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LCDFlight
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:31 pm

texdravid wrote:
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?


About bad luck... because SoCal is usually sunny, the existence of clouds was bad luck? A professional pilot is paid to deal with clouds and make appropriate decisions. He was complacent having a pattern of conduct that only works on Sunny days, expecting every day will be sunny in the future. Not good enough IMHO, non pilot here.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:51 pm

RightRudder wrote:
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.

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.

I haven't heard much discussion of the pilot's qualifications or currency.

On the blancolario (sp?) link given earlier in this thread, the helo pilot being interviewed said the IFR rating was kind of a joke in that you can get an IFR rating without ever flying into a cloud. The student wears a device designed to limit visibility to the instrument panel, but he said it lets you 'cheat' and get a visual fix from time to time. Also, of course, it does nothing to build the skills up to recognize onset of inadvertent IFR. I wonder how the IIFR instructor stays current if no actual cloud flying is performed.
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zeke
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:54 pm

Aesma wrote:
To me the descending turn at very high negative fpm and forward speed is an indication of loss of control.


I suspect the NTSB may indicate the CFIT was as a result of the pilots inadvertent entry into IMC and subsequent vestibular system illusions. With the pitch up and climb the pilots vestibular system was probably sensing around 1.15g much like a somatogravic illusion on takeoff in an aircraft. They commenced a turn which increased this load factor resulting in a G excess illusion. This can result in a pilot to reduce the pitch attitude as the aircraft accelerated.
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zeke
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:57 pm

Revelation wrote:
[I wonder how the IIFR instructor stays current if no actual cloud flying is performed.


Simulators for IF time, and you can shoot approaches in VMC to remain current, you can wear a vision limiting device and have a safety pilot.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
Stewart117
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:19 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.

It appears to me that at the very end he was "pulling up to get on top".
But he was banked 45° or more to the left.
 
questions
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:03 pm

This thread has been an interesting and informative read and I appreciate the various perspectives. I also realize that there is an element of speculation due to all the investigative facts not being known or public at this point. Which leads to...

1. Currently, what are the unknown facts that would aid most in solving how/why this accident occurred?

2. Of those facts, which ones are the investigators most likely to uncover and which ones will likely never be known?
 
hivue
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:34 pm

questions wrote:
1. Currently, what are the unknown facts that would aid most in solving how/why this accident occurred?


Facts gleaned from FDR and CVR data.


2. ... and which ones will likely never be known?


Facts gleaned from FDR and CVR data.
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:04 pm

An FDR would help, but ina single-pilot cockpit with such a short crash sequence, I’m unsure a CVR would have much information. The sequence is only about 12 seconds, other than “oh sxxt” what’s there?

GF
 
hivue
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:57 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
An FDR would help, but ina single-pilot cockpit with such a short crash sequence, I’m unsure a CVR would have much information. The sequence is only about 12 seconds, other than “oh sxxt” what’s there?

GF


Agreed, although mechanical failure is still on the table (if not likely) so ambient sounds -- or the lack thereof -- might be useful
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
RightRudder
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:17 am

questions wrote:
1. Currently, what are the unknown facts that would aid most in solving how/why this accident occurred?


Determine if the pilot was IIFR current. Which could be found by inquiring if pilot taught students and earned income as an instructor. (forensics accounting; student pilot logs)
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana".
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:27 am

There’s only one I in IFR. His records are already with the NTSB. If he were IFR current and the aircraft equipped, he’d likely climbed. IR (H) is not often taught or given. He’s the chief pilot at his company, how often do you think he can sneak away for some side income in a $1500/hour helicopter. Island is a VFR operator, there’s no need for him being IFR current. IFR (H) is a military, oil rig, perhaps a few Fortune 100 operators. Heck, GE didn’t fky IFR, the pilots took the company limo home when weathered out in NYC.

There’s another IFR issue, being able to have the required fuel reserves in a helo not noted for long endurance. Dear+Altn+45 minutes with 9 pax is not easy.
 
RightRudder
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:35 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There’s only one I in IFR. His records are already with the NTSB. If he were IFR current and the aircraft equipped, he’d likely climbed. IR (H) is not often taught or given. He’s the chief pilot at his company, how often do you think he can sneak away for some side income in a $1500/hour helicopter. Island is a VFR operator, there’s no need for him being IFR current. IFR (H) is a military, oil rig, perhaps a few Fortune 100 operators. Heck, GE didn’t fky IFR, the pilots took the company limo home when weathered out in NYC.

