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dragon6172
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:44 pm

MrBretz wrote:
Let’s see. I am flying along the 101 and it gets real foggy in front of me. Can’t helicopters just stop, do a 180, and retrace your steps? Why make 2 left turns to do the same thing?

You assume the two left turns were done purposely. I would assume both turns, but more assuredly the second left turn were inadvertent.
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dragon6172
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:51 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
If stuck in the clouds couldn't the pilot simply ascended up the through the clouds until he was in the clear notifying ATC while doing this?

That is the safest route, and the one taught for inadvertent IMC. All this jibber jabber about hovering and turning and slowing down is all useful while still VFR. Once in the clouds or fog the only option is to climb to a safe altitude and contact ATC
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ikramerica
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:09 am

LTC8K6 wrote:
ikramerica wrote:
rfields5421 wrote:

I take issue with what I see as an unsupported assumption.

The weather was not 'very bad' when the flight departed.

Bryant was an experienced passenger. I doubt it was possible that he did not recognize that conditions were getting worse. But I could be wrong.

Also as a parent, apparently a good one, I doubt he would risk his child's life for a basketball game if he thought it was dangerous. Yes, she might be extremely disappointed, but at least she would be alive to be disappointed..

This is not like the 2001 G-3 crash at Aspen, the classic 'getthereitis' crash. Where the investigation uncovered the push by the client, and the pilot refusal to disappoint the client.

We will never know what Bryant said, or did not say. Or if the pilot communicated his intentions/ plans to anyone else.

If Bryant were that type of client the pushed a pilot to take chances, I think we would have heard about it already.

People make judgmental mistakes every day. Some have horrible consequences.

Personally, I see it as a tragic instance of a pilot pushing too far trying to please a client, trying one last thing before turning back. It was a bad decision.

But I also have to admit that I will never know for sure why the bird crashed.

I’m not a Bryant fan in any way, but I agree that I don’t think he would push them to keep going in zero visibility.

Having driven that stretch of 101 dozens of times including getting off the highway at most of the exits and taking a test drive through the surrounding roads, I think what happened was very simple.

Things deteriorated rapidly as they approached Calabasas Mercedes and the first opportunity to turn back was that residential area near Las Virgines. While not quite as steep, think of the stretch before La Virgines like something out of Star Wars (1 or 5). Can’t go left, can’t go right.

The experienced pilot knew that area well. He had taken them that way many times before. But the turn around execution failed and we will hopefully find out why. My guess is that off the highway to the left the fog cover was even denser as it got stuck in the mountain bowl.


They had apparently not used the route very often according to the LA Times. Last 2 dozen trips used a different route. Flew the route because of the fog, and would have used a different route normally.

https://ca-times.brightspotcdn.com/dims ... adding.png

He knew the area very well. There is no doubt.

And it may be that because he knew it so well he waited too long and got in too much trouble before throwing in the towel.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:59 am

Aesma wrote:
Can someone give an indication of the cost of chartering that helicopter (for a non owner), and the cost involved in getting 2 pilots instead of 1 ?

I don't know about the costs, but it's not clear two pilots would have helped, unless the FO talked the CA into turning back much earlier.

As pointed out in this thread, the real difference would have been an IFR capable operator with a current IFR pilot, yet these are unattainable in that part of the world and many others too.

The cost of IFR equipment and training is so high and the need for it is so infrequent, none of the charter operators are IFR capable operations.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:38 am

Aesma wrote:
Can someone give an indication of the cost of chartering that helicopter (for a non owner), and the cost involved in getting 2 pilots instead of 1 ?


I’d guess a contractor pilot on an S-76 would get $1200-$1500 per day.


Gf
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:12 am

Light jet contractors are in that range today, so probably helo pilots are too. A VFR 135/helicopter operator won’t have extra pilots to serve as co-pilots, so likely answer is to contract. That also brings up the question to charter customers—do you want a co-pilot, it’ll cost you money.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:20 am

I found estimates of 4,000-5,000 USD/hour to charter a S76, let's say it's with one pilot, Kobe would have paid what, at least 3 hours ? A second pilot wouldn't have made a big difference in cost.

Yes that pilot might not have helped, but since this is looking like pilot error, another pilot could have been a life saver.
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JayinKitsap
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:45 am

Revelation wrote:
Aesma wrote:
Can someone give an indication of the cost of chartering that helicopter (for a non owner), and the cost involved in getting 2 pilots instead of 1 ?

