Jump to content
KJakker

Kobe Bryant dies with four others in helicopter crash in Calabasas

Recommended Posts


I've never been a sports fan, but we lost a good man today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have read that even his daughter died in the crash...

My condolences to the Bryant family.

I was shocked about the news. As a European, it's difficult for me to follow NBA. But Kobe Bryant was such a famous name in the sport. He will be deeply missed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote
"Too low for Flight Following" simply means the controller could not pick up a good enough radar signature to provide services. This was not an altitude too low (too close to terrain) advisory from the controller.

Other information I'm coming across is saying they think it's the weather that played a role in the crash.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Self imposed need to impress the client overshadowed the single pilot's judgement. Pilot Error

Low ceiling, obscured weather, SPEED, cockpit management (aircraft got ahead of him), weight and balance, and sudden condition of terrain appears to be all mitigating factors all leading to the event. I do wonder after seeing the 24Radar ADS B data if either airspeed VNE, CG, or emergency maneuvers caused a retreating blade stall which caused the loss of control and subsequent violent impact.

Flightradar24-Final-ADSB-data.jpg

I do note that the debris appears scattered over a fairly large area as if the helo was either breaking up prior to impact or the impact was so violent it distributed the contents back into the air.

Either way this was a preventable tragedy. Safety went out the window for bragging rights and bravado. They could have filed an IFR flight plan in route or before departure or simply stopped and grounded the aircraft when conditions first started to worsen say in Van Nuys before they flew into the more moist and certainly more obscure coastal conditions. Putting in at Van Nuys and getting an Uber would have saved the lives of so many and yeah maybe they'd have been a few minutes late but Kobe had a phone and he was Mamba Sports Center, everyone would have understood.

Silly Bullshit AKA Pilot Error.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at this ... is the graph indicating the pilot was trying to pull up prior to the crash?

Quote

“With an aircraft like that, that’s capable of flying on airways, why they would be flying in bad weather’s got to be in question," Coyle said. "It’s capable of flying on the same airways that an airliner flies on, obviously at lower altitude."

 