There’s another IFR issue, being able to have the required fuel reserves in a helo not noted for long endurance. Dear+Altn+45 minutes with 9 pax is not easy.


I appreciate the acronym clarification. So there is ZERO (0) chance the pilot was FIH?
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana".
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:08 am

CFII, possibly (Certified Flight Instructor Instrument), current for IFR flights, doubtful. We don’t have a lot of his records in public yet.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:10 am

RightRudder wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There’s only one I in IFR. His records are already with the NTSB. If he were IFR current and the aircraft equipped, he’d likely climbed. IR (H) is not often taught or given. He’s the chief pilot at his company, how often do you think he can sneak away for some side income in a $1500/hour helicopter. Island is a VFR operator, there’s no need for him being IFR current. IFR (H) is a military, oil rig, perhaps a few Fortune 100 operators. Heck, GE didn’t fky IFR, the pilots took the company limo home when weathered out in NYC.

There’s another IFR issue, being able to have the required fuel reserves in a helo not noted for long endurance. Dear+Altn+45 minutes with 9 pax is not easy.


I appreciate the acronym clarification. So there is ZERO (0) chance the pilot was FIH?


I don't think GalaxyFlyer implied that, just that it seems unlikely he was. In the LA basin with its generally clear skies, with the limits and delays filing a flight path with all the traffic there, with the company being just a VFR customer, and him flying primarily with them. To train on a IFR bird he would have to fly at another place with a rotary certified and equipped with IFR, thus having to pay the added insurance for IFR flying. In that video talking about training with the hood on, did you catch the discussion about the recommended hours in actual IFR conditions, they were talking about 25 hours during the period. Say a 1 year period and the pilot actually is flying 1,000 hours per year (that is probably quite high but the math works), that means 2 to 3% of flying in a year is IFR. Hard to stay competent at that low hours. This one flight might have had 15 min of actual IFR if they chose a higher altitude. So do flights like this 100 times a year. Easy in Seattle, hard to do in LA.

A big feature of rotary wing is the ability to hover, did you hear the discussions about the difficulty of even highly trained pilot to hover with no visual clues as to horizon and position. Not a lot of rotaries fly IFR, the Leonardo (Agusta Westland) TH-119 was the first single engine helo to get IFR certification is decades, the Bell 407 GXi was the second. These two did it to meet the Navy RFP requirements. Most IFR helo's are dual engine to cover the redundancy requirements and for the added range to meet the IFR requirement.
 
ptmac
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:10 am

questions wrote:
This thread has been an interesting and informative read and I appreciate the various perspectives. I also realize that there is an element of speculation due to all the investigative facts not being known or public at this point. Which leads to...

1. Currently, what are the unknown facts that would aid most in solving how/why this accident occurred?.
2. Of those facts, which ones are the investigators most likely to uncover and which ones will likely never be known?


1. Currently, what are the unknown facts that would aid most in solving how/why this accident occurred?

    The autopsy report. If a full autopsy exists, it may point to or not point to pilot incapacitation. Whether there is pilot incapacitation is an unknown fact.

    Did the autopilot work, or was one even installed?

    If the autopilot for whatever reason could not be used, what would lead this pilot to think that climbing into cloud was a better option than just landing and calling ground transport.

    How much fuel would he have had on board? That may or may not open up the scenario that he was facing low fuel.

    Was the tail rotor operating normally? Helicopter pilots will get why knowing that would help solve this accident. For fixed wing pilots, if your tail rotor stops working in most instances you have to lower the collective and fashion some type of landing, usually a run on autorotation, or in this case, a roll on. The helicopter may rotate around the mast during this, but in this case, failure would have happened in the cruise and the fin is more effective in moderating the spin. i.e. you may not spin,but be unable to hold a heading. The curving descent does support this theory, but it's not the only explanation.

2. Probably all of these things can be uncovered.

This history of accident investigations is full of cases where the initial theory is never the actual cause.
 
IADFCO
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:28 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.


Sorry, I don't know how to post a picture, so I cannot edit yours. If you number the dots on your estimated trajectory starting from 0 (the big dot, i.e., the estimated impact point) and going backwards, I'd say that even points 4-5 would be a reasonable estimate for the impact point, based on the incomplete information we have, because the various pieces could have tumbled down to their final position because of the slope (as long as points 4 and 5 are to the left of the ridge, but if not you could move the estimated trajectory a bit to the left).