I don't know about the costs, but it's not clear two pilots would have helped, unless the FO talked the CA into turning back much earlier.

As pointed out in this thread, the real difference would have been an IFR capable operator with a current IFR pilot, yet these are unattainable in that part of the world and many others too.

The cost of IFR equipment and training is so high and the need for it is so infrequent, none of the charter operators are IFR capable operations.


I would also suspect insurance would be greatly different. IFR flying in a helo has a significantly higher chance of incident than VFR. The insurance company would much rather just cover VFR where everyone goes home when the weather is bad.
 
texdravid
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:29 am

The only things I will add is these three points:

Sheer bad luck. This weekend is clear and 75-80 degrees. Not a cloud in the sky kind of day in SoCal. Also, what if the practice was at 3 or 4 pm? The fog would have burned off some if Kobe left later.

I wonder if anyone knows if the civilian helicopter accident rate in May or June when there is persistent fog and marine layer in SoCal (May/June gloom) is higher than other parts of the year like July-November when there is very little fog.

Would the result be the same if Kobe had lived in another part of the country that has significantly more bad weather and mountains like Seattle or Denver. Would the pilots and helicopter companies that offer local flights offer more IFR flying and expertise and know when to quit and land?
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NIKV69
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:50 am

Revelation wrote:
Aesma wrote:
Can someone give an indication of the cost of chartering that helicopter (for a non owner), and the cost involved in getting 2 pilots instead of 1 ?

I don't know about the costs, but it's not clear two pilots would have helped, unless the FO talked the CA into turning back much earlier.

As pointed out in this thread, the real difference would have been an IFR capable operator with a current IFR pilot, yet these are unattainable in that part of the world and many others too.

The cost of IFR equipment and training is so high and the need for it is so infrequent, none of the charter operators are IFR capable operations.


That how it is out here. At IFP we have no ILS system. You have to fly in here VFR. I think I have seen 3 times in the last 10 years where the visibility was bad as it was in Kobe's crash and they just divert to LAS and bus the pax the 90 minutes back here. It's just not worth it moneywise to risk the crash when you can't see or land on automation.

This helicopter should have not been flying. Everyone knows it. The real story of who made the call to fly and not drive is not being discussed but I sure would love to know what happened.
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QuickSilverNG
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:08 am

FlyHappy wrote:
I am continually amazed at the number of incredibly wealthy people who will regularly fly in single engine/single pilot aircraft, given the order of magnitude of higher risk and their financial ability to avoid it.


This was posted ten months ago.
 
snasteve
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:30 am

https://youtu.be/OArVMTPNm5o

New York Times did a pretty good job showing the path of the flight.

After departing SNA only 13 minutes for them to reach the holding point north of downtown LA where they circled for longer waiting for clearance to continue on into the valley.

That is an awful drive and easily an hour without much traffic.
 
flybucky
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:52 am

WIederling wrote:
What was the intended path? ( if that is know ) Follow the road any further ? or fly into the "glob" of housing right from the crash site?

The original intended path was to keep following 101 until they reached Camarillo Airport.
 
WIederling
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:02 am

flybucky wrote:
WIederling wrote:
What was the intended path? ( if that is know ) Follow the road any further ? or fly into the "glob" of housing right from the crash site?

The original intended path was to keep following 101 until they reached Camarillo Airport.


The spiral pattern would then indicate disorientation and ignoring the compass heading ?
( would the pilot have had a map display of sorts? or just more or less basic instrumentation?)
Murphy is an optimist
 
flybucky
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:33 am

WIederling wrote:
The spiral pattern would then indicate disorientation and ignoring the compass heading ?

My theory is spatial disorientation leading to loss of control.

Not disorientation in the sense of not knowing the compass heading. The pilot could have known the compass heading was off, but he couldn't gain control of the helicopter to save it.
 
NIKV69
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:38 pm

snasteve wrote:
https://youtu.be/OArVMTPNm5o

New York Times did a pretty good job showing the path of the flight.

After departing SNA only 13 minutes for them to reach the holding point north of downtown LA where they circled for longer waiting for clearance to continue on into the valley.

That is an awful drive and easily an hour without much traffic.


