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  #51  
Old 01-26-2020, 05:04 PM
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Thousands of fans are gathering outside Staples, which is also where the Grammy's are being held tonight. It will be a surreal Red Carpet in a couple of hours.

Random observation in the South Bay:

A man holding up Kobe's #8 jersey on the corner of two major streets. Cars passing through honking their horns (out of respect).
  #52  
Old 01-26-2020, 05:19 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.
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Old 01-26-2020, 05:28 PM
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It’s good to add that perspective into the conversation, Inigo, so thanks.
But let’s remember that apparently two children died as well. (Yes, children are dying every day in Yemen, Chicago, and elsewhere...but still. It’s about feeling like you know someone a little, after years of seeing them on TV).
  #54  
Old 01-26-2020, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya View Post
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.
I was thinking about this today(of course) and I was wondering, what he falsely accused or not? Did we ever find out or is it unknown?
  #55  
Old 01-26-2020, 05:32 PM
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ESPN.com puts it thus:

“ While Bryant was an unqualified star on the court, he did have controversy off it. He was accused of sexual assault in Colorado in 2003. The criminal case was dropped the next year, but Bryant still issued an apology. He said he considered the encounter to be consensual but recognized that the woman "did not and does not view this incident the same way I did."
  #56  
Old 01-26-2020, 05:32 PM
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I was thinking about this today(of course) and I was wondering, what he falsely accused or not? Did we ever find out or is it unknown?
While I am very inclined to believe her, it can't be proven. His story was that the whole thing was consensual as far as he knew at the time. Hers was that it started out consensual but at some point she asked him to stop and he kept going.
  #57  
Old 01-26-2020, 05:33 PM
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... It’s about feeling like you know someone a little, after years of seeing them on TV).
Like we all thought we knew Cosby, sure, I get it. Point is, in a just world nobody would have remembered him apart from the prison warden, if that.
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Old 01-26-2020, 05:35 PM
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I too was thinking about this. What makes it really complex, IMO, is that he was old enough to have an entire generation who only knew him at his best, for whom the rape accusations are, at best, a vague childhood memory. I think to many, addressing that viscerally feels like you’re telling those people, “oh, your grief is wrong, because he was a rapist,” and that feels wrong. It’s a weird emotional place to be.

As an aside, I do not envy those in the federal government who had to decide official reactions after Nixon’s death. On one hand, he was President of the United States, a major figure in history, but on the other hand... I think I remember a lot of confusion and hesitation on the media’s part that day.
  #59  
Old 01-26-2020, 05:40 PM
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Yeah, the only thing I think of when I hear his name is rapist.
  #60  
Old 01-26-2020, 05:42 PM
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I've never watched a basketball game in my life. In spite of whatever negative feelings I may have felt towards Kobe back when the rape accusation was in the news, I'm incredibly sad about this news today. I truly can't remember the last time I've felt so affected by a celebrity death.
  #61  
Old 01-26-2020, 06:24 PM
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His ex-teammate Shaquille O'Neal tweeted this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaq
There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant
I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW
https://mobile.twitter.com/SHAQ/stat...0%2Fframe.html

Last edited by cochrane; 01-26-2020 at 06:26 PM.
  #62  
Old 01-26-2020, 06:29 PM
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Orange Coast College baseball coaching legend John Altobelli was among the victims in Sunday's helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, OCC assistant coach Ron La Ruffa confirmed to the Orange County Register.

Altobelli was entering his 24th season as the head coach of the OCC baseball program, with which he has won four state titles. He was 56.
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/...-crash-victims
  #63  
Old 01-26-2020, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya View Post
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.
The irony I'm seeing on Twitter is the same people who claim virtue signaling doesn't exist are now claiming people bringing up his rape right now are virtue signaling.
  #64  
Old 01-26-2020, 07:02 PM
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Watching the Lakers with Kobe & Shaq brought me a lot of exciting entertainment. I have so many memories of the championship games.

Thank you Kobe for all you brought to the basketball court. You were the face of the Lakers for so many years.

My heart goes out to all the victims families.

RIP


Last edited by aceplace57; 01-26-2020 at 07:04 PM.
  #65  
Old 01-26-2020, 07:36 PM
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ESPN.com puts it thus:

“ While Bryant was an unqualified star on the court, he did have controversy off it. He was accused of sexual assault in Colorado in 2003. The criminal case was dropped the next year, but Bryant still issued an apology. He said he considered the encounter to be consensual but recognized that the woman "did not and does not view this incident the same way I did."
There is no evidence that he actually raped her.