The sharp white line you drew should probably be a wider fuzzy line to better reflect the uncertainties. This does not detract at all from the great job you did: your 3D reconstruction is the key part, then we can all tweak it at the margins based on our ideas and preferences.
 
THS214
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:56 am

Revelation wrote:
RightRudder wrote:
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.

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.

I haven't heard much discussion of the pilot's qualifications or currency.

On the blancolario (sp?) link given earlier in this thread, the helo pilot being interviewed said the IFR rating was kind of a joke in that you can get an IFR rating without ever flying into a cloud. The student wears a device designed to limit visibility to the instrument panel, but he said it lets you 'cheat' and get a visual fix from time to time. Also, of course, it does nothing to build the skills up to recognize onset of inadvertent IFR. I wonder how the IIFR instructor stays current if no actual cloud flying is performed.


Flying with a hood is easy to cheat as you can see ground on your side. Raise your head a little bit and you see ground even more.
 
THS214
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:04 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
An FDR would help, but ina single-pilot cockpit with such a short crash sequence, I’m unsure a CVR would have much information. The sequence is only about 12 seconds, other than “oh sxxt” what’s there?

GF


CVR records noises. Not only pilot speaking. From a CVR can be read speed, engine power etc.
 
BravoOne
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:23 am

If this pilot was operating under Part 135, even if this particular flight was not a Part 135 operation, he would have done a semi-annual recurrent, including a Part 61.58 annual check ride. This would be in his pilot records. Can't imagine anyone issuing insurrance with the benefit of this recurrent at someplace like Flight Safety. I know all the RW pilots I have worked with did a 6 month recurrent, and check ride. I realize that a check ride alone does not preclude an subsequent accident. Now if this was just a VFR only maybe the training and checking was only in the imagination of the beholder.
Last edited by BravoOne on Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:35 am

Certainly a 61.58 check. The FAA Registry shows him with a CP-Helicopter and Instrumrnt Helicopter issued in 2007. Also CFII Helicopter.

In the A-10 in the Northeast winters, we practiced scud running, as they did in Europe. We were expected to fight in low weather at 300 knots. On training flights, it was routine, if you got underneath to have to climb out when the ceiling and visibility closed in. IIRC, my record was three “aborts” where we’d all start a climb, join up on top and try further on toward the range. If you’re current, climbing on the gauges was instinctive, you die trying to stay down.
 
RightRudder
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:13 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
RightRudder wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There’s only one I in IFR. His records are already with the NTSB. If he were IFR current and the aircraft equipped, he’d likely climbed. IR (H) is not often taught or given. He’s the chief pilot at his company, how often do you think he can sneak away for some side income in a $1500/hour helicopter. Island is a VFR operator, there’s no need for him being IFR current. IFR (H) is a military, oil rig, perhaps a few Fortune 100 operators. Heck, GE didn’t fky IFR, the pilots took the company limo home when weathered out in NYC.

There’s another IFR issue, being able to have the required fuel reserves in a helo not noted for long endurance. Dear+Altn+45 minutes with 9 pax is not easy.


I appreciate the acronym clarification. So there is ZERO (0) chance the pilot was FIH?


I don't think GalaxyFlyer implied that, just that it seems unlikely he was. In the LA basin with its generally clear skies, with the limits and delays filing a flight path with all the traffic there, with the company being just a VFR customer, and him flying primarily with them. To train on a IFR bird he would have to fly at another place with a rotary certified and equipped with IFR, thus having to pay the added insurance for IFR flying. In that video talking about training with the hood on, did you catch the discussion about the recommended hours in actual IFR conditions, they were talking about 25 hours during the period. Say a 1 year period and the pilot actually is flying 1,000 hours per year (that is probably quite high but the math works), that means 2 to 3% of flying in a year is IFR. Hard to stay competent at that low hours. This one flight might have had 15 min of actual IFR if they chose a higher altitude. So do flights like this 100 times a year. Easy in Seattle, hard to do in LA.

A big feature of rotary wing is the ability to hover, did you hear the discussions about the difficulty of even highly trained pilot to hover with no visual clues as to horizon and position. Not a lot of rotaries fly IFR, the Leonardo (Agusta Westland) TH-119 was the first single engine helo to get IFR certification is decades, the Bell 407 GXi was the second. These two did it to meet the Navy RFP requirements. Most IFR helo's are dual engine to cover the redundancy requirements and for the added range to meet the IFR requirement.


Jayinkitsap & Galaxy Flyer,

I typed IIFR in error.