Sunday morning is the only time it's not an awful drive. I did I-5 that morning from LA to SD. No matter what it's better a drive to risk it with no visibility.
90 Day Fiancé has taught me that Russian woman are excellent.
 
airplanecrazy
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:47 pm

I have been continuing my amateur efforts at crash reconstruction. I will reiterate that I know that I am not with the NTSB and that they will bring much more sophisticated analysis, but I thought the members of this forum might be interested in my efforts. I appreciate any suggestions for improvement. My assumptions include that the ADS-B altitude adjustment is about 270' (from Zeke), that the crash happened 6.7 seconds after the last ADS-B data from Flight Radar 24 (from flybucky), that there has to be a tightening left turn in the last 6.7 seconds to match the debris field, and that the rate of decent was roughly constant until impact.

The clock starts 2:00 minutes before the last ADS-B data from Flight Radar 24. The camera is tilted down 10 degrees until 1:45 in the video, when I tilt the camera down to aim along the pitch of descent. The camera yaw is tied to the ADS-B "track" until there is no more ADS-B data, at which point I just aim along the flight path.

Lastly I will note that the ADS-B data from Flight Radar 24 has inputs from multiple receivers, and the timestamps they affix are circumspect. I believe I have found duplicate data with timestamps that differ by up to a second. This makes timing very challenging.

I am very appreciative of the folks at Google for letting me use Google Earth Studio (I had to submit a request to access the preview), to the folks at Flight Radar 24 for making the data available, to the Australian ATSB for their CSV to KML tool, and to flybucky for some suggestions he gave.

I have decided not to post this video to YouTube until I get feedback from the experts on this forum. Here is a link to the video, and I have found that downloading it seems to give better quality that looking at it in a browser. Thanks in advance for any comments you may have.
https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ai5ul4veNOgHhYl0RpU ... w?e=kad472

Here is an Google Earth illustration of my reconstruction:
Image

Here is the KML of my reconstruction:
https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ai5ul4veNOgHhYl1dag ... g?e=ORtHRp
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:28 pm

Hugely impressive, nice work. I’m sure the NTSB reconstruction will be close. If the other data available to the investigation corroborates your presentation, it’ll be very similar to this one. Altitudes are AGL, not MSL; but early one the problem of rising terrain and lowered ceiling and visibility should have become obvious. The rapid increase in turn rate does indicate LOC-I following inadvertently entering IMC. I believe the investigation will show a pilot with little IFR Helicopter proficiency, as it isn’t needed in their operation. Lack of proficiency leads to reluctance to enter IMC and a desire, at all costs, to regain visual contact with the ground. If one is proficient and current, the easy answer would be a pull up straight ahead. He might have been trying to reverse course, entered cloud and lost control in the turn.

Departing, based on local weather at both SNA and CMA was reasonable, but starting up 101 was the bad call.
 
LTC8K6
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:38 pm

The doorbell video with the audio of the end of the flight just sounds like a normal helicopter flyby until the sounds of impact.
It doesn't even sound like a fast flyby.
 
MrBretz
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:48 pm

airplanecrazy, spectacular!!!!

Thank you.
 
ptmac
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:12 pm

RetiredWeasel wrote:
The crash site is 34.136932°,-118.692334°. Plug those into your favorite map app and speculate away. The elevation at the crash site is 1086 feet. I wouldn't lock in CFT as the cause yet. And the ADS-B data at the end of the track is subject to anomalies, so I wouldn't take that as gospel either. Just something to think about.


Thanks for the site info.

Somewhere is a file with 2 data points per second, and it shows a controlled flight until the last second. How long it was until impact not known, but it was near to the wreckage site.

Somebody mentioned tail rotor failure. There is some evidence of some issue with the tail rotor, including a claim by one or more that they can distinguish TR sound from MR. The TR drive shaft is separated and fuselage is separated at the U-joint prior to transition up to the TR. For some reason, the vertical fin, missing the TR blades and maybe hub, is at right angles to, and at the start of the wreckage trail. May all be just the way the impact distributed things. Main rotor may have chopped of the back section. The break is where that would have happened.

Hopefully the 10 day preliminary from the NTSB will give some insights.
 
snasteve
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:30 pm

NIKV69 wrote:
snasteve wrote:
https://youtu.be/OArVMTPNm5o

New York Times did a pretty good job showing the path of the flight.

After departing SNA only 13 minutes for them to reach the holding point north of downtown LA where they circled for longer waiting for clearance to continue on into the valley.