There is evidence he lied to investigators, which is a crime and could have been prosecuted - maybe it should have been.

There is evidence that the two had sex. There is evidence that the woman bled, but it's not clear whether that was caused by force. There is other circumstantial evidence.

One major piece of evidence that calls the case into question is the fact that the woman brought underwear to investigators that had another man's semen on it. The woman also apparently had sex with another man within a very short period of time after Kobe's alleged rape took place. There is also circumstantial evidence that casts doubt on the accuser.

I want to be clear: I can't say that the accuser falsely accused Kobe Bryant, but there is no compelling evidence pointing toward Kobe's guilt. It's an accusation. And not all accusation carry the same weight. I agree that Kobe was no angel, and he wasn't even my favorite basketball player - and in terms of his on-the-court personality, he had a tendency to be conceited at the expense of his teammates.

But I don't think that Kobe can be defined by that one alleged incident, nor do I think he can be defined by his occasional narcissism, which I think he more or less grew out of over time. This is a tragedy, not just for the 8 others who perished but for a long life cut short and a family that loved Kobe Bryant.

I'm not trying to junior mod but I'm hoping we can keep the rest of the discussion focused on a somewhat elevated tone.
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:40 PM
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Well put, asahi. FWIW, it seems that Bill Russell had an important role in teaching Kobe to take the “I” out of “team.”
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:41 PM
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I'd be good with that. There are better places to do this. I do apologize for darkening the thread, and it is a good point that he may have grown away from what he was. But still, it didn't sit well with me that he (in my mind at least) represented a failure in the legal system, and its susceptibility to monetary power for special citizens.
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:44 PM
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Jesus, if you add up all of the misinformation posted on the first page of this thread, it seems that too many members of the media are more interested in being first than in being right when they report on an incident like this.
  #69  
Old 01-26-2020, 07:44 PM
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I'm not in any way a basketball fan, but I know of Kobe.
I'm wondering how his death would compare in other sports. Is this compareble to say, Mario Lemieux? That's the closet I can think of in hockey.
What about baseball, soccer, etc.
BTW: Someone of Mario's stature would devastate me; but I don't know basketball.,
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:47 PM
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Yes, Lemieux is a good analogy, I think, with Gretzky as Jordan, and Crosby as James (?).

Last edited by JKellyMap; 01-26-2020 at 07:50 PM.
  #71  
Old 01-26-2020, 07:49 PM
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I wasn't alive then, but the immediate comparison that I think of is Roberto Clemente, who played baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was actually still an active player, IIRC. I think one thing that's really cool is how Pittsburgh has honored Clemente with a statue outside PNC Park and hell, even a bridge.

Another superstar who died shortly after retirement was Reggie White of the Eagles and then Packers.
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Old 01-26-2020, 09:41 PM
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How thorough a pre flight mechanical check is done on a helicopter before each take off? I bet the mechanic is going to have to go through some heavy duty therapy.
pretty thorough and our crew chief(mechanic) flew with us.
  #73  
Old 01-26-2020, 09:45 PM
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Trying my best to compare apples to apples, or at least to fruit, helicopters are safer on a fatal accident per flight hour rate than general aviation as a whole. I was looking at this study on helicopter accidents, which used the NTSB dataset from 2005 to 2015, and this statement from FlightSafety International on GA fatal accident rates. The first paper found a 0.7 fatal accident per 100,000 helicopter flight hours rate. The 2018 GA fatality rate was 1.029 per 100,000 flight hours.

I'm very surprised by those figures. Your guess was really close.

As to the accident, if it was weather related, CFIT, this pilot wasn't the first helicopter pilot to be killed by inadvertent flight into IMC, and s/he won't be the last. Those of you who are helicopter pilots, my impression is that IFR certification among your ranks is a lot less prevalent than in fixed wing GA. Would a professional pilot of a Sikorsky S-76 typically be IFR certified?
in the Army we all were instrument rated. No idea on civilians.
  #74  
Old 01-26-2020, 09:46 PM
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I wasn't alive then, but the immediate comparison that I think of is Roberto Clemente, who played baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was actually still an active player, IIRC. I think one thing that's really cool is how Pittsburgh has honored Clemente with a statue outside PNC Park and hell, even a bridge.