I believe the big question going around is if he was CFI? Why wouldn't he be? To me, instructing students under IFR conditions is a great way to accumulate hours without paying for them and getting paid at the same time. A one (1) hour block time may average $490 for a student. This doesn't sound too bad. Not even for a starving student. Isn't that why flight instructors are flight instructors? I had to look this one up but, the requirements for providing instrument instruction are in 14 CFR 61.195(c). Although it is in their best interest, TTBOMK, there is NO requirement for a CFII to be instrument current when providing instrument training. Yes, it is sunny in SoCal but couldn't they take advantage of coastal eddy over the ocean? I am not sure why many are saying that it is extremely costly and highly unlikely to have a helicopter CFI?
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana".
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:24 am

Because the helicopter mission is so visual-centric, not many helicopter missions are flown IFR even in NYC. The helipads cannot support IFR approaches. If you want to fly in clouds, you’re willing to put up with delays that the helicopter is supposed to avoid. Over at PPW, most IFR-experienced pilots learned in the Army and most guessed civil IFR pilot have never been in a cloud, BTW, flying in actual conditions is NOT a training requirement. Yes, lots of IFR-rated pilots have never flown in actual weather. How many days a year is daytime weather below 1000-3 in LA?

Yes, I can’t cite the rule, but to go into actual weather with a student and NOT be current is insane. As the instructor you’re supposed to be there to save things if the student gets in over his head. How can you do that, if you’re not current?

Flying in planned flight for 30 minutes in the marine layer will not prepare a pilot for what this pilot faced with Bryant—big difference.
Last edited by GalaxyFlyer on Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
airplanecrazy
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:26 am

IADFCO wrote:
The sharp white line you drew should probably be a wider fuzzy line to better reflect the uncertainties. This does not detract at all from the great job you did: your 3D reconstruction is the key part, then we can all tweak it at the margins based on our ideas and preferences.


Thanks for your analysis and time (as well as flybucky, Zeke, and everyone else here)! I have gotten burnt out working on it, so I am going to let it go as is. Here is my first ever YouTube video. This is my reconstruction of the crash.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y66gKZ3oheo
Last edited by airplanecrazy on Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
IADFCO
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:30 am

Still about the usefulness of a CVR -- A CVR could also have recorded any communication by the pilot to the passengers, to inform them of his intentions and perhaps to reassure them, something like "We have no visibility, so I'm going to do X and then Y, and it's OK, that's what we usually do."

In fact, I wonder whether it will be possible to extract any useful information from the smartphones that many onboard must have had, including the kids (assuming that their friends and families knew the passcodes). Most phones have accelerometers and various sorts of location services, and if the various apps have any sort of buffer, even a few seconds worth, they may have preserved useful information.

Also, somebody may have taken videos or photos that may hold useful clues. From the final NTSB report on the 2018 NYC Liberty accident, it is clear that key information was obtained from videos taken by a GoPro and an iPhone X. In that case "The NTSB determine[d] the probable cause of this accident was Liberty Helicopters Inc.’s use of a NYONair-provided passenger harness/tether system, which caught on and activated the floor-mounted engine fuel shutoff lever and resulted in the in-flight loss of engine power and the subsequent ditching".
 
RightRudder
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:51 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Because the helicopter mission is so visual-centric, not many helicopter missions are flown IFR even in NYC. The helipads cannot support IFR approaches. If you want to fly in clouds, you’re willing to put up with delays that the helicopter is supposed to avoid. Over at PPW, most IFR-experienced pilots learned in the Army and most guessed civil IFR pilot have never been in a cloud, BTW, flying in actual conditions is NOT a training requirement. Yes, lots of IFR-rated pilots have never flown in actual weather. How many days a year is daytime weather below 1000-3 in LA?

Yes, I can’t cite the rule, but to go into actual weather with a student and NOT be current is insane. As the instructor you’re supposed to be there to save things if the student gets in over his head. How can you do that, if you’re not current?

Flying in planned flight for 30 minutes in the marine layer will not prepare a pilot for what this pilot faced with Bryant—big difference.


Have not heard, in fact, he was not CFI current. Also, as I pointed out before, it is not as expensive as many claim.
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana".
 
airplanecrazy
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:02 am

flybucky wrote:
airplanecrazy wrote:
I can't seem to make the flight path match the debris field unless I put in a tighter left turn at the end.

Nice work! I think your path is realistic (a decreasing radius descending turn). That's what I was imagining too.

