Kobe Bryant dead in helicopter crash

Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by jallen0, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. 47PILOT

    47PILOT Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Looks like he made a left turn to the south from the 118fwy to the 101 fwy over the north end of the San Fernando valley then was going to follow the 101 west. He was following the 101 over the Calabasas grade and it looks like just as he got to the bottom of the grade, maybe visibility was quickly dropping and he tried to make a 180° turn.
     
  2. jspilot

    jspilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    Wow— thanks for clarifying. So essentially he was almost in a box canyon type situation geographically?
     
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  3. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    Have to imagine terrain avoidance was blaring.
     
  4. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don’t know too much about the reqs for that aircraft, but isn’t a S76 a IFR ship with AP, SV, TCAS, TAWS and all?
     
  5. CRQFlier

    CRQFlier Pre-Flight

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    The freeway runs through a pass with various peaks on either side. Not knowing "exactly" where he turned, it might have been more "natural" to turn left and attempt to maintain visual ground contact. No idea. But the coastal weather here clouds/layers can blow in and out very very quickly on days like today with very different conditions half a mile one side to the other.
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  6. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Camarillo and Oxnard both have approaches.
     
  7. 47PILOT

    47PILOT Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And from more than one witness account, they could hear it directly above but could not see it. Kinda tells me he lost visual reference of the ground
     
  8. Bell206

    Bell206 Pattern Altitude

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    FWIW: It depends on the config but since it was a 1991 model I would guess it had a 2 channel autopilot and a complete IFR panel. Not too many had TCAS or TWAS but dual RadAlts were common. However, since they were SVFR doubt any of it would have mattered within the stated time frame and altitude.
     
  9. CRQFlier

    CRQFlier Pre-Flight

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    I think someone mentioned thousand oaks as the destination - dropping it somewhere other than an instrument approach airport.
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  10. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    The last ping on Flightaware has them going 152 mph.
     
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  11. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
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  12. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That’s just bad ADM if that’s the case.
     
  13. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    Even on our IPads we can see terrain. I'm thinking maybe a mechanical issue. And the speed on impact raises concerns. A combination of get their itis and weather = challenge. In hindsight, IFR into CMA and a 20 minute UBER were the right answer
     
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  14. CRQFlier

    CRQFlier Pre-Flight

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    Never mind. Just listened to the BUR and CMA was mentioned by the controller as destination.
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  15. dreyna14

    dreyna14 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Why not just file IFR if the destination is CMA? I was shooting approaches in the area at that time and it was easy least today.
     
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  16. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That’s the question we all want answered.
     
  17. fire67bird

    fire67bird Filing Flight Plan

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    Pilot went max climb moments before losing radar contact. That probably explains the witness reports of hearing the engines struggle. Sadly this is starting to look preventable. RIP to all lost.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
  18. Peter Anderson

    Peter Anderson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Looks like a sudden climb from 1400 to 2000 right before radar contact was lost.


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  19. CRQFlier

    CRQFlier Pre-Flight

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    Everyone is guessing. Maybe they were in fact planning to land somewhere near the mamba academy - pretty well short of CMA. No clue.
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  20. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don’t get SVFR when you’re IFR qualed and equipped.

    The marine layer over there is common enough I’d think a experienced crew in a very nice ship, as kobie had the $$$, would know when to just say F’ it and go IFR, or at least have a solid IIMC plan
     
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  21. jspilot

    jspilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    We are all guessing but that looks like a pretty good one.

    Curious to know from the helicopter guys and gals, what’s the climb rate for a helicopter like this fully loaded like this one appears to have been?

    Your guess @fire67bird is why I’ve been wondering why the pilot turned into steeper terrain rather than just try and go to lower terrain and buy himself some time to figure out his options.
     
  22. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Always a possibility, but their speed was pretty much consistent the entire flight, except during the time they were holding while waiting for the SVFR clearance. With that said, I don’t think the high airspeed is anything that would indicate a mechanical abnormality.
     
  23. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ""Individuals that saw the aircraft said it was coming down at a fairly significant rate of speed and impacted the ground on the hillside," he told reporters."
     
  24. Jamie Kirk

    Jamie Kirk Line Up and Wait

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    It was traveling over 150mph directly towards raising terrain. It would have looked to most people casually glancing to be descending rapidly is my opinion.
     
  25. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    yeah, I dunno, just posting a quote. we all know about typical witness testimony......
     
  26. Lando

    Lando Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Since it’s a helicopter, what would keep the pilot from simply slowing down to a hover and turning around if the ceiling was lowering significantly in front of him?
     
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  27. The-Flying-Lawyer

    The-Flying-Lawyer Pre-Flight

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    Fixed-wing ignoramus here - if a helicopter is in a canyon, runs into a problem, and wants to turn around, why doesn't it just slow to a hover, spin 180 degrees, and leave the way it came? I'd envy that choice.
     