Another superstar who died shortly after retirement was Reggie White of the Eagles and then Packers.
Also, the Baseball Hall of Fame selection committee voted Clemente into the Hall in 1973, shortly after his death, waiving the customary five-year waiting period for eligibility.
  #75  
Old 01-26-2020, 10:04 PM
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The irony I'm seeing on Twitter is the same people who claim virtue signaling doesn't exist are now claiming people bringing up his rape right now are virtue signaling.
I don't read twitter except when it's quoted in news articles and then usually skip over that part if it's not a public figure's tweet. But virtue signalling via stating certain political/social opinions absolutely exists in media and internet generally, on a massive scale, so whoever claims it doesn't exist is full of shit, simple as that.

On second part, the relevance of the rape accusation against Bryant seems to me to depend what it's responding to. If somebody is getting carried away lionizing Bryant as an example all young people should emulate, then I can see bringing it up. There's at least serious doubt he was that. But, if somebody is just saying it's a terrible situation, thinking of someone's final moments during such an event, a wife and mother losing husband and a daughter at once, then not so relevant IMO to bring it up. And in that case bringing it up might be motivated by the desire to appear righteous, which is again obviously *very* important to a lot people posting on the internet, rather than them just not being bright enough to think through that it's not so relevant to the particular statement they're responding to. Though the latter is also possible.

The other 'hypocrisy' issue about this would be why people are emotionally moved by terrible situations involving a celebrity more than when it's an ordinary person. Or the ordinary people on the same helicopter in this case. Because we feel we know celebrities. We don't, most of us, but it's just a natural reaction in the moment. I don't see a reason to beat ourselves up over that, or criticize others for it too much.
  #76  
Old 01-26-2020, 10:20 PM
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There is no evidence that he actually raped her.
Of course, because the victim saying he raped her doesn't count as "evidence".
  #77  
Old 01-26-2020, 10:45 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.
By all accounts, he committed infidelity, not rape. YMMV, of course; we weren't there, nor were any of us part of his marriage.

Now, Vanessa will have to forge on without him AND one of their children.
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Old 01-26-2020, 10:59 PM
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By all accounts, he committed infidelity, not rape
There is one very important account that disputes that.
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Old 01-26-2020, 11:00 PM
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There is one very important account that disputes that.
I'm not sure ALL accounts agree.
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Old 01-26-2020, 11:40 PM
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It appears flying conditions were marginal: low ceilings, with hilltops obscured. The helicopter was flying "special VFR" - which is requested when a pilot is unable to maintain the visibility requirements specified for normal Visual Flight Rules.
  #81  
Old 01-27-2020, 12:21 AM
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Virtue signaling exists. The term is often misapplied. It does not mean that someone is saying something just to look good. It literally means signaling virtue. It is a scientific term, and has neither a positive nor negative connotation. (The same is true of "cultural appropriation"). Unfortunately, the negative use has taken over in some circles.

What companies are accused of is being disingenuous with their virtue signaling. This does happen. The problem is when this is assumed of all virtue signalling, as is often used by the right against the left, and then in retaliation by the left against the right.

The people bringing up the accusation of rape against Bryant are virtue signalling. It is unclear to me that they are being disingenuous about it. I suspect they do in fact care, and are responding to the guy being lionized.

I personally think "Well, he does have that rape accusation which was never really resolved, so let's not get too carried away in saying he's a great guy" is an appropriate response to said lionization, but there's no reason for it to go further than that. I definitely agree that debating what exactly happened belongs elsewhere.

Last edited by BigT; 01-27-2020 at 12:22 AM.
  #82  
Old 01-27-2020, 12:26 AM
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Aside from that, I actually heard about this from live news earlier, but they were very cagey about saying whether the victims had actually died. They just confirmed who was in the crash, but not the status of the victims. My first instinct was to check here, and I got the straight dope. (I just didn't have time or a clear head to reply earlier.)

I am saddened by the news. Regardless of what you think of the man, that he was with his daughter who he was training in basketball made it extra sad to me. I feel very, very bad for the family right now.

Last edited by BigT; 01-27-2020 at 12:27 AM.
  #83  
Old 01-27-2020, 01:02 AM
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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.

Just boggling. I mean I've read of incompetence from pilots flying celebrities: Aaliyah's PIC deciding to fly when the plane was grossly overloaded, the Lafayette, LA twin crash after VMC roll, killing among others the sports sideline reporter who was the daughter-in-law of the LSU O.Coordinator. But it's still anger inducing even if it's not unexpected anymore.