Could you also post a zoomed out view of your path, starting from when it diverges from Hwy 101?


flybucky, here is my final published reconstruction. Thanks for your help!:

Image

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y66gKZ3oheo
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:04 am

The CFII has to be instrument current- 6 approaches within the last six months. We know he worked for a VFR 135 certificate—IFR operations were NOT authorized, so why are we down this rabbit hole?
 
RightRudder
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:30 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The CFII has to be instrument current- 6 approaches within the last six months. We know he worked for a VFR 135 certificate—IFR operations were NOT authorized, so why are we down this rabbit hole?

Pilot credibility.
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana".
 
IADFCO
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:48 am

@airplanecrazy, thanks again for all your impressive work and the effort that went into it. Your video, even with all your appropriate disclaimers, is so realistic that I found it very hard to watch.

Should you or anyone else decide to continue, here is a reference that may be useful to get a feel for what realistic values of turn rates and radii could be, as a function of load factor, speed, and flight path angle: Chen, R.T.N. and Jeske, J. A., "Kinematic Properties of the Helicopter in Coordinated Turns," NASA TP-1773, 1981; pdf downloadable from https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=1981 ... ion%7CNACA
Figure 7, page 30, has the information. I would look for the 2g values. The reference is old but still very much state of the art.
 
NIKV69
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:56 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.


I got up very early in LA and the fog was bad. I was driving south on 5 when they took off it wasn't good. It wasn't fine when they left.
I am the Googlizer!!!
 
spacecadet
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:19 am

RightRudder wrote:
I had to look this one up but, the requirements for providing instrument instruction are in 14 CFR 61.195(c). Although it is in their best interest, TTBOMK, there is NO requirement for a CFII to be instrument current when providing instrument training.


A CFII absolutely has to be instrument current when providing instrument training. This doesn't need to be spelled out in the requirements for instrument instruction. To fly in either actual or simulated instrument conditions, the pilot in command needs to be instrument current. Here is the relevant FAR: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/61.57

(c) Instrument experience. Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, a person may act as pilot in command under IFR or weather conditions less than the minimums prescribed for VFR only if:

(1) Use of an airplane, powered-lift, helicopter, or airship for maintaining instrument experience. Within the 6 calendar months preceding the month of the flight, that person performed and logged at least the following tasks and iterations in an airplane, powered-lift, helicopter, or airship, as appropriate, for the instrument rating privileges to be maintained in actual weather conditions, or under simulated conditions using a view-limiting device that involves having performed the following -

(i) Six instrument approaches.

(ii) Holding procedures and tasks.

(iii) Intercepting and tracking courses through the use of navigational electronic systems.


A CFII providing instruction is pilot in command by definition, since he has final authority as to the safe operation of the flight.

The only time a CFII would not need to be instrument current in IFR conditions would be as a passenger for some other instrument rated pilot where he's not PIC.

Anyway I don't see what this has to do with this accident, but I felt like it needed to be corrected quoting the source.
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flybucky
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:45 am

Indy wrote:
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.

The last radio communication was the pilot advising that he was climbing to avoid a cloud layer. (Source: NTSB media briefing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxGbm2EBN-0&t=7m )

Medical Examiner ruling: Cause A blunt trauma. No additional causes listed. (Source: https://mec.lacounty.gov/case-detail/?c ... 2020-00803 )
 
flybucky
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:59 am

ptmac wrote:
Somewhere is a file with 2 data points per second, and it shows a controlled flight until the last second.

Are you referring to the FR24 Granular Data? IMO, it does not show controlled flight at the end (see graph). Over -4000 fpm descent, overspeed 161 kts (max speed of S-76B is 155 kts).

How long it was until impact not known, but it was near to the wreckage site.

There was a Ring video that indicates the time of impact was 9:45:40 AM PST, about 7 seconds after the last ADS-B from FR24.
 
flybucky
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:06 am

airplanecrazy wrote:
Thanks for your analysis and time (as well as flybucky, Zeke, and everyone else here)! I have gotten burnt out working on it, so I am going to let it go as is. Here is my first ever YouTube video. This is my reconstruction of the crash.

Really impressive work! It is better than I've seen from any other source so far (including LA Times and NY Times reconstruction).

This is what I love about a.net. Knowledgeable people sharing info, analysis, and debating theories to come up with likely scenarios. Most of the time, a.net comes to the correct conclusion before the official reports.
 
Tavocruz
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:26 am

texdravid wrote:
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.


Absolutely nothing to do with "bad luck".
You describe unusual weather conditions, however the decision to enter those conditions was that of the pilot and the pilot only.