That is an awful drive and easily an hour without much traffic.


Sunday morning is the only time it's not an awful drive. I did I-5 that morning from LA to SD. No matter what it's better a drive to risk it with no visibility.


Visibility was fine up until the area that they crashed. The fog was just coming over the hills from the Pacific so it was probably fine when they left. The pilot had just done the flight the day prior and Kobe has many times as well, they had no reasons to worry.
 
Chemist
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:40 pm

Yes this is very impressive work.
 
IADFCO
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:48 pm

@airplanecrazy -- yes, truly impressive!

In a previous post you pointed out that you had to put in a tighter left turn at the end to match the debris field. Does your latest reconstruction include that final tighter turn? From your picture it would seem that the estimated trajectory could be moved to the right, as long as the impact point was to the left of the ridge. Then the debris could have tumbled down the hill into the final position. The separation between the tail portion and the rest could just be random, or could be due to the separation of the tail on impact or just before, with the bulk of the aircraft further "propelled" by the still rotating rotor into its final position. It would be very interesting to know the position of the impact point (or points), which we can't know without a site inspection.
 
RightRudder
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:26 pm

IADFCO wrote:
@airplanecrazy -- yes, truly impressive!

In a previous post you pointed out that you had to put in a tighter left turn at the end to match the debris field. Does your latest reconstruction include that final tighter turn? From your picture it would seem that the estimated trajectory could be moved to the right, as long as the impact point was to the left of the ridge. Then the debris could have tumbled down the hill into the final position. The separation between the tail portion and the rest could just be random, or could be due to the separation of the tail on impact or just before, with the bulk of the aircraft further "propelled" by the still rotating rotor into its final position. It would be very interesting to know the position of the impact point (or points), which we can't know without a site inspection.



Well said.
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana".
 
airplanecrazy
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:35 pm

IADFCO wrote:
@airplanecrazy -- yes, truly impressive!

In a previous post you pointed out that you had to put in a tighter left turn at the end to match the debris field. Does your latest reconstruction include that final tighter turn? From your picture it would seem that the estimated trajectory could be moved to the right, as long as the impact point was to the left of the ridge. Then the debris could have tumbled down the hill into the final position. The separation between the tail portion and the rest could just be random, or could be due to the separation of the tail on impact or just before, with the bulk of the aircraft further "propelled" by the still rotating rotor into its final position. It would be very interesting to know the position of the impact point (or points), which we can't know without a site inspection.


It does include a tightening turn. Here are some closeups:
Image

Zoomed in:
Image

Do you think I need to adjust either the primary impact point to the right or adjust the approach angle (or both)? If I move to the right at all I will hit the simulated tree on the ridge immediately before impact.
Last edited by airplanecrazy on Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
ikramerica
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:43 pm

snasteve wrote:
NIKV69 wrote:
snasteve wrote:
https://youtu.be/OArVMTPNm5o

New York Times did a pretty good job showing the path of the flight.

After departing SNA only 13 minutes for them to reach the holding point north of downtown LA where they circled for longer waiting for clearance to continue on into the valley.

That is an awful drive and easily an hour without much traffic.


Sunday morning is the only time it's not an awful drive. I did I-5 that morning from LA to SD. No matter what it's better a drive to risk it with no visibility.


Visibility was fine up until the area that they crashed. The fog was just coming over the hills from the Pacific so it was probably fine when they left. The pilot had just done the flight the day prior and Kobe has many times as well, they had no reasons to worry.

Visibility was not fine. Ceiling was low and fog/cloud was clinging to every hillside.

They circled in Burbank and could likely not see griffith park or wildwood canyan park hillsides. They were buzzing neighborhoods and rattling houses at low altitude on a Sunday morning.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
Indy
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:20 am

One story I was looking at indicated the helicopter banked left followed by a rapid descent at a rate of approximately 5,000 feet per minute. The impact was estimated at 184 mph. I have also heard a recording of the crash and you couldn't hear any obvious mechanical issues. Didn't the pilot stop responding to the tower before the crash? Piecing this all together makes me wonder if the pilot suffered some sort of medical emergency and slumped over the controls and crashed. The way the interior is designed, no one from the back could have helped. If one of the passengers was riding up front, not sure they could have saved the helicopter if the pilot did indeed slump over the controls. How could one person get the pilot off the controls, keep him off the controls, and save the helicopter.... all in about 12 seconds.
IND to RDU to OKC in 18 months. This is what my life has become.
 