SVFR in those conditions (widespread fog), without the ability to transition to IFR, is malpractice. It's a 13 million dollar helicopter. I'm pretty sure it had a six pack of instruments, if not a glass cockpit with synthetic vision, a gazillion radios and navaids, plenty of charts, terrain maps, and GPS, and you decide to fuck around with following a fucking road at 130 knots plus at only a few hundred feet AGL? How fucking dare you!

S/he's lucky they didn't put the thing into a house when s/he tried to turn around, as poorly as s/he was flying. The more data I see about this crash, the angrier I get.
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:17 AM
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LA police & the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department weren't flying because of fog. So why was Kobe's pilot flying? It sure sounds like pilot error cost 9 people their lives. SNAFU

https://www.latimes.com/california/s...near-calabasas

Quote:
The fog was severe enough Sunday morning that the Los Angeles Police Department’s Air Support Division grounded its helicopters and didn’t fly until later in the afternoon, department spokesman Josh Rubenstein said.

“The weather situation did not meet our minimum standards for flying,” Rubenstein said. The fog “was enough that we were not flying.” LAPD’s flight minimums are 2 miles of visibility and an 800-foot cloud ceiling, he said.

The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department made a similar assessment about the fog and had no helicopters in the air Sunday morning “basically because of the fog and had no helicopters in the air Sunday morning “basically because of the weather,” Villanueva said.

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-27-2020 at 01:20 AM.
  #85  
Old 01-27-2020, 04:25 AM
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Trying my best to compare apples to apples, or at least to fruit, helicopters are safer on a fatal accident per flight hour rate than general aviation as a whole. I was looking at this study on helicopter accidents, which used the NTSB dataset from 2005 to 2015, and this statement from FlightSafety International on GA fatal accident rates. The first paper found a 0.7 fatal accident per 100,000 helicopter flight hours rate. The 2018 GA fatality rate was 1.029 per 100,000 flight hours.

I'm very surprised by those figures. Your guess was really close.

As to the accident, if it was weather related, CFIT, this pilot wasn't the first helicopter pilot to be killed by inadvertent flight into IMC, and s/he won't be the last. Those of you who are helicopter pilots, my impression is that IFR certification among your ranks is a lot less prevalent than in fixed wing GA. Would a professional pilot of a Sikorsky S-76 typically be IFR certified?
GA, CFIT, IMC, IFR?

I thought this thread was about Kobe, not the alphabet. It's OK for you to spell those terms out if you think they might need to be. I think some might need to be.
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Old 01-27-2020, 04:43 AM
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CFIT - controlled flight into terrain
IFR - Instrument flight rules
IMC - Instrument meteorological conditions
GA - General Aviation
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Old 01-27-2020, 04:54 AM
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Jesus, if you add up all of the misinformation posted on the first page of this thread, it seems that too many members of the media are more interested in being first than in being right when they report on an incident like this.
I was thinking the same exact thing. By the time I woke up (night shift) the story was pretty much out there. I had no idea such bad info was put out at first.

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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.

Just boggling. I mean I've read of incompetence from pilots flying celebrities: Aaliyah's PIC deciding to fly when the plane was grossly overloaded, the Lafayette, LA twin crash after VMC roll, killing among others the sports sideline reporter who was the daughter-in-law of the LSU O.Coordinator. But it's still anger inducing even if it's not unexpected anymore.

SVFR in those conditions (widespread fog), without the ability to transition to IFR, is malpractice. It's a 13 million dollar helicopter. I'm pretty sure it had a six pack of instruments, if not a glass cockpit with synthetic vision, a gazillion radios and navaids, plenty of charts, terrain maps, and GPS, and you decide to fuck around with following a fucking road at 130 knots plus at only a few hundred feet AGL? How fucking dare you!

S/he's lucky they didn't put the thing into a house when s/he tried to turn around, as poorly as s/he was flying. The more data I see about this crash, the angrier I get.
I’m with you. It’s not like it’s not pounded into your head how dangerous trying to push flying VFR in IFR conditions.


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LA police & the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department weren't flying because of fog. So why was Kobe's pilot flying? It sure sounds like pilot error cost 9 people their lives. SNAFU

https://www.latimes.com/california/s...near-calabasas
The police need to see what’s on the ground. It doesn’t make much sense for them to fly when they can’t. It’s not dangerous to fly a fully instrument rated aircraft in bad weather if you are flying on instruments and not your eyeballs. It is incredibly dangerous to fly in low visibility without using your instruments. Some pilots are simply reluctant to transition to their instruments and it sometimes costs lives.
  #88  
Old 01-27-2020, 05:06 AM
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GA, CFIT, IMC, IFR?