Bad luck is missing an important basketball practice due to bad weather.
The pilot had many escape routes as things detoriated and for some reason he did not use one of those.

It looks more and more that the pilot's decision making left much to desire.
Just curious if this accident had happened in another country; (with perhaps a non-US pilot on the helm) whether some on here would have defended the pilot's actions as staunchly!?


airplanecrazy wrote:
amateur crash reconstruction


I'm afraid perhaps the emphasis has to be on the part that reads "amateur crash".
 
RightRudder
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:26 pm

spacecadet wrote:
RightRudder wrote:
I had to look this one up but, the requirements for providing instrument instruction are in 14 CFR 61.195(c). Although it is in their best interest, TTBOMK, there is NO requirement for a CFII to be instrument current when providing instrument training.


A CFII absolutely has to be instrument current when providing instrument training. This doesn't need to be spelled out in the requirements for instrument instruction. To fly in either actual or simulated instrument conditions, the pilot in command needs to be instrument current. Here is the relevant FAR: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/61.57

(c) Instrument experience. Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, a person may act as pilot in command under IFR or weather conditions less than the minimums prescribed for VFR only if:

(1) Use of an airplane, powered-lift, helicopter, or airship for maintaining instrument experience. Within the 6 calendar months preceding the month of the flight, that person performed and logged at least the following tasks and iterations in an airplane, powered-lift, helicopter, or airship, as appropriate, for the instrument rating privileges to be maintained in actual weather conditions, or under simulated conditions using a view-limiting device that involves having performed the following -

(i) Six instrument approaches.

(ii) Holding procedures and tasks.

(iii) Intercepting and tracking courses through the use of navigational electronic systems.


A CFII providing instruction is pilot in command by definition, since he has final authority as to the safe operation of the flight.

The only time a CFII would not need to be instrument current in IFR conditions would be as a passenger for some other instrument rated pilot where he's not PIC.

Anyway I don't see what this has to do with this accident, but I felt like it needed to be corrected quoting the source.


I appreciate that you set this thing in stone. The pilot credibility has been thrown all over place with this designation. The media and many here on a.net think it is doubtful he was CFI. Yes, the operator was only for VFR conditions . IMO. No, the pilot was only for VFR conditions.. As I have continually tried to point out. It is not difficult to maintain CFI. They are flying with students and simultaneously maintaining currency with a relatively reasonable requirement.
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana".
 
airplanecrazy
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:25 pm

Here are some Google Earth pictures of my reconstruction:

Image

Image

And the KML
https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ai5ul4veNOgHhYoEMVAHO4m-m47jZA?e=PJjxTP
 
slider
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:10 pm

This IFR thing is kind of a red herring, IMO. He flew in known IMC and the issue, at least from my studying this, is the request for Special VFR... I think the SVFR thing is *really* going to come under some heavy scrutiny from NTSB and may very well be touched upon in one of their recommendations. (note: NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy took a shot on FAA with regard to not having FDR in their final briefing--a very deliberate and calculated barb on their not having implemented prior recommendations).

Similarly, I think Special VFR is going to be under the gun. And it probably should be--legal doesn't make it right.

All I can think of is the multiple red flags when that pilot was circling around Glendale waiting to transition through BUR and why they didn't realize, hey, maybe we ought to put this thing down and not push it.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:25 pm

You might be better questioning VFR minimums which have long been questioned after inadvertent entry into IMC accidents. SVFR isn’t a problem and it wasn’t in the least causal as he had long exited the Class C&D airspace where the SVFR clearance applied.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:45 pm

flybucky wrote:
airplanecrazy wrote:
Thanks for your analysis and time (as well as flybucky, Zeke, and everyone else here)! I have gotten burnt out working on it, so I am going to let it go as is. Here is my first ever YouTube video. This is my reconstruction of the crash.

Really impressive work! It is better than I've seen from any other source so far (including LA Times and NY Times reconstruction).

This is what I love about a.net. Knowledgeable people sharing info, analysis, and debating theories to come up with likely scenarios. Most of the time, a.net comes to the correct conclusion before the official reports.

I agree, very impressive work.

It seemed a.net was leaning towards CFIT till the ADS-B data showing sustained high rate of descent was produced then the LOC-I idea was favored.

I agree with the point of view that some sort of equipment failure has not been ruled out.

I agree with NTSB that helicopters of this size should be required to have and maintain FDR and CVR.
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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Revelation
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:53 pm

slider wrote:
Similarly, I think Special VFR is going to be under the gun. And it probably should be--legal doesn't make it right.