Zoey Tur, a former news chopper pilot in Los Angeles with more than 10,000 hours of flying time, said the flight path data looks to her like the pilot became lost and might have been going too fast given the conditions. He could have lost sight of the freeways he was following.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zoey is right about all of it but what isn't known is why the pilot who was instrument rated simply didn't file and fly and IFR flight plan. The pilot had to change his VFR flight to SVFR in Glendale where Burbank held 2EX outside their Class D for 15 minutes because of traffic/weather but that's a known because the NTSB can talk with the controller that put them in the hold. Once the SVFR was granted it was the pilot's responsibility to maintain constant visual with the ground at all times, the pilot failed to do so. In that helo the panel is large it's not designed for scudrunning which is how it was being used but I digress. If you follow the flight they had to fly north of Van Nuys to avoid the approach corridor then clear of Van Nuys the pilot requested the turn to the south to pick up the 101. He did that you can see the followed the 101 for a bit but once the helo got to Las Virgenes Road you'll see the pilot depart the 101 freeway and course change to the south. This was the moment the pilot was in over his head. The pilot should have swallowed his pride and turned back especially if he couldn't distinguish a road from a major freeway (freeways don't have signal lights should have been his first clue). The south departure off the 101 was the critical moment and where the pilot got lost. He assumed the freeway was in a direction that it wasn't and flew 2EX into a granite cloud with total loss of situational awareness. The hard turn and dive was to avoid a collision with the mountain but he was committed. All avoidable mistakes for the cost of some humble pie. He thought he was capable of more than he was and and all his training and flight hours were overruled by ego. I'm pissed that he could be so ignorant of reality (he could see he had severely obscured visibility well below SVFR minimums) and safer options were right at his finger tips (literally). Van Nuys two echo xray back with you.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what goes into switching from VFR to SVFR and IFR? What's the hassle with IFR? From my understanding if your eyes can't see then rely on your instruments and avionics to see the things you can't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless you plan on holding for extended periods of time changing inflight without any previous planning is a pain in the butt. The pilot should have been a pro with that many hours so he would have pulled the route weather seen the marine layer and inversion and known he was in for a soupy ride at some point. He should have taken a few extra minutes prior to departure and filed an IFR starting from a way point in his route somewhere with a future departure time from that way point so his IFR didn't auto cancel. Then he could have departed John Wayne VFR and picked up the IFR in flight. There's a reason he didn't do it and we'll never know but he could have. He could have also taken a second pilot to help with all this along the way had he been prepared. His experience should have told him this and he shouldn't have been so eager to please the client that he ignored it all. What's the harm in saying the weather conditions are below anyone's ability to safely navigate we either take the time to do it right or we don't go at all. That was his call to make and he picked stunt pilot instead. I'm holding out hope there was something unforeseen to account for this, but with yesterday's reports the pilot broadcasted a condition report moments before the fatal crash that he was climbing for visibility it's looking less realistic.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And now we know why they flew VFR and SVFR. Simply put the aircraft and pilot were rated for instruments but the company who owned the aircraft didn't have an IFR certificate and insurance to fly IFR flights. This type of certification only allowed the pilots working for Island Express to file VFR flight plans. This lowered the company's operating cost and insurance cost while allowing them to operate as 98% of all helo flight in SoCal can be performed VFR. Additionally the S-76B should have had two pilots. The aircraft was certified for a single pilot but never recommended for a single pilot especially in weather where the work load on the pilot increases exponentially. Believe it or not this appears to boil down to money, risk, and pilot error. Island Express should be IFR rated and should have not made the S-76B they flew single pilot electable but instead required two pilots. Kobe should have coughed up the extra money for the extra pilot, if he even knew that was an option or that he was risking his life flying single pilot in that aircraft, he may have thought that was business as usual. A second set of eyes in the left seat potentially may have provided the necessary feedback to cancel or discontinue the flight mid-journey at a bare minimum the second pilot would have reduced the workload for a pilot flying in sub optimal conditions. In the end they couldn't fly IFR because they couldn't file for it. This flight had all the cards stacked on the wrong side before it departed Orange County. The law suits are going to be horrendous and people and companies will be destroyed over this abundance of poor judgement.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/30/us/kobe-bryant-crash-flight-certification.html

E

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty much everything in a nutshell from all the different sources I've read. Most notable to me in all the reports is/are the absence of distress calls. If 72EX had a mechanical problem that caused the left high speed descending turn then why, not once, did the pilot communicate a problem. I was raised and lived on the California coast and that terrain and those conditions are all too familiar. The marine layer is like different balls of density all stuck together in a rolling obscure fog or cloud. You can stand in this fog and watch your visibility increase and decrease as the moving obscurity is pushed around you. It's a very surreal experience even standing on the ground so at altitude with both movement, speed, and obstacles it's incredibly, no, impossibly dangerous. That's why every controller indicated as such along 72EX's route. It is more realistic that 72EX's pilot was already in IMC during his straight and level ascending flight then at some point disorientation and possible early on-set of vertigo set in and the loss of attitude and direction ensued. At that point the pilot became a passenger and along with the other souls on board perished, RIP. The danger associated with this type marine layer is that your mind plays tricks on you. You're so used to seeing the ground and objects that when you can't see anything and you've flown into IMC your mind still thinks it sees things that aren't really there. That's why Inadvertent IMC is so deadly. Identifying this condition and training for it is supposed to be what the pilots certify for but it just goes to show you how different and deadly training and proficiency really are. I still contend that if they had set down in Burbank or Glendale, hell landed anywhere it was a helicopter, and called for an Uber, Taxi, or car service that they'd all still be alive today and they still would have made their game on time. Humans, the strangest oddest most stupid smart animal of all the animals on Earth. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..