I thought this thread was about Kobe, not the alphabet. It's OK for you to spell those terms out if you think they might need to be. I think some might need to be.
CFIT - Controlled Flight Into Terrain. Meaning the aircraft was mechanically sound but for some reason the pilot flew into the side of a planet.

GA - General Aviation. Meaning not the military and not airlines. There are some technical definitions I won't bore you with unless you really want them, but suffice to say that a privately chartered aircraft operates under slightly different rules and regs than, say United Airlines or Southwest

IMC - Instrument Meteorological Conditions. Meaning visibility outside the cockpit sucks and you need to rely on instruments to fly safely.

IFR - Instrument Flight Rules. Meaning the rules under which you fly while relying on instruments. Failure to comply can have lethal results.

VFR - Visual Flight Rules. Meaning when you look outside the cockpit there is sufficient visibility to safely navigate by relying on human vision.

SVFR - Special Visual Flight Rules. These are rules that are in effect when visibility is marginal, this is a link to a brief bit on SVFR in the US and the larger article discusses it a bit more.

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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.
Scud-running is EXACTLY how you wind up doing that. If they had an IFR current pilot and were flying IFR they would not have been off course. It was exactly because they were flying SVFR and had to maintain some visibility that probably pushed them off course. It's a classic thing seen in this type of accident, that the need to stay out of zero-visibility conditions pushes the pilot further and further off course.

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Aaliyah's PIC deciding to fly when the plane was grossly overloaded,
I thought that had as much to do with the load being improperly balanced as with being overweight - overweight airplanes have been known to complete flights successfully, out-of-balance airplanes not so much. Yes, that crash was on the pilot.

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the Lafayette, LA twin crash after VMC roll, killing among others the sports sideline reporter who was the daughter-in-law of the LSU O.Coordinator. But it's still anger inducing even if it's not unexpected anymore.
I'm not sure which crash this is that you are referring to. The only Lafayette, LA twin airplane crash I could find involved a declared emergency and attempted landing which means that it might not be due to a problem pilot. To start a turning descent that soon after takeoff usually indicates an engine problem or something equally serious. The fact that the pilot did not attempt to contact ATC means little - pilots are trained to fly first and communicate second. Dealing with the emergency at hand is supposed to take priority over using the radio.

But hey, go ahead and blame the pilot based on.... nothing really.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
SVFR in those conditions (widespread fog), without the ability to transition to IFR, is malpractice.
Actually, it's legal even if arguably stupid. There are reasons for allowing it. I would argue that ferrying a celebrity from point A to point B through poor conditions is not one of them, but there it is.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
It's a 13 million dollar helicopter. I'm pretty sure it had a six pack of instruments, if not a glass cockpit with synthetic vision, a gazillion radios and navaids, plenty of charts, terrain maps, and GPS, and you decide to fuck around with following a fucking road at 130 knots plus at only a few hundred feet AGL? How fucking dare you!
That particular helicopter was built in 1991 before glass cockpits, "synthetic vision", and GPS were common things even if Sikorsky S-76's more recently produced typically come with such things. Quite likely it was retro-fitted with more up to date avionics when owned by the State of Illinois before being sold off when the state downsized its collection of aircraft. It might also have a cockpit voice recorder as that is equipment installed on at least some S-76's.

That said, following roads is, in fact, a legitimate navigation method under VFR flight, including SVFR. Which gets back to whether or not the flight should have been attempted in such conditions.

I don't know that they were actually going 130 knots through the soup - while the helicopter is certainly capable of that speed as a helicopter, unlike a fixed wing, it is not required to maintain a minimum speed.

Flight at "several hundred feet AGL" is sort of required when flying in 2 mile visibility with an 800 foot ceiling while VFR - by definition you have to stay clear of clouds and that would mean an altitude lower than 800. Which, again gets back to whether or not they should have been attempting this flight in these conditions. I'm inclined to say "no", but then I've been forced down by bad weather and am damn lucky to have come out of the experience unscathed and the experience made me more paranoid than average about getting into such a situation again, leading me to stay on the ground when plenty of other pilots decided to fly.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
S/he's lucky they didn't put the thing into a house when s/he tried to turn around, as poorly as s/he was flying. The more data I see about this crash, the angrier I get.
Yeah, it's lucky all the pilot did was get 9 people killed and start a small brushfire. It could have been worse.