RightRudder
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:59 am

Going westbound, on the Ventura Fwy., from Calabasas Pkwy. to Las Virgenes Rd. the highway distance is approx. 3 1/2 miles. The freeways elevation drops from approx. 1000 ft. at Calabasas Pkwy. to approx. 800 ft at Las Virgenes Rd. This may be a factor which contributed to a variance in the indicated altitude.
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana".
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:11 am

ikramerica wrote:
snasteve wrote:
NIKV69 wrote:

Sunday morning is the only time it's not an awful drive. I did I-5 that morning from LA to SD. No matter what it's better a drive to risk it with no visibility.


Visibility was fine up until the area that they crashed. The fog was just coming over the hills from the Pacific so it was probably fine when they left. The pilot had just done the flight the day prior and Kobe has many times as well, they had no reasons to worry.

Visibility was not fine. Ceiling was low and fog/cloud was clinging to every hillside.

They circled in Burbank and could likely not see griffith park or wildwood canyan park hillsides. They were buzzing neighborhoods and rattling houses at low altitude on a Sunday morning.


Reported ceiling and visibility throughout the LA basin was 1100’ and 2-1/2 miles, very adequate for helicopter operations WITHIN the basin, not so much in the hills at Calabasas. The circled for ATC as the tower controlled airspace requires 3 miles.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:13 am

Indy wrote:
One story I was looking at indicated the helicopter banked left followed by a rapid descent at a rate of approximately 5,000 feet per minute. The impact was estimated at 184 mph. I have also heard a recording of the crash and you couldn't hear any obvious mechanical issues. Didn't the pilot stop responding to the tower before the crash? Piecing this all together makes me wonder if the pilot suffered some sort of medical emergency and slumped over the controls and crashed. The way the interior is designed, no one from the back could have helped. If one of the passengers was riding up front, not sure they could have saved the helicopter if the pilot did indeed slump over the controls. How could one person get the pilot off the controls, keep him off the controls, and save the helicopter.... all in about 12 seconds.


LA ME has already ruled death by blunt force trauma, not indicative of incapacitation. SoCal Approach, not “.the tower” lost radar contact due to low altitude, but still had radio contact.
 
ikramerica
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:41 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
ikramerica wrote:
snasteve wrote:

Visibility was fine up until the area that they crashed. The fog was just coming over the hills from the Pacific so it was probably fine when they left. The pilot had just done the flight the day prior and Kobe has many times as well, they had no reasons to worry.

Visibility was not fine. Ceiling was low and fog/cloud was clinging to every hillside.

They circled in Burbank and could likely not see griffith park or wildwood canyan park hillsides. They were buzzing neighborhoods and rattling houses at low altitude on a Sunday morning.


Reported ceiling and visibility throughout the LA basin was 1100’ and 2-1/2 miles, very adequate for helicopter operations WITHIN the basin, not so much in the hills at Calabasas. The circled for ATC as the tower controlled airspace requires 3 miles.

1. I live here at 895ft. It was foggy. Not 2.5 miles visibility. When I heard about the accident I went outside and had the gut feeling that get-there-itis led to overconfidence. But I still think the suddenly slumped over onto the controls during the emergency maneuver is possible.
2. Burbank at 600ft is the “bottom” of the San Fernando valley and the elevation gradually goes up to 875 at Encino, and reaches 925 feet at Calabassas (With the 101 going higher at 1000) before descending through Agoura and entering Ventura County. So conditions were gradually deteriorating as the space under the cover was squeezed. It’s not sudden, though it might have thickened considerably as they started descending on the ocean side of the hills.
3. The sheriff doesn’t agree with you as being good flying weather as they had grounded their copters.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
ptmac
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:28 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Indy wrote:
One story I was looking at indicated the helicopter banked left followed by a rapid descent at a rate of approximately 5,000 feet per minute. The impact was estimated at 184 mph. I have also heard a recording of the crash and you couldn't hear any obvious mechanical issues. Didn't the pilot stop responding to the tower before the crash? Piecing this all together makes me wonder if the pilot suffered some sort of medical emergency and slumped over the controls and crashed. The way the interior is designed, no one from the back could have helped. If one of the passengers was riding up front, not sure they could have saved the helicopter if the pilot did indeed slump over the controls. How could one person get the pilot off the controls, keep him off the controls, and save the helicopter.... all in about 12 seconds.


