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Thread: S-76 Down with Kobe Bryant, Daughter and 7 others

  1. #1

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    S-76 Down with Kobe Bryant, Daughter and 7 others

    Words can’t describe how sad I am tonight upon learning of Kobe’s Helicopter Going Down Today. My heart goes out to his family and friends. It hurts to my core tonight. Kobe Was an elite talent and a giant in the world of sports but more importantly he was a transcendent Force and role model for all. He followed his dreams and lived his life by example. I truly hope we find answers as to what went wrong so we in the aviation community can learn from this to ensure a tragedy like this never occurs again.
    Last edited by Mark17; 01-27-2020 at 12:21 AM.

  2. #2

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    Unfortunately, it seems the answer to what went wrong is simple, the pilot flew when both police and news media copters were grounded by choice and he flew into fog, perhaps trying to follow a hwy and in hilly terrain he flew into the ground. Now there is of course not an NTSB report at this time, and I wish we could change that facts or the outcome, and I am sure someone will tell me/us not to "speculate" as to cause at this time. Meanwhile 8 passengers who trusted this pilot with their lives are dead and it doesn't change no matter if we "speculate" or not.
    There is a recording with ATC on the news this am where controller tells pilot he is too low to appear on radar for flight following. What should he have done at that time? Either turn back to better weather or land, any where safe. The Kobe party could have easily called an Uber limo and been driven to their destination in an hour or so.
    I am not an copter pilot, don't know if they really fly ifr, but I am certain if you fly low in hilly terrain when you cant see, its foolish. Wish he had been solo if he was determined to go on, but don't take 13 year old girls with you.

  3. #3
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    One article I read on a major news site stated the ATC audio recorded the pilot as saying he was climbing above the fog. The helo then entered a very steep turning descent (4000fpm) and hit the ground at 180+ mph. Most of us will draw some conclusions from this data if it proves via the investigation to be accurate.

    Very, very tragic.....and lessons to be (re)learned......
    Sam Buchanan
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  4. #4

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    I usually don't like to speculate as to cause when it comes to aircraft accidents until more time has passed and more relevant information and supporting evidence has been gathered. However, the audio evidence to date from ATC appears to easily suggest that this crash was clearly CFIT.

    This is a tragedy of immense proportion because major parts of 4 families including young children were snuffed out in an instant. And the real tragedy, IMO, is that it was totally avoidable. Because a helicopter was involved and not a fixed wing aircraft, the pilot could have made the correct decision not to fly into IMC, do a quick180 and land ANYWHERE, a road, a parking lot, a field, a COSTCO rooftop, a baseball diamond, a football or soccer field. ANYWHERE. And either wait out the WX or as Bill said call a stretch limo.

    We'll never know how much gotta-get-there-itis might have been a factor in decisions made and by whom. The more I look at this crash, the more it reminds me that it has most of the hallmarks of the JFK Jr. crash in 1999.

  5. #5
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    Or unCFIT........
    Sam Buchanan
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  6. #6

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    Just horrible news it was. The NTSB today read about the route at the end I thought they said the pilot said he was climbing to avoid a cloud, atc asked what his intentions were and no reply, radar showed it at 2300 feet then it turned left and off the scope.
    So what direction does that main rotor turn? Maybe lost tail rotor?

    If that aircraft did not have synthetic vision something is wrong. No excuse these days for disorientation.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pjNIYm5zNo
    Last edited by enginesrus; 01-28-2020 at 01:22 AM.

  7. #7

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    "...could have made the correct decision not to fly into IMC, do a quick 180 and land ANYWHERE, a road, a parking lot, a field, a COSTCO rooftop, a baseball diamond, a football or soccer field. ANYWHERE."

    I am a helicopter aviator. Yes, I am instrument rated and experienced and fly IFR when appropriate to the job. Some jobs the aircraft has no instruments other than the certification minimum because max payload is the moneymaker and if it ain't paying for the flight it ain't riding. Plus, there are no instrument approaches to the jobsite or most (if any) of the places listed above. On many more than one occasion I've followed telephone lines, flown to the McDonald's sign and turned right, followed a highway through mountains in snowstorms, seen unlit towers above me go past the window (fun assignment - look up the requirements for how short a tower needs a daytime beacon), climbed OVER three strand bobwhar to land on an airport in fog. It ain't easy but it can and has been done safely. All that was under the old rule for daytime, "If postflight shows no debris or missing parts, you were VFR."

    Yes, absolutely the decision has to be NOT fly into IMC because one is already below minimum vectoring altitude and off charted routes. But that too ain't easy. New rule is minimum 1/2 mile vis. Min-vis visual flight is done SLOWLY and LOWLY and by the time one realizes the vis is less than a half mile there usually isn't any way to do a "quick 180" because it's a pedal turn and that 1/2 mile vis one had back there can drop to feet in a mini-change of a degree. Heck, I've had to key on trees and use the rotorwash energy to change the dewpoint enough to see the landing zone.

    I strongly agree the emphatic "land ANYWHERE" above is the answer. Remember one is doing this in a helicopter and one can LAND THE DANG THING. RIGHT THERE! One must practice scoping out those choices listed above, and more, never fixate on finding an airport (yes there's a LOT less paperwork) or "the perfect place" instead of landing.

    In order. Right side up, no damage, near a road, an occupied building, with a phone, a restaurant, a motel, with a pool, at a heliport, on an airport, with rental cars, and scheduled service.
    Last edited by Mike M; 01-31-2020 at 10:01 AM.

  8. #8

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    I agree with Mike M 100%. Been there, done that.

    I've been in similar circumstances flying helicopters in the Army and civilian.

    Vietnam Vet

  9. #9

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    $13 plus million to purchase a new aircraft. So if it did not have EVS and artificial vision, huge mistake. Pilot had plenty of instrument time. If the plastic main rotor blades didn't fail, or rotor system or something else in the chopper, then the pilot
    had a medical issue. If a very low hour of experience pilot can enter a cloud, use his instruments, and be able to talk about it I'm sure an instrument rated very experienced pilot will not be disoriented or lose control because of it.

    Someone mentioned land on a costco roof top, that is an approximate 11,000 pound item to land.
    Last edited by enginesrus; 01-29-2020 at 10:14 PM.

  10. #10

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    It was a Part 135 operator and they did not have authorization to conduct IFR operations.

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