That said - I await the word of professional investigators to find out what really happened. Even so - my understanding is that even for helicopters SVFR is supposed to be in the airspace contacting the surface within the airspace of a towered airport. I'm not sure that flight plan, even as intended, would have conformed to those rules. It's easy in hindsight to say the pilot, if for whatever reason he couldn't move to an IFR flight plan, should have just found a spot and landed the copter instead of pressing on (and landing due to deteriorating weather is legal and well within a pilot's options, as I know from direct experience), doubly tragic because it is MUCH easier to land an helicopter off-airport than a fixed wing, yet that did not happen here.
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Loach View Post
The police need to see what’s on the ground. It doesn’t make much sense for them to fly when they can’t. It’s not dangerous to fly a fully instrument rated aircraft in bad weather if you are flying on instruments and not your eyeballs. It is incredibly dangerous to fly in low visibility without using your instruments. Some pilots are simply reluctant to transition to their instruments and it sometimes costs lives.
I've heard that IFR ratings are less common among rotorcraft pilots than fixed wing pilots. Maybe this pilot didn't have an IFR rating?

The local municipal copters weren't flying that day because of weather conditions, which against begs the question why did the pilot make this flight?

I just don't understand why anyone would attempt VFR in 2 mile visibility and 800 foot ceiling. When I got caught by weather I had taken off into quite adequate conditions, it was when those conditions deteriorated that I ran into trouble. Taking off in such conditions would never occur to me.

The ONLY way I could see a justification for SVFR on such a flight is if something went wrong with the IFR instruments en route, necessitating going back to eyeballs. Even so, the response in those circumstances should, arguably, be to land the aircraft as soon as you can do so without trying to get to an airport. Again, a helicopter like that could land almost anywhere there is sufficient clearance for the rotors and terrain flat enough it won't slide off a cliff - an open field, a parking lot, a road.... Declare an emergency, land the beast, and when the FAA asks you to explain yourself say "machine malfunction ruled out IFR, did not feel it was safe to continue VFR in these conditions". Yet it sounds like they might have launched SVFR in those conditions.

Yeah, sort of mind-boggling to a pilot.
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Old 01-27-2020, 06:58 AM
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If any are interested...
Link to ATC comm with the helicopter, overlaid with radar track of progress.
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:15 AM
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So, in a nutshell... the initial bit says surface conditions were considered IFR but they were "good" enough to allow SVFR. They were explicitly following roads for navigation (which is consistent with VFR flight). They were in communication with ATC but remained VFR the entire time. Then they dropped so low that radio communications with ATC were impaired. Then they crashed.

I'm still wondering WTF the pilot was thinking trying to make a point-to-point trip SVFR in that weather.
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:19 AM
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Not to be over-dramatic, but I could not stop thinking of myself with my own daughter(she's 11) in a helicopter/plane knowing it was going down. Her grabbing me and me trying to protect her as I prayed desperately for "this" to not happen is pure nightmare fuel for me.

I hope they smashed into the ground unaware and didn't have even a moment beyond a second to be shocked, worried, scared, etc.

It isn't me I would be worried about, it's my poor kid holding onto me wanting me to fix or stop it.

Ugh, I'm sick to my stomach even thinking about it.
  #93  
Old 01-27-2020, 07:45 AM
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...not sure which crash this is that you are referring to. The only Lafayette, LA twin airplane crash I could find involved a declared emergency and attempted landing which means that it might not be due to a problem pilot. To start a turning descent that soon after takeoff usually indicates an engine problem or something equally serious. The fact that the pilot did not attempt to contact ATC means little - pilots are trained to fly first and communicate second. Dealing with the emergency at hand is supposed to take priority over using the radio.

But hey, go ahead and blame the pilot based on.... nothing really.


Actually, it's legal even if arguably stupid. There are reasons for allowing it. I would argue that ferrying a celebrity from point A to point B through poor conditions is not one of them, but there it is.


That particular helicopter was built in 1991 before glass cockpits, "synthetic vision", and GPS were common things even if Sikorsky S-76's more recently produced typically come with such things. Quite likely it was retro-fitted with more up to date avionics when owned by the State of Illinois before being sold off when the state downsized its collection of aircraft. It might also have a cockpit voice recorder as that is equipment installed on at least some S-76's.

That said, following roads is, in fact, a legitimate navigation method under VFR flight, including SVFR. Which gets back to whether or not the flight should have been attempted in such conditions.

I don't know that they were actually going 130 knots through the soup - while the helicopter is certainly capable of that speed as a helicopter, unlike a fixed wing, it is not required to maintain a minimum speed.

Flight at "several hundred feet AGL" is sort of required when flying in 2 mile visibility with an 800 foot ceiling while VFR - by definition you have to stay clear of clouds and that would mean an altitude lower than 800. Which, again gets back to whether or not they should have been attempting this flight in these conditions. I'm inclined to say "no", but then I've been forced down by bad weather and am damn lucky to have come out of the experience unscathed and the experience made me more paranoid than average about getting into such a situation again, leading me to stay on the ground when plenty of other pilots decided to fly.


Yeah, it's lucky all the pilot did was get 9 people killed and start a small brushfire. It could have been worse.

That said - I await the word of professional investigators to find out what really happened. Even so - my understanding is that even for helicopters SVFR is supposed to be in the airspace contacting the surface within the airspace of a towered airport. I'm not sure that flight plan, even as intended, would have conformed to those rules. It's easy in hindsight to say the pilot, if for whatever reason he couldn't move to an IFR flight plan, should have just found a spot and landed the copter instead of pressing on (and landing due to deteriorating weather is legal and well within a pilot's options, as I know from direct experience), doubly tragic because it is MUCH easier to land an helicopter off-airport than a fixed wing, yet that did not happen here.
28 December 2019 crash of a Piper 31 twin. NTSB prelim report here: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/Re...relim&IType=MA

Reading it, it looks a whole lot like he lost an engine shortly after takeoff---despite witnesses saying it sounded like both engines were at max rpm---let his airspeed decay, and ended up:
Quote:
The airplane then started to descend while the left roll continued, and the airplane reached a roll angle of 70° left at 09:20:52, while it descended through 600 ft msl, between 2,000 and 3,000 feet per minute
. Damn right I'm blaming the pilot on those sets of facts. That may change as more facts become available.

Moving along, on the Bryant crash, ADS-B had his helicopter at over 140 kts ground speed, 8 seconds from end of data. See, https://www.flightradar24.com/blog/k...icopter-crash/ for the full data set. AIUI, they were running late for a game his kid was going to be in, which might explain the flight in marginal weather, and the high ground speed.

Looking at the flight data superimposed on Google Earth, it almost looks like the pilot saw fog up ahead, decided to 180 out of it, but was disoriented as to his exact location, and terrain didn't allow him to complete the turn. As opposed to transitioning to IFR, opening a flight plan/re-contacting ATC (they originally asked for flight following), and climbing straight and level until the pilot reoriented himself. Zipping along 101 was clearly a much better idea than that... I like your idea of finding a clearing in extremis as well, though that can be extremely hazardous.

I had thought SVFR was best thought of as a very temporary crutch to get an aircraft briefly through less-than-VFR conditions until VFR conditions could be established? The example I'd seen is flying in clear air, with a lower ceiling than minimums---a marine layer of light stratus, say---but you can see clear air ahead, and just need to fly SVFR for a few minutes until you can resume normal VFR. It's not to hang out in because you can't fly IFR.

Tragic, avoidable accident.
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
...I'm still wondering WTF the pilot was thinking trying to make a point-to-point trip SVFR in that weather.
'If I don't fly this, some other pilot will. And I need this job.'

I've no idea why they didn't just fly IFR from the start. Too long to wait to get clearance?
  #95  
Old 01-27-2020, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
Reading it, it looks a whole lot like he lost an engine shortly after takeoff---despite witnesses saying it sounded like both engines were at max rpm---let his airspeed decay, and ended up: . Damn right I'm blaming the pilot on those sets of facts. That may change as more facts become available.
Yes, "pilot looses engine and fails to manage the situation properly" is certainly a strong possibility there. I can think of at least one alternative, though, so I'm going to reserve judgement on that, although like just about everyone else I might speculate.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
Moving along, on the Bryant crash, ADS-B had his helicopter at over 140 kts ground speed, 8 seconds from end of data. See, https://www.flightradar24.com/blog/k...icopter-crash/ for the full data set. AIUI, they were running late for a game his kid was going to be in, which might explain the flight in marginal weather, and the high ground speed.
Get-there-itis, in other words.

It does kill people, and not just celebrities.

I'm sure being parked in a holding pattern for 15 minutes at one point just added to urge to get where they were going.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
Looking at the flight data superimposed on Google Earth, it almost looks like the pilot saw fog up ahead, decided to 180 out of it, but was disoriented as to his exact location, and terrain didn't allow him to complete the turn. As opposed to transitioning to IFR, opening a flight plan/re-contacting ATC (they originally asked for flight following), and climbing straight and level until the pilot reoriented himself. Zipping along 101 was clearly a much better idea than that... I like your idea of finding a clearing in extremis as well, though that can be extremely hazardous.
Yes. My own "precautionary landing" was not a fun experience, despite being in a small aircraft arguably better than a lot of them for such a thing (Cessna 150) even if not a bush plane, and prior experience landing off-airport not just on grass strips but on actual fields. On the other hand, my attempting to continue in the air would have been even more hazardous.