LA ME has already ruled death by blunt force trauma, not indicative of incapacitation. SoCal Approach, not “.the tower” lost radar contact due to low altitude, but still had radio contact.


I think when there is an obvious cause of death, the most obvious is stated. That finding doesn't necessarily exclude some not fatal incapacitation prior to impact. I expect there was an autopsy, and depending on the state of the remains, it might have been possible to say there was a small stroke, for instance. I expect that will be in the final NTSB report, perhaps even in the interim coming up.

With 9 or board, the left front would have been occupied. It would be an extraordinary passenger who could have successfully intervened.

The data that was made available by AirplaneCrazy above shows several squawk codes, including 1200, but also some coming at places where there was no ATC instruction to change squawk. One squawk was 235? Then back to 1200.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:28 am

To me the descending turn at very high negative fpm and forward speed is an indication of loss of control.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
Indy
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:37 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
LA ME has already ruled death by blunt force trauma, not indicative of incapacitation. SoCal Approach, not “.the tower” lost radar contact due to low altitude, but still had radio contact.


Fine. SoCal approach lost contact. I haven't seen any evidence that there was radio communication beyond that. Do you have a source? Same goes for the ME ruling.
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jmry888
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:43 am

We are curious . What makes this guy any more important then one of the service ( military ) members dying in an helicopter crash ? Most the military members have families , etc. What makes this guy more important ? The military members from all the countries give back way more than these people.
 
IADFCO
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:46 am

airplanecrazy wrote:
[...]
Do you think I need to adjust either the primary impact point to the right or adjust the approach angle (or both)? If I move to the right at all I will hit the simulated tree on the ridge immediately before impact.


I would try a little bit of both, but not in the sense that you are wrong and I am right, or vice versa, more in the sense of proposing a range of possibilities, since that's the best we can try to do with the information available. With reference to your path reconstruction picture, I'm thinking of a point roughly where the arrow of your "my estimated path" blue box points to, i.e., just about at the ridge of the hill, maybe even a bit further back, to account for the residual forward motion that the aircraft must have had because of its momentum. Not on the other side, because the pieces would have tumbled in the other direction of the ridge.

GalaxyFlyer, you wrote "If one is proficient and current, the easy answer would be a pull up straight ahead." That's exactly what I would think (I'm an engineer, though, not a pilot), so I don't think that we can rule out at this stage (and again, with the limited information we have here) that he tried to do exactly that, but could not do it because of a mechanical failure. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, and extrapolating from the final report of Copterline Flight 103, something may have happened at the swashplate. In the Copterline case it was a runaway swashplate actuator, due to a peculiar form of actuator fluid contamination. Here it might mean any problem with one of the swashplate actuators that broke the control chain from stick to blades.
 
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gatibosgru
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:09 am

jmry888 wrote:
We are curious . What makes this guy any more important then one of the service ( military ) members dying in an helicopter crash ? Most the military members have families , etc. What makes this guy more important ? The military members from all the countries give back way more than these people.


"You and your friends" should understand that:

a. No one is saying he is more important that anyone else.
b. Naturally a public figure will get more attention than the average joe.
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LTC8K6
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:32 am

Kinda' looks like it hit basically nose first and did a forward somersault up the hill. Probably at a slight sideways angle.
 
planecane
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:14 pm

ptmac wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Indy wrote:
One story I was looking at indicated the helicopter banked left followed by a rapid descent at a rate of approximately 5,000 feet per minute. The impact was estimated at 184 mph. I have also heard a recording of the crash and you couldn't hear any obvious mechanical issues. Didn't the pilot stop responding to the tower before the crash? Piecing this all together makes me wonder if the pilot suffered some sort of medical emergency and slumped over the controls and crashed. The way the interior is designed, no one from the back could have helped. If one of the passengers was riding up front, not sure they could have saved the helicopter if the pilot did indeed slump over the controls. How could one person get the pilot off the controls, keep him off the controls, and save the helicopter.... all in about 12 seconds.


LA ME has already ruled death by blunt force trauma, not indicative of incapacitation. SoCal Approach, not “.the tower” lost radar contact due to low altitude, but still had radio contact.


