a lesson to others so they won’t risk or end the lives of their passengers by launching a flight into marginal weather conditions and continuing a flight into deteriorating weather conditions.


There have been dozens if not hundreds of weather-induced fatal accidents that should’ve been “the last one” and there will continue to be more. The human element combined with probability will ensure this.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos