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  #101  
Old 01-27-2020, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by JKellyMap View Post
Itís good to add that perspective into the conversation, Inigo, so thanks.
But letís remember that apparently two children died as well. (Yes, children are dying every day in Yemen, Chicago, and elsewhere...but still. Itís about feeling like you know someone a little, after years of seeing them on TV).
You can feel horrible for the kids and others involved in the crash, but still not feel too bad about Kobe. I honestly didn't even know about the rape, as I'm not a sports fan. I really only knew of Kobe at all because my brother has always liked him, enough so to name his cat after him. Now that I do know, I won't say anything to my brother about it, but I can't bring myself to cry over the guy. His kids though, and the others in the plane, absolutely did not deserve this.
  #102  
Old 01-27-2020, 10:42 AM
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Related to TMZ’s early reporting of the accident, possibly before next of kin were notified, years ago wasn’t there a celebrity who died and then a family member first found out through the press and consequently suffered something like a nervous breakdown? Who was that? My google-fu isn’t succeeding.
  #103  
Old 01-27-2020, 10:49 AM
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Related to TMZís early reporting of the accident, possibly before next of kin were notified, years ago wasnít there a celebrity who died and then a family member first found out through the press and consequently suffered something like a nervous breakdown? Who was that? My google-fu isnít succeeding.
That's was Buddy Holly's wife, Maria Elena Holly. She found out from television and had a miscarriage shortly thereafter.
  #104  
Old 01-27-2020, 11:06 AM
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Maria Holly, yes that’s who I was thinking of but couldn’t remember. Thanks, Pork Rind.

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  #105  
Old 01-27-2020, 12:00 PM
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My feelings on Kobe Bryant can best be described as complicated. Iíve always disliked him, but Iím always careful to differentiate between his career and personal life.

As a basketball fan I have long been annoyed at the narrative that he is a top 10 all time player. There are articles written about how he wasnít really the most clutch player and that he simply had a lot of volume. He also wasnít very efficient and I felt he never really played the team game I appreciate. He simply isnít on my list of five players Iíd start a franchise with who played in the last 20 years.

...but he was exquisitely talented at creating his own shot even when the numbers say he likely shouldnít and as someone who isnít a lot of fun to play sports with, I respect his competitive nature and work ethic.

Off the court he always seemed to be reasonably thoughtful and give a decent interview and was by all accounts a very good dad. Then there was the Colorado incident. I wasnít there and therefore have no interest litigating it, but in my eyes, it is at very least troubling. I do feel, however that people are more than their biggest mistake.

I know nothing about helicopters, but as someone who has a potentially dangerous job, itís very important to never take lightly the potentially dangerous aspects, no matter how experienced I feel I am.

Lastly, I canít imagine how horrible it must be to be sitting beside your child seconds before you know you will both likely die. I wouldnít wish that on anyone.

Rest In Peace Kobe, his daughter and all aboard the flight.
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  #106  
Old 01-27-2020, 01:10 PM
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This is going to be even more imprinted on people's memory than the breaking news of Michael Jackson's death eleven years ago. Kobe was a huge international icon. He probably had 300 million fans in China alone.
Really? I think Jackson was much bigger. I have heard of Kobe, but that's it. I don't even know what he looks like. He is not known all around the world, Jackson was.

Regardless of who he was, it's sad that he has gone. And it must be really tough on his family. They have my sympathies.

It also seems to indicate that private planes are not such a good idea. A number of celebrities gone that way. And I must admt that I would not to use a helicopter more than absolutely necessary - and so far it has not been necessary. When something goes wrong, it goes really wrong.
  #107  
Old 01-27-2020, 01:55 PM
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Kobe had a helicopter that's usually owned by Charter Companies. He certainly had the wealth to keep it maintained and hire a excellent pilot.

They would have been ok if they had listened to the No Fly warnings. Only a instrument rated pilot should have attempted flying in that thick fog. That's assuming the helicopter was properly equipped and certified.

It will be a long investigation and no doubt the pilot's experience and licenses will be widely reported in the news.

Aviation accidents like this are even more tragic because it was preventable.

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-27-2020 at 02:00 PM.
  #108  
Old 01-27-2020, 02:46 PM
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Lastly, I canít imagine how horrible it must be to be sitting beside your child seconds before you know you will both likely die. I wouldnít wish that on anyone.
If it helps, they apparently hit the mountain at 161 knots (185mph) in dense fog.

They never knew what happened.

https://www.tmz.com/2020/01/27/kobe-...ain-slow-down/
  #109  
Old 01-27-2020, 03:11 PM
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... they apparently hit the mountain at 161 knots (185mph) in dense fog.
That a pilot operating under "see and avoid" procedures would be flying near maximum speed with near-zero visibility in a hilly area is astonishing.

Roughly the equivalent of driving 80 mph in a blinding snowstorm.
  #110  
Old 01-27-2020, 03:11 PM
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If it helps, they apparently hit the mountain at 161 knots (185mph) in dense fog.

They never knew what happened.

https://www.tmz.com/2020/01/27/kobe-...ain-slow-down/
I read this and am wondering if they realized what was going on with the maneuverings of the pilot, though. I believe he went up and down and was moving around enough for people to know there was an issue.
  #111  
Old 01-27-2020, 03:47 PM
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Hard for me to consider Kobe's death a net loss to humanity. I'm not sure how long I'm supposed to hold raping the hotel housekeeper against a guy, but I'm disinclined to let that go. Personally I am nauseated how willing the general pubic was to let it go as well.
Luckily you are not a Washington Post reporter:
Washington Post journalist [Felicia Sonmez] is suspended after tweeting a link to a 2016 story about Kobe Bryant's rape case just hours after he died in helicopter crash
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...case-2003.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...bryant-tweets/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/27/b...ia-somnez.html

Here is a list of all the people who died:
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna
College baseball coach John Altobelli and his wife, Keri, were on board the helicopter with their daughter Alyssa, who played on the same club team as Gianna Bryant.
Christina Mauser, the top assistant coach of the Mamba girlsí basketball team
Ara Zobayan, pilot
Mother and daughter Sarah and Payton Chester
https://www.latimes.com/california/s...-crash-victims
  #112  
Old 01-27-2020, 04:51 PM
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Per Fox 5 San Diego, friends said the pilot was IFR rated.
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  #113  
Old 01-27-2020, 05:07 PM
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Pilot/tower radio chatter
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Last edited by Dogginit; 01-27-2020 at 05:08 PM.
  #114  
Old 01-27-2020, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by PastTense View Post
Luckily you are not a Washington Post reporter:
Washington Post journalist [Felicia Sonmez] is suspended after tweeting a link to a 2016 story about Kobe Bryant's rape case just hours after he died in helicopter crash
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...case-2003.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...bryant-tweets/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/27/b...ia-somnez.html

Here is a list of all the people who died:
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna
College baseball coach John Altobelli and his wife, Keri, were on board the helicopter with their daughter Alyssa, who played on the same club team as Gianna Bryant.
Christina Mauser, the top assistant coach of the Mamba girlsí basketball team
Ara Zobayan, pilot
Mother and daughter Sarah and Payton Chester
https://www.latimes.com/california/s...-crash-victims
Others are getting death threats.
Quote:
Within a couple hours of tweeting about former NBA star Kobe Bryantís rape allegation, Julie Lalonde had received thousands of repliesómany of them advising her to kill herself, or that she deserved to be raped....

In 2003, Bryant was accused of raping a 19-year-old woman at a hotel he was staying at in Eagle, Colorado. The woman, an employee at the hotel, alleged Bryant choked her and forced her to have intercourse; evidence of the alleged attack included bruises on the womanís neck and vaginal injuries. Bryant said the sex was consensual. The allegation never made it to trial. Ultimately, Bryantís accuser decided not to testify; his defense team raised her sexual history in preliminary hearings, and she was identified and smeared by tabloids....

Bryant later settled with his accuser in a separate civil suit. In a public statement, he apologized to her and said he understood she did not consider the sex consensual.
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/v...ccused-of-rape
  #115  
Old 01-27-2020, 05:16 PM
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That a pilot operating under "see and avoid" procedures would be flying near maximum speed with near-zero visibility in a hilly area is astonishing.

Roughly the equivalent of driving 80 mph in a blinding snowstorm.


Wow. That's so irresponsible.

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-27-2020 at 05:17 PM.
  #116  
Old 01-27-2020, 05:56 PM
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Given that the LAPD had grounded their helicopters I wondered if the pilot had called for special VFR. The radio radio log confirms that was the case.