I think when there is an obvious cause of death, the most obvious is stated. That finding doesn't necessarily exclude some not fatal incapacitation prior to impact. I expect there was an autopsy, and depending on the state of the remains, it might have been possible to say there was a small stroke, for instance. I expect that will be in the final NTSB report, perhaps even in the interim coming up.

With 9 or board, the left front would have been occupied. It would be an extraordinary passenger who could have successfully intervened.

The data that was made available by AirplaneCrazy above shows several squawk codes, including 1200, but also some coming at places where there was no ATC instruction to change squawk. One squawk was 235? Then back to 1200.


I'm sure the ME specifically looked for issues that the pilot may have had. He knew there was an investigation into the cause of a crash. Unless the brain was burned severely or pulverized, the ME can find evidence of stroke or blood/oxygen deprivation.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:09 pm

ikramerica wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
ikramerica wrote:
Visibility was not fine. Ceiling was low and fog/cloud was clinging to every hillside.

They circled in Burbank and could likely not see griffith park or wildwood canyan park hillsides. They were buzzing neighborhoods and rattling houses at low altitude on a Sunday morning.


Reported ceiling and visibility throughout the LA basin was 1100’ and 2-1/2 miles, very adequate for helicopter operations WITHIN the basin, not so much in the hills at Calabasas. The circled for ATC as the tower controlled airspace requires 3 miles.

1. I live here at 895ft. It was foggy. Not 2.5 miles visibility. When I heard about the accident I went outside and had the gut feeling that get-there-itis led to overconfidence. But I still think the suddenly slumped over onto the controls during the emergency maneuver is possible.
2. Burbank at 600ft is the “bottom” of the San Fernando valley and the elevation gradually goes up to 875 at Encino, and reaches 925 feet at Calabassas (With the 101 going higher at 1000) before descending through Agoura and entering Ventura County. So conditions were gradually deteriorating as the space under the cover was squeezed. It’s not sudden, though it might have thickened considerably as they started descending on the ocean side of the hills.
3. The sheriff doesn’t agree with you as being good flying weather as they had grounded their copters.


1. Yes, rising terrain brings the ceilings down, weather reported, which is what governs operations, was well within FAR limits in Class G airspace and only slightly less than in Class D.

2. True enough, didn’t argue otherwise, fine in the LA basin as shown by the many flights operating there. Not so much in the hills.

3. Pray tell, how the LA Sheriff’s minimums, based on their mission, capabilities govern other operators. My department has lots of increased margins for ops than extend beyond the FARs, so what?

4. Stroke or heart failure is possible, but that’s a very long tail risk event compared to 40 years of helicopter accident history. Yes, and could have been struck by a meteor, too.

The problem with the “pull up to get on top of the marine layer”; is the pilot, non-current in IFR, without charts or knowledge of KCMA has to either have enough fuel to wait for it to clear or fly an approach in IMC which is likely harder that the simple pull up.

GF
 
airplanecrazy
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:08 pm

IADFCO wrote:
airplanecrazy wrote:
[...]
Do you think I need to adjust either the primary impact point to the right or adjust the approach angle (or both)? If I move to the right at all I will hit the simulated tree on the ridge immediately before impact.


I would try a little bit of both, but not in the sense that you are wrong and I am right, or vice versa, more in the sense of proposing a range of possibilities, since that's the best we can try to do with the information available. With reference to your path reconstruction picture, I'm thinking of a point roughly where the arrow of your "my estimated path" blue box points to, i.e., just about at the ridge of the hill, maybe even a bit further back, to account for the residual forward motion that the aircraft must have had because of its momentum. Not on the other side, because the pieces would have tumbled in the other direction of the ridge.



I have been reviewing the following NTSB video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvjzFWbJJxo&feature=youtu.be&start=62&end=79

Are you saying that the path should be a bit straighter coming into my estimated impact point (the first circle in my picture below)? The last circle is my estimate of the final resting place of the fuselage.
Image
 
RightRudder
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:26 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:

The problem with the “pull up to get on top of the marine layer”; is the pilot, non-current in IFR, without charts or knowledge of KCMA has to either have enough fuel to wait for it to clear or fly an approach in IMC which is likely harder that the simple pull up.

GF



Is there any evidence that the pilot was not IFR current? Has the logbook been released?
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana".
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:29 pm

RightRudder wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:

The problem with the “pull up to get on top of the marine layer”; is the pilot, non-current in IFR, without charts or knowledge of KCMA has to either have enough fuel to wait for it to clear or fly an approach in IMC which is likely harder that the simple pull up.