All I can think of is the multiple red flags when that pilot was circling around Glendale waiting to transition through BUR and why they didn't realize, hey, maybe we ought to put this thing down and not push it.

SVFR is an ATC thing and ATC's job is air traffic control and not making judgments about whether a given pilot is in IMC or not.

The interview on blancolirio channel said helicopters get a bit of a break with regard to VFR vs IFR since a helicopter is different than an airplane and the main attraction of helicopters is to do things airplanes cannot do.

However this means a big burden is on the pilot to understand when and where IMC conditions may arise and to avoid getting himself in positions where the conditions go IMC and he's not prepared for IFR flight.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
Chemist
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:17 pm

I've flown SVFR clearance before (fixed-wing) and IMHO it is fine if you are making good decisions and know your limits. It's an issue of pilot judgement. If you are asking for SVFR that means you are in some weather situations where you need to think really hard about your limits and what is prudent.
I'm not a helo pilot but I wouldn't be flying low level at >100kts with a cloud bank in front of me. I'd either be going over it, or slowing way down to probe the interface. Scud running at low level/high speed is a recipe for disaster.
I seem to recall that Camarillo Airport was VFR at the time of the accident - can somebody verify? If the cloud tops were say 2500 feet or something like that, I don't see why he could not have climbed over the tops and flown to CMA if it was say scattered or maybe broken there. The area between Calabassas and Newbury Park (path of the 101) is higher and more prone to clouds and fog. Camarillo Airport is under 100' elevation and I think I remember seeing that the weather there, while not great, was ok for flying. The question is whether he could have flown over the fog banks and had enough visibility to descend to land in CMA.
 
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zeke
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:29 pm

slider wrote:
I think the SVFR thing is *really* going to come under some heavy scrutiny from NTSB and may very well be touched upon in one of their recommendations. (note: NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy took a shot on FAA with regard to not having FDR in their final briefing--a very deliberate and calculated barb on their not having implemented prior recommendations).

Similarly, I think Special VFR is going to be under the gun. And it probably should be--legal doesn't make it right.

All I can think of is the multiple red flags when that pilot was circling around Glendale waiting to transition through BUR and why they didn't realize, hey, maybe we ought to put this thing down and not push it.


No, you are looking at this wrong. They got SVFR through BUR and VNY as normal helicopter VFR in class C/D requires 3 sm 500’ below cloud. The visibility reported was only 2 1/2 sm, hence SVFR.

Image

Once they were out of the Class D, they revert back to Part 135 VFR minimums which is

135.205 VFR: Visibility requirements.
(a) No person may operate an airplane under VFR in uncontrolled airspace when the ceiling is less than 1,000 feet unless flight visibility is at least 2 miles.

(b) No person may operate a helicopter under VFR in Class G airspace at an altitude of 1,200 feet or less above the surface or within the lateral boundaries of the surface areas of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace designated for an airport unless the visibility is at least -

(1) During the day - 1/2 mile; or

(2) At night - 1 mile.

The visibility at the time in Class D and G was actually Part 135 helicopter VFR.

I have plotted the track over the helicopter sectional so you can see when they were in the Class D.

Image
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hivue
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:39 pm

zeke wrote:
Once they were out of the Class D, they revert back to Part 135 VFR minimums


And they started squawking 1200 again, correct. Would ATC have provided them a non-VFR code for transitioning the class D SVFR? They asked for (but weren't able to get due to altitude) flight following after getting past Burbank and Van Nuys. No need to request flight following when SVFR, right?
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RightRudder
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:53 pm

Revelation wrote:
slider wrote:
Similarly, I think Special VFR is going to be under the gun. And it probably should be--legal doesn't make it right.

All I can think of is the multiple red flags when that pilot was circling around Glendale waiting to transition through BUR and why they didn't realize, hey, maybe we ought to put this thing down and not push it.

SVFR is an ATC thing and ATC's job is air traffic control and not making judgments about whether a given pilot is in IMC or not.

The interview on blancolirio channel said helicopters get a bit of a break with regard to VFR vs IFR since a helicopter is different than an airplane and the main attraction of helicopters is to do things airplanes cannot do.

However this means a big burden is on the pilot to understand when and where IMC conditions may arise and to avoid getting himself in positions where the conditions go IMC and he's not prepared for IFR flight.


Agreed. The boundary from VMC to IMC (minima) is a difficult decision point for a pilot. Especially for someone piloting low. To the contrary of many, SoCal does experience minima much more than many otherwise know. Especially in downtown Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. It is not a natural phenomenon like advection or radiation fog. It is man made and Northern California does not experience it. During the summer months, the air gets stale, temperature and air pressure climbs and visibility quickly worsens. Poor visibility can fall to less than a mile and reach as high as 4,500 feet. Many like to call it the "haze layer" but the term is "smog". It is prevalent in the San Fernando Valley. You can depart with clear visibility and return on descent to thick, brown air. Obviously the meteorological conditions were different in the Kobe accident. But it does give an example of how "minima" is experienced
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ptmac
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:42 pm

They were on 1200 for the last 5 minutes.

I don't know if its mentioned somewhere in this thread, but Kobe held a private helicopter license. Good possibility he was in the left seat.

Most of the talk here is that the loss of control came at the beginning of the left turn. I spoke with an ex national accident investigator friend this morning and the path is consistent with a controlled turn back to return to VFR and an intentional descent guided either by a map display and using the freeway, sight of the ground, or both. That may have been going well until the last few seconds.

His view is that it did not go in inverted, as some commentators think. He bases that on the conclusion that the fin was chopped off by the main rotor during right side up ground impact.
 
slider
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:56 pm

Thanks Zeke! That was a solid response and I appreciate the clarification. Good stuff there...
 
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Aesma
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:37 pm

zeke wrote:
Aesma wrote:
To me the descending turn at very high negative fpm and forward speed is an indication of loss of control.


I suspect the NTSB may indicate the CFIT was as a result of the pilots inadvertent entry into IMC and subsequent vestibular system illusions. With the pitch up and climb the pilots vestibular system was probably sensing around 1.15g much like a somatogravic illusion on takeoff in an aircraft. They commenced a turn which increased this load factor resulting in a G excess illusion. This can result in a pilot to reduce the pitch attitude as the aircraft accelerated.


Yes I agree.

It's not technically CFIT though, as there is no "control".

But sometimes we say CFIT to mean "the aircraft was fine, the pilot flew it into the terrain", then that would follow that definition.

As long as what happened is understood, I'm fine with both.
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ikramerica
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:18 pm

Aesma wrote:
zeke wrote:
Aesma wrote:
To me the descending turn at very high negative fpm and forward speed is an indication of loss of control.


I suspect the NTSB may indicate the CFIT was as a result of the pilots inadvertent entry into IMC and subsequent vestibular system illusions. With the pitch up and climb the pilots vestibular system was probably sensing around 1.15g much like a somatogravic illusion on takeoff in an aircraft. They commenced a turn which increased this load factor resulting in a G excess illusion. This can result in a pilot to reduce the pitch attitude as the aircraft accelerated.


Yes I agree.

It's not technically CFIT though, as there is no "control".

But sometimes we say CFIT to mean "the aircraft was fine, the pilot flew it into the terrain", then that would follow that definition.

As long as what happened is understood, I'm fine with both.

Maybe call it IFIT, Inadvertent Flight Into Terrain.
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flybucky
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Re: Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:39 pm

Chemist wrote:
I seem to recall that Camarillo Airport was VFR at the time of the accident - can somebody verify? If the cloud tops were say 2500 feet or something like that, I don't see why he could not have climbed over the tops and flown to CMA if it was say scattered or maybe broken there. The area between Calabassas and Newbury Park (path of the 101) is higher and more prone to clouds and fog. Camarillo Airport is under 100' elevation and I think I remember seeing that the weather there, while not great, was ok for flying. The question is whether he could have flown over the fog banks and had enough visibility to descend to land in CMA.

Below are the METARs for KCMA around the time of the crash (which was 9:45 am PST / 17:45 Z). They were all Marginal VMC. At 17:55 Z the ceiling was 1700 ft AGL, so about 1800 ft MSL at KCMA. At 18:55 Z, ceiling rose to 2600 ft AGL / 2700 ft MSL.

SP 26/01/2020 17:05
SPECI KCMA 261705Z 08007KT 4SM HZ OVC016 14/11 A3017 RMK
AO2 T01390106=

SA 26/01/2020 17:55
METAR KCMA 261755Z 03003KT 4SM HZ OVC017 15/11 A3019 RMK
AO2 SLP233 T01500106 10150 20117 53017=

SA 26/01/2020 18:55
METAR KCMA 261855Z 11005KT 5SM HZ OVC026 16/11 A3017 RMK
AO2 SLP227 T01610106=

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