My guess is that he was following 101 and where it bends South he mistakes Las Virgenes RD for it and starts following that. When he realizes the the heading is wrong he starts climbing. He makes it to 2400 ft above sea level before a 4000 ft per minute descent and crashes at about 830 ft above sea level. So if my math is right he's descending at 67 feet per second. with a difference of 1530 feet to impact that would have taken about 23 seconds.

And for those who don't know what "Special VFR" is it's approval to operate in a controlled air space below VFR minimums. It has to be asked for by the pilot and approved by the tower. Normal VFR requires 3 miles of visibility. To my understanding it's done with the understanding that the visual conditions beyond the airport meet VFR conditions and this is to allow a temporary transition to that airspace. I'll have to listen to the radio transmissions again but I believe the tower asks the pilot if he is currently VFR as he approaches their airspace.
  #117  
Old 01-27-2020, 06:01 PM
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I read this and am wondering if they realized what was going on with the maneuverings of the pilot, though. I believe he went up and down and was moving around enough for people to know there was an issue.
If the pilot was inadvertently making a controlled turn/roll then the passengers would not necessarily feel it. A controlled turn keeps you centered in your seat.

And if that's the case then the pilot would also not feel it and it then becomes disorienting if the instruments are showing a banking roll and visually it's all a blur.

Here's a video of Bob Hoover pouring iced tea in a barrel roll.

Last edited by Magiver; 01-27-2020 at 06:04 PM.
  #118  
Old 01-27-2020, 06:35 PM
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Absolute incompetence by the pilot, assuming this diagram is correct: https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2020/01...0092422544.jpg

I mean, how do you end up that far west, scud-running? They were nowhere near their destination, nor on a path to get them there. <snip>
My apologies if this was mentioned upthread, but that map/image in the link is incorrect. They were reportedly headed to a game/practice in Thousand Oaks, California, and planned to land at Camarillo Airport, which is about 25 miles west of the crash site (just east on that map of where that largish river on the left meets the ocean, which is Ventura). The San Gabriel Airport (formerly El Monte Airport) would not have been a stopping point.
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Last edited by Moonchild; 01-27-2020 at 06:36 PM.
  #119  
Old 01-27-2020, 06:55 PM
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Forgive me if this was posted, but here is a pretty good description from an eye(ear?) witness. Guy does a good job explaining how it sounded.
  #120  
Old 01-27-2020, 07:04 PM
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He sounds credible, but his observations donít align with the ADSB data. For example, at no point was the copter hovering overhead.
  #121  
Old 01-27-2020, 07:16 PM
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That is really good. The comments are great too. This news has all been shocking but also the coverage has been predictably oversaturated.
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  #122  
Old 01-27-2020, 07:50 PM
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He sounds credible, but his observations donít align with the ADSB data. For example, at no point was the copter hovering overhead.
what the person said was that the copter was making a slow left turn. the word "hovering" was used to describe a slow search pattern.

All that is consistent with a deviation from rt 101 and a turn/climb which would make sense. if you have hills around you it makes sense to slow your forward movement and climb to avoid terrain.

The ear-witness also described a fully functioning machine that wasn't in distress so mechanical failure is probably not the cause. It's looking more and more like disorientation. If the pilot was in a roll without any visual reference points and was distracted with the radio then the ear-witness's 20 second estimate is close to the time I calculated in the descent from 2400 ft to 830 ft at 4000 fpm.
  #123  
Old 01-27-2020, 08:17 PM
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what the person said was that the copter was making a slow left turn. the word "hovering" was used to describe a slow search pattern.
At the time the pilot made that left turn, they were moving along at 120+ knots, more than 140 mph. Hardly a slow search pattern.

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/a...n72ex#23a8271e
  #124  
Old 01-27-2020, 08:19 PM
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I would assume that a helicopter would have a terrain database loaded into the GPS. If it's not something found in certified panels then it's easily added to personal equipment. the subscription costs are negligible and the information it provides is substantial for anyone flying at low levels or in in mountainous conditions.
  #125  
Old 01-27-2020, 08:33 PM
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At the time the pilot made that left turn, they were moving along at 120+ knots, more than 140 mph. Hardly a slow search pattern.