By the time you get into a situation like that you no longer have good options, just different degrees of bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
I had thought SVFR was best thought of as a very temporary crutch to get an aircraft briefly through less-than-VFR conditions until VFR conditions could be established? The example I'd seen is flying in clear air, with a lower ceiling than minimums---a marine layer of light stratus, say---but you can see clear air ahead, and just need to fly SVFR for a few minutes until you can resume normal VFR. It's not to hang out in because you can't fly IFR.
Exactly. The way it was explained to me it was for on-airport operations like repositioning an aircraft, or landing an aircraft that for whatever reason couldn't go elsewhere, or, as you note, a BRIEF transition. Indeed, on the linked ATC communications more than one controller asks them to report when they're in VFR conditions - I think that was assumption, that the SVFR would be a brief transition and not a cross-country flight as SVFR which makes no sense whatsoever unless, say, you're trying to outrun an exploding volcano or Godzilla. Neither of which apply in this case.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
Tragic, avoidable accident.
Yes, that's what it looks like.

Did Kobe pressure the pilot to fly? Or did the pilot say it was safe and convince his passengers this would work? I've seen both of those scenarios end in tears.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
'If I don't fly this, some other pilot will. And I need this job.'
Except that's the kind of weather where EVERY pilot starts refusing to do it. Except maybe that one guy who can be talked into anything, or is full of hubris. Pilots DO have the authority to say no, but yeah, some people are more comfortable risking their lives than their jobs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
I've no idea why they didn't just fly IFR from the start. Too long to wait to get clearance?
Maybe the pilot wasn't IFR rated?

Civilian-trained commercial helicopter pilots don't always have that IFR rating, unlike fixed-wing commercial pilots where it seems nearly universal. If the pilot didn't have an IFR rating then attempting to fly IFR likely would have been just as fatal but a whole lot sooner.

Maybe the avionics weren't up to IFR flight? I don't know what that helicopter was equipped with - it could have been an analog six-pack that maybe was no longer certified IFR compliant recently enough, or had a wonky pitot-static or vacuum system. Granted, that's all sort of long-shot but it's possible.

I expect eventually we'll know more.
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:53 AM
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Just horrible news. My condolences to his wife and daughters.

By pure coincidence, I picked up a book at the library on Thursday called Bound for Glory. It was copyright in 2003, about sports players the author though would be future superstars, and Kobe Bryant was one of them (alone with Michael Vick).
  #97  
Old 01-27-2020, 08:55 AM
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ABC News said his four kids were on board.
only one daughter Gianna
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:58 AM
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One of his four daughters, Kobe and the pilot. Two others remain unidentified. That daughter, Gigi, was 13 years old and very good basketball player. They were on their way to a practice facility.
her name was Gianna; also high school basketball coach and his daughter
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:12 AM
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her name was Gianna; also high school basketball coach and his daughter
Her legal name was Gianna but she went by Gigi.
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:38 AM
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Not to be over-dramatic, but I could not stop thinking of myself with my own daughter(she's 11) in a helicopter/plane knowing it was going down. Her grabbing me and me trying to protect her as I prayed desperately for "this" to not happen is pure nightmare fuel for me.

I hope they smashed into the ground unaware and didn't have even a moment beyond a second to be shocked, worried, scared, etc.

It isn't me I would be worried about, it's my poor kid holding onto me wanting me to fix or stop it.

Ugh, I'm sick to my stomach even thinking about it.
This is what gets to me. I have a tween daughter and the thought of anyone's daughter dying in a violent crash brings me to tears. And three died in that crash.

Kobe Bryant was just another basketball star to me. He came to terms with the woman he victimized; if she was willing to accept them then I'm not going to begrudge him. And he seemed to be becoming a force for good in the community--following the path of Magic Johnson.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
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.
The destination is wrong on that map. They were headed to Thousand Oaks, about ten miles further west. I don't know exactly what landing zone was intended.

Looking at that flight path, I probably noticed them fly over me. I was at my kids' tennis lessons and typically watch aircraft around the Hollywood airport. They went right past it at the right time.
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