GF



Is there any evidence that the pilot was not IFR current? Has the logbook been released?


No, but highly unlikely as the operator he flew for the last ten years is VFR-only for helicopters, so when would he fly IFR.

As to the impact point, this from an experienced helo investigator over at PPW,

When helicopters auger in, even with a near vertical high VVI descent, the debris field does tend to spread out in a wide circle. This is due to the torque of the airframe wanting to rotate in the opposite direction of the rotor especially if the airframe bounces after the initial impact.

Youtube FNG helo owners wrecking their birds on the first hover attempt and then multiply by 10.

That is unless the the debris scatter is confined by terrain, buildings, trees, etc.

Of course with big twin rotor helicopters like the Chinook, the debris field can look a bit different as those big rotors are spinning in opposite directions so shit flys everywhere and for quite a distance.

Rotary wing accident sites can be a lot more challenging than the classic high or low angle impact scenarios of fixed wing hits and there are visual illusions experienced by helicopter pilots not really encountered by our fixed wing brethren.

Just ask any Army pilot when they had to explain the 12 visual illusions during their annual check ride.
 
RightRudder
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:39 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
RightRudder wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:

The problem with the “pull up to get on top of the marine layer”; is the pilot, non-current in IFR, without charts or knowledge of KCMA has to either have enough fuel to wait for it to clear or fly an approach in IMC which is likely harder that the simple pull up.

GF



Is there any evidence that the pilot was not IFR current? Has the logbook been released?


No, but highly unlikely as the operator he flew for the last ten years is VFR-only for helicopters, so when would he fly IFR. [quote]

Is there any evidence that the pilot had IIFR time in between his real job?
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana".
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:57 pm

That was his real job. Somewhere in the multiple pages of multiple threads of multiple forums, it was posted he worked there for ten years and was chief pilot. If anyone was the company check airman, it would be him. If he had any reasonably current IFR recency, they’d be an IFR Part 135 helicopter certificate holder. Some of this is cut-and-dried stuff.

GF
 
RightRudder
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:02 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
That was his real job.
Wow! You are saying that his real job was as an instructor teaching as an IIFR. It was not for the VFR fixed based operator?
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana".
 
RightRudder
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:17 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
That was his real job. Somewhere in the multiple pages of multiple threads of multiple forums, it was posted he worked there for ten years and was chief pilot. If anyone was the company check airman, it would be him. If he had any reasonably current IFR recency, they’d be an IFR Part 135 helicopter certificate holder. Some of this is cut-and-dried stuff.

GF


My point is that even if he was the VFR check airman with the company, he could of been flying on the side. Is there evidence that he was not current as a IIFR pilot earning extra income training students? Thanks in advance.
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana".
 
hivue
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:45 pm

gatibosgru wrote:
jmry888 wrote:
We are curious . What makes this guy any more important then one of the service ( military ) members dying in an helicopter crash ? Most the military members have families , etc. What makes this guy more important ? The military members from all the countries give back way more than these people.


"You and your friends" should understand that:

a. No one is saying he is more important that anyone else.
b. Naturally a public figure will get more attention than the average joe.


The fact that this thread is about a helicopter crash and has gone to 12 parts should go a long way answering that question.

I have heard that the Buddy Holly crash is more or less the reason for the existence of Part 135. That was just another Bonanza crash.
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
BravoOne
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:13 pm

Revelation wrote:
Aesma wrote:
Can someone give an indication of the cost of chartering that helicopter (for a non owner), and the cost involved in getting 2 pilots instead of 1 ?

I don't know about the costs, but it's not clear two pilots would have helped, unless the FO talked the CA into turning back much earlier.

As pointed out in this thread, the real difference would have been an IFR capable operator with a current IFR pilot, yet these are unattainable in that part of the world and many others too.

The cost of IFR equipment and training is so high and the need for it is so infrequent, none of the charter operators are IFR capable operations.



I flew for a corporate operation out of BFI and we had a S76C+ among several other RW aircraft. They never flew without 2 pilots anywhere. The S76 was based on a yacht, and I suspect that in some countries the 2 pilot crew was "required" for ceratin operations. I agree, that had there been 2 pilots on this machine, on that fateful day, things may have turned out different.

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