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/a...n72ex#23a8271e
your cite is a minute by minute playback. If you go to the second to last minute you'll see ground speed of a 110 knots at an altitude of 2125. At that point it was in a climb which explains the reduced horizontal speed (ground speed). a minute later the altitude is 1500 feet with a ground speed of 156 knots.

the ear-witness talked about a 20 second flyover.
  #126  
Old 01-27-2020, 08:35 PM
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From things I’ve read on Reddit, sounds like the pilot hit a cloud bank. Normally when flying VFR, you’re supposed to go UP until you’re at a safe altitude, then figure things out (one option being, sometimes, to switch to IFR, which requires getting permission for a new flight plan).
Instead (or, after trying this), the pilot flew DOWN, hoping to get under the clouds and regain visual orientation by looking at the ground. (Or, his upward climb was so abrupt, he lost control of the chopper, and it started to descend, as he lost orientation as well).
The mistake was possibly compounded by his thinking he was in a particular place with flatter, lower-elevation terrain, but had lost the path of Highway 101, and wasn’t at that place.
It may have also been compounded by his flying faster than usual into those clouds — trying to make up for 15 minutes of lost time during a routine holding pattern (due to traffic) earlier in the flight.

Last edited by JKellyMap; 01-27-2020 at 08:38 PM.
  #127  
Old 01-27-2020, 08:43 PM
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It may have also been compounded by his flying faster than usual into those clouds ó trying to make up for 15 minutes of lost time during a routine holding pattern (due to traffic) earlier in the flight.
When the conclusions are in, I suspect this will be a major factor. I've wondered if the pilot, wanting to please his VIPs, was trying to prioritize speed and getting his special passengers to their destinations ASAP over basic, fundamental safety. I wonder whether the pilot started flying faster and started making decisions faster while flying faster. A deadly combination.
  #128  
Old 01-27-2020, 08:45 PM
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From things Iíve read on Reddit, sounds like the pilot hit a cloud bank. Normally when flying VFR, youíre supposed to go UP until youíre at a safe altitude, then figure things out (one option being, sometimes, to switch to IFR, which requires getting permission for a new flight plan).
Instead (or, after trying this), the pilot flew DOWN, hoping to get under the clouds and regain visual orientation by looking at the ground. (Or, his upward climb was so abrupt, he lost control of the chopper, and it started to descend, as he lost orientation as well).
The mistake was possibly compounded by his thinking he was in a particular place with flatter, lower-elevation terrain, but had lost the path of Highway 101, and wasnít at that place.
It may have also been compounded by his flying faster than usual into those clouds ó trying to make up for 15 minutes of lost time during a routine holding pattern (due to traffic) earlier in the flight.
The thing is, a modern GPS-driven moving map display gives the pilot +/- a couple of feet. He should be centered on rt101. Even if a panel mount GPS has a small display you can zoom in on what you're tracking. this was a VERY nice helicopter. The panel should be state-of-the-art. If for any reason you lose satellite signal then plan-B is to climb and climb some more until you're completely above everything. In a helicopter you can pretty much do that straight up.
  #129  
Old 01-27-2020, 08:47 PM
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When the conclusions are in, I suspect this will be a major factor. I've wondered if the pilot, wanting to please his VIPs, was trying to prioritize speed and getting his special passengers to their destinations ASAP over basic, fundamental safety. I wonder whether the pilot started flying faster and started making decisions faster while flying faster. A deadly combination.
Fog + ďIím tired of waiting ó letís just get a move-onĒ = Tenerife
  #130  
Old 01-27-2020, 08:52 PM
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Iím reading that this was Kobeís exclusive pilot. Although apparently well trained, Iím guessing that he was not in the business of telling his client ďnoĒ when they were planning a trip. Pilots have warned me about the risk of an ďI can make itĒ mentality in the face of bad weather conditions.

Kobe gave an interview a few years ago where he talked about using the helicopter because it gave him more access to his kids, since he could bypass sitting in traffic.

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Originally Posted by Black Mamba
ďBut then, traffic started getting really, really bad, right? And I was sitting in traffic and I wind up missing like a school play because I was sitting in traffic. This thing just kept mounting. I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time. So thatís when I looked into helicopters and be able to get down and back in 15 minutes. And thatís when it started. And so my routine was always the same. Weights early in the morning, kids to school, fly down, practice like crazy, do my extra work, media, everything I needed to do, fly back, get back in carpool line, pick the kids up. And my wife was like, ĎListen, I can pick them up.í Iím like, ĎNo, no, no. I want to do that.í Because like you have road trips and times where you donít see your kids, man. So every chance I get to see them and spend time with them ó even if itís 20 minutes in your car ó like, I want that.Ē
https://www.google.com/amp/s/ftw.usa...view-video/amp
  #131  
Old 01-27-2020, 09:00 PM
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Wow, that’s tragic, in the deep, Ancient-Greek-play sense of the word.
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:13 PM
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Fog + ďIím tired of waiting ó letís just get a move-onĒ = Tenerife
I actually know someone who use to fly celebrities around. There is truth to the idea that pilots are encouraged to push things to the limit. That would explain the VFR skud run down RT 101. But it appears that the pilot had realized he couldn't continue this and was attempting to climb out of a bad situation. If there was a second pilot onboard then they could have divided up the flying tasks and it wouldn't have gotten out of control. When you're 23 seconds away from hitting something and you're attention has been diverted for 30 seconds then......
  #133  
Old 01-27-2020, 09:30 PM
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CFIT - controlled flight into terrain
IFR - Instrument flight rules
IMC - Instrument meteorological conditions
GA - General Aviation
Thank you. I could look them up myself but that's the point: I shouldn't have to.
  #134  
Old 01-27-2020, 09:54 PM
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Fog + ďIím tired of waiting ó letís just get a move-onĒ = Tenerife
That's kinda what I see here based on the limited info.

Keep in mind, the pilot is Mamba's employee, in a sense. He's got VIPs. He thinks he's got mad pilot skills and he wants to equal Kobe's on the court skills.

When a basketball player fucks up, you lose points, maybe you lose a game, and maybe you even lose a championship.

When a pilot fucks up...it's game over - forever.
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:57 PM
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Iím reading that this was Kobeís exclusive pilot. Although apparently well trained, Iím guessing that he was not in the business of telling his client ďnoĒ when they were planning a trip. Pilots have warned me about the risk of an ďI can make itĒ mentality in the face of bad weather conditions.

Kobe gave an interview a few years ago where he talked about using the helicopter because it gave him more access to his kids, since he could bypass sitting in traffic.



https://www.google.com/amp/s/ftw.usa...view-video/amp
I think this is the story.

The pilot wanted to impress Kobe - and his VIP passengers.

They paid the ultimate price.

Mind you, this is the same mentality that has led to aviation disasters. Look up the NW flight in Detroit 1987 or the AA flight in Arkansas in 1999. Crews trying to be on time, rushing the process, skipping steps, making very basic but life-death decisions hastily...and paying the ultimate price.
  #136  
Old 01-27-2020, 10:08 PM
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your cite is a minute by minute playback. If you go to the second to last minute you'll see ground speed of a 110 knots at an altitude of 2125. At that point it was in a climb which explains the reduced horizontal speed (ground speed). a minute later the altitude is 1500 feet with a ground speed of 156 knots.

the ear-witness talked about a 20 second flyover.
Iíve seen and canít find the more gradual ADSB data, so I posted the FR24 data as an example. In any case, at no point does the helicopter slow to anything close to under a hundred knots during the final turn.

My point is that the earwitness is not reliable. His statement in part is as follows...

ďIt was almost directly above us in this parking lot or these condominiums here, moving very slowly, maybe 3, 4, 5 miles per hour, so it was in hover - search and hover...Ē

That's the statement that witness made that Iím saying cannot be accurate, that's all.

Last edited by Pork Rind; 01-27-2020 at 10:10 PM.
  #137  
Old 01-28-2020, 06:12 AM
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I'll have to listen to the radio transmissions again but I believe the tower asks the pilot if he is currently VFR as he approaches their airspace.
I listened to the communications and at at least one point the controller asks the helicopter to report when back in VFR conditions. So yeah, I think the controllers were assuming this was intended to get through poor visibility and then back to true VFR.
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:21 AM
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I listened to the communications and at at least one point the controller asks the helicopter to report when back in VFR conditions. So yeah, I think the controllers were assuming this was intended to get through poor visibility and then back to true VFR.
I came across an interesting conversation about “normalization of deviance” in the middle of a Reddit thread and saved the comment, Of course I can’t find the context right now, but this local (to the SFV pilot said this...

Quote:
There's imc and there's "San Fernando Valley IMC" which basically every helicopter that lives at Van Nuys, Whiteman, and Burbank knows they can fudge it and fly anyways so long as they can "stay in vfr conditions" which we all know is a fucking lie, but waiting for svfr clearance out usually means you're not getting out/through, hence the rule bending
So it sounds like there’s what you and I know about the intent of SVFR, and there’s the reality of what it’s become for some pilots with major pressure to complete the flight.

Last edited by Pork Rind; 01-28-2020 at 09:22 AM.
  #139  
Old 01-28-2020, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Pork Rind View Post
I came across an interesting conversation about ďnormalization of devianceĒ in the middle of a Reddit thread and saved the comment, Of course I canít find the context right now, but this local (to the SFV pilot said this...
Quote:
There's imc and there's "San Fernando Valley IMC" which basically every helicopter that lives at Van Nuys, Whiteman, and Burbank knows they can fudge it and fly anyways so long as they can "stay in vfr conditions" which we all know is a fucking lie, but waiting for svfr clearance out usually means you're not getting out/through, hence the rule bending
So it sounds like thereís what you and I know about the intent of SVFR, and thereís the reality of what itís become for some pilots with major pressure to complete the flight.
Yep. Everything I've ready indicates this crash was caused by "normalization of deviance", also known as "slowly boiling the frog". The client and the pilot slowly increase their tolerance of risk and never notice they have, until the one unlucky time they pay more than they ever intended.

You might think "I'm not some superstar who's become used to pushing their luck because they've led a charmed life", but every person does this, all the time. Better hope that where you're doing it the worst consequence isn't lethal. Humans need immediate feedback in order to change their behavior and are absolutely terrible at comprehending risk.
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Old 01-28-2020, 10:29 AM
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You might think "I'm not some superstar who's become used to pushing their luck because they've led a charmed life", but every person does this, all the time.
As a perpetual student pilot, this is one of the things that frightens me the most. I know that I can be susceptible to this kind of thinking. I can look back to several times I drove through worsening winter conditions, telling myself on a continuous loop, "I made it this far, I can go a little farther. I must be almost through this. It would be worse to turn back. I need to get where I'm going."
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Old 01-28-2020, 06:59 PM
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I’ve seen and can’t find the more gradual ADSB data, so I posted the FR24 data as an example. In any case, at no point does the helicopter slow to anything close to under a hundred knots during the final turn.

My point is that the earwitness is not reliable. His statement in part is as follows...

“It was almost directly above us in this parking lot or these condominiums here, moving very slowly, maybe 3, 4, 5 miles per hour, so it was in hover - search and hover...”

That's the statement that witness made that I’m saying cannot be accurate, that's all.
I'm in the flight path of medical helicopters and what the person in the video described is what you would hear from a helicopter arcing around your location in a change of direction. You know when it’s low. There's a distinct pressure wave you can feel as well as hear. What the person in the video is describing is consistent with a low flying helicopter turning and climbing close by. And close can be ľ mile away.
Think of the maneuver from a pilot's point of view when confronted with fog in mountainous terrain. The prudent thing to do is arrest your forward movement and convert that into lift to get above the terrain in front of you. We know the pilot was making a left turn with passengers. He’s not in an air race. He’s going to make the turn as gentle as possible to keep the G force down.
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Pork Rind View Post
As a perpetual student pilot, this is one of the things that frightens me the most. I know that I can be susceptible to this kind of thinking. I can look back to several times I drove through worsening winter conditions, telling myself on a continuous loop, "I made it this far, I can go a little farther. I must be almost through this. It would be worse to turn back. I need to get where I'm going."
Worse yet is when you aren't even conscious of what you're doing.

This is why the occasional defensive driving course is a good idea. Everyone's driving skills degrade over time as they tolerate just a tiny bit more inattention and nonchalance, day after day.
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:17 AM
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The helicopter didn't have a terrain awareness system (TAWS).

It wasn't mandatory but this was a luxury charter that seated more than six passengers. You'd expect the best equipment for VIP's.

https://nypost.com/2020/01/29/kobe-b...reness-system/

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In 2006, the NTSB recommended installing the system on all turbine-powered choppers with six or more passenger seats after a similar aircraft — a Sikorsky S-76A carrying workers to an offshore drilling ship — crashed in the Gulf of Mexico, killing all 10 people aboard.