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  28. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not IFR equipped? Not IFR rated?
     
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  29. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Line Up and Wait

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    Yea, lots of luck on that one. The S76 can be flown SPIFR. And I doubt the insurance provider would have accepted a pilot on the S76 with no instrument rating.
     
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  30. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Flying VFR, having to ask for SVFR, low altitude, low ceilings, terrain.
    Unfortunately, this has ALL the fingerprints of CFIT.
    A mechanical issue is possible, but not probable as a contributing factor in this instance.

    He was following the Ventura Highway and at that forward speed it's not difficult when everything is grey to suddenly and unexpectedly lose forward visibility or even solid reference to the ground. Ask me how I know. :rolleyes: The turn into higher terrain suggests a loss of positional awareness.

    What surprises me is that the forward speed remained so high. In the one and only instance I've been in a helicopter that encountered unexpected low visibility the pilot brought the forward speed to a crawl. It was a 206 JetRanger, we were doing pipeline route survey work and we had exited mountainous terrain east of the Continental Divide and were moving straight east over flatter, lower ground. Flew into a local snow squall and ended up easing our way slowly a few miles to the nearest rural airport, landing and waiting it out over a nice lunch in town.

    Is it possible that there are pilots qualified to fly this type of large helicopter that don't maintain IFR currency on type?
     
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  31. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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  32. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Line Up and Wait

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    Agreed


    Considering the owner, I would highly doubt it. FlightSafety has Level D Sims for the S76, and I would guarantee the insurance provider requires annual training.
     
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  33. Bell206

    Bell206 Pattern Altitude

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    But if no IFR approach to your destination....
    Money has never been an indicator of common sense. Why not have 2 pilots on board? Unfortunately plenty of examples of where money doesn't always work out... like the PC-12 in Wisconsin.
     
  34. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Line Up and Wait

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    Cockpit of N72EX [​IMG]
     
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  35. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Seems very strange then that they would put up with a circuitous route through the LA basin and spend ~15 minutes going in circles waiting for a SVFR clearance instead of filing IFR. Perhaps the answer to that will come out in the accident investigation.

    Not difficult to file somewhere nearby with an approach, get in close and cancel IFR.
     
  36. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    It's always possible, but insurance would be the big stickler... However, it's my guess (and this is only a guess) that they didn't really have a destination, as much as a journey. I think they wanted to remain low because they wanted to see things, specifically the Mamba camp.

    To file IFR would have meant to climb and be on a flight plan. This would have prohibited remaining low to see whatever it was they wanted to see.

    Again, this is just my guess.
     
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  37. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Line Up and Wait

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    They were going to an off airport site. Had they flown IFR, the pilot would have had two options, 1) Fly to the site and request a descent to VFR. With ceilings running 1100 to 1500 feet and the terrain, I doubt the terrain clearance would have got them down to VFR. 2) Fly to an airport and fly an approach, however they would have still had to fly to the landing site. Of course, the best option would have been to land at Burbank or Van Nuys and had a limo drive them to the site.
     
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  38. jspilot

    jspilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    I’ve been looking st that topo map posted earlier in this thread just trying to figure out why the pilot turned left into higher terrain and the only thing I can think of is for the previous part of the flight a turn left or right would have likely made little difference up until he started to parallel the mountains. I know it’s been mentioned that the highway diverts there and he was probably trying to find that ground reference through the clouds but when the crap hit the fan and he presumably lost reference to the ground it looks like he lost positional awareness too or forgot he had made a turn to parallel the mountains( although it’s been mentioned he circled for a while so I could see how it could be easy to just lose where you are in the world even with a ton of tools at your disposal.)

    Besides wondering what the climb rate is for a helicopter like that, my flat lander pilot ignorance on display has led me to another question— whenever a plane descends below a safe altitude for their radar position, by me, the ATC calls out something like “low altitude alert, check altimeter setting immediately.” Is that not true/possible/even a procedure for mountaneous terrain? I have not listened to the ATC recordings here but just wondering if ATC could have given more notice here?
     
  39. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    I've been flying VFR in serious mountainous terrain right from when I got my PPL in 1974. I cannot ever remember ATC saying anything of the sort. If one is VFR and requests flight following ATC will tell you if you are too low for radar coverage, or will inform you in advance if they expect to lose coverage, at which point flight following will terminate. Neither is necessarily in any way an unsafe situation when VFR. The former is exactly what ATC did in this instance.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
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  40. CRQFlier

    CRQFlier Pre-Flight

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    plenty of safe altitudes in SoCal where radar contact is lost and FF is cancelled by ATC. All well known and warned by ATC. "You'll need higher to maintain radar contact in 5 miles." is a typical warning. With that said, we also get frequent WX with mountain obscuration noted. Basically, tops of local mountains covered by low clouds. These peaks are typically below 4k feet but cloud bases often 1k feet or lower (1000-1500 msl).
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