But the Federal Aviation Administration instituted the requirement 10 years later only for air ambulances and other medical helicopters — not for all such helicopters.

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-29-2020 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:01 AM
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The helicopter didn't have a terrain awareness system (TAWS).
This fact makes me more puzzled about the mindset of the pilot.

According to information from the NTSB, the helicopter's radar returns indicated that just before impact, it was in a "descending left bank".

If you're wrapped up in cloud and have no idea where the ground is (and know you will have no warning if you get too low to terrain), why would you be in a descending ANYTHING? Was the pilot stuck in a visual rule mindset and ignoring his instruments? Because I'm pretty sure the altimeter and rate-of-climb indicator would definitely have said "you're descending" if the pilot had looked at them.

Maybe the pilot thought he could get below the deck and reestablish his navigation?
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Old 01-29-2020, 11:18 AM
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^
Very puzzling, will be interested if the facts are ever verified.

Yeah, in a plane you have to maintain air speed, but in a helicopter you can hover. And this pilot appeared to speed downwards when all common sense says that he should have hovered upwards.

Last edited by K364; 01-29-2020 at 11:18 AM.
  #146  
Old 01-29-2020, 11:53 AM
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This fact makes me more puzzled about the mindset of the pilot.

According to information from the NTSB, the helicopter's radar returns indicated that just before impact, it was in a "descending left bank".

If you're wrapped up in cloud and have no idea where the ground is (and know you will have no warning if you get too low to terrain), why would you be in a descending ANYTHING? Was the pilot stuck in a visual rule mindset and ignoring his instruments? Because I'm pretty sure the altimeter and rate-of-climb indicator would definitely have said "you're descending" if the pilot had looked at them.

Maybe the pilot thought he could get below the deck and reestablish his navigation?
The pilot was trying to fly visually in poor weather. The likely explanation is that he encountered worsening visibility, and was either attempting a fairly radical maneuver (perhaps a 180-degree turn in the canyon) to avoid cloud, or attempting to transition from flying visually to flying without external visibility on instruments. The latter should involve an immediate climb in a safe direction to a safe altitude for the highest terrain in the surrounding area. But if you lose external visual references and are not fully on top of the transition from scanning outside to scanning the instruments to monitor your attitude etc., you can become disoriented surprisingly quickly. When you can't see outside, the cues from your vestibular system are highly unreliable, you can be in an accelerating turning descent and feel as though you are climbing straight ahead. He likely entered IMC (cloud, no outside reference) and lost awareness of his aircraft's attitude and speed. If this is what happened, it's called CFIT, controlled flight into terrain - nothing wrong with the aircraft, it was doing exactly what his control inputs told it to do.

Last edited by Riemann; 01-29-2020 at 11:55 AM.
  #147  
Old 01-29-2020, 12:00 PM
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It's worth adding - the pilot was highly experienced, and certainly rated to fly IFR (on instruments, in cloud), and the aircraft was equipped to do so. But it's less common for helicopters to fly IFR, and flying on instruments is something that you need to practice to maintain your skills. In principle, he had the skills and the equipment to "escape" from the worsening weather by transitioning to IFR. But it's not implausible that even a highly experienced pilot might have just screwed up.
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:49 PM
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If this is what happened, it's called CFIT, controlled flight into terrain - nothing wrong with the aircraft, it was doing exactly what his control inputs told it to do.
Based on the flight chatter, I'm about 97% sure this is what happened. There is no indication of any kind in the pilot's words or tone than there was anything wrong with his aircraft. All indications are that he just flew it into the ground.
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  #149  
Old 01-29-2020, 12:57 PM
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Is there something akin to an artificial horizon in a helicopter whereby it can tell you if you're going up or forward-down?
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:03 PM
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I think this is the story.

The pilot wanted to impress Kobe - and his VIP passengers.

They paid the ultimate price.
I'm not sure "impress" would be it, so much as "don't want to look bad." He might not be in a race to get to the destination, but he doesn't want to be like, "I gotta admit fault, things aren't so well, I got to pause, hover, maybe even land us temporarily or re-route to a different place." Mamba could easily fire him and hire another pilot then, even if this pilot would have been doing the frustrating but right thing.
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