Kobe Bryant dead in helicopter crash

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

  1. dreyna14

    dreyna14 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Is it possible it’s both? Got disoriented then tried a 180 to GTFO of there then right into the hill?
     
  2. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I know virtually nothing about rotary wing, if a pilot yanks and banks, and pulls too hard, do copters stall like a fixed wing?
     
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  3. WBI Flyer

    WBI Flyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I thought it looked like CFIT until I saw the cash site. That, and if the speed/altitude data holds to be true, it begins to look more like they exited controlled flight or Spacial-D in a climbing turn.
     
  4. German guy

    German guy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Bryan,

    I'm happy that you asked the very question I had in mind but thought that it might be too silly. :cool:

    That.
    I thought that the key USP of helicopters is that that they can stay up without moving forward!?
    Why not 'stop' or at least go very slow and figure things out? Can a helicopter autopilot hover?
    Would it be an option to vertically decent over an open area?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  5. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    The posts with the offending fake video have been removed.

    I'm not aware of any helicopters having the "blue button" (like Cirrus has). While the S-76 is an IFR capable aircraft and I'm almost certain has an autopilot of some sort, I doubt it has auto-hover as that is a pretty advanced autopilot feature. The S-92 has it, but this was an older -76B.
     
  6. jspilot

    jspilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    Can anyone with ATC experience clarify when a plane should be given the "low Altitude, check altimeter setting" caution? Seems like we have a lot of confusion on this and seems pretty key to this story given all the other parameters.

    Found this article about the low altitude system- Seems like it only applies to IFR flights but can be issued to VFR pilots who are approaching high terrain.

    https://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/publications/callback/cb_430.html

    Also found this old thread on our forum about this same topic-
    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/com...w-altitude-alert-on-approach-procedure.59689/
     
  7. dreyna14

    dreyna14 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have a few questions, number one is what the actual landing point was going to be. If they were going to land at or near the camp, then scud running was the only way to do it. If they were going to KCMA like they apparently did on Saturday, then how the heck did he plan to scud run it past the Conejo Grade which is at a higher elevation than the Thousand Oaks and Camarillo areas and was socked in pretty hard. I was probably on the RNAV Y approach into KCMA right when and it was no problem getting in. Tops were right at 3,000. Plus, they wouldn't have had to hold for fifteen minutes outside Burbank if the pilot had filed IFR.
     
  8. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I was kind of paying attention to the tone of the replies from the helo pilot. I only really caught one time, EARLY on, where he seemed a little aggravated, otherwise, to me, he remained calm and professional the whole time. again, I stress the 'early on' part when he kind of sighed and said something like "ok fine, we'll keep holding". otherwise I never got any indication of aggravation or concern out of his tone of voice. yes? no?
     
  9. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'll reply to that question specifically (not to speculate on the sad crash), because I used to use SVFR regularly.

    My home airport didn't have an approach until 2018. Before that, we'd fly the VOR approach into a different airport across the Ottawa River in Quebec. The FAF for that VOR approach was almost directly north of our airport, about 3 nm away, so if we were safely clear of cloud by then and had a couple of miles ground visibility, we'd turn 90° south, fly a low circuit/pattern and land (flat land and no major obstacles); if not, we'd continue straight ahead on the original approach, land at the other airport, and either wait it out or take a $50 cab ride across the river and retrieve the plane later. We were self- disciplined about that.

    ATC knew the informal procedure well and always approved it in advance, it wasn't frightening (we knew every street, building, and stack along the way), and there was never an accident all the years we used it.

    But still, I'm overjoyed that we have two proper RNAV approaches at our own airport now, and would never want to go back to how it used to be (at very least, it saves some $50 cab rides when I don't break out at the FAF).
     
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  10. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I had ATC warn me about MDA once, on approach into KBVY (relatively flat, but some hills and towers). I think my old transponder mode C must have been a bit flakey, because I read off my altimeter altitude to them, asked them to confirm, and got basically a "mumble mumble never mind" back (presumably, the mode C was back to normal).

    I really appreciated the concern, all the same.

    D
     
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  11. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And he's still your client. I've found the same thing in my IT consulting—powerful people like to rant and scream and demand what they want, but they respect you all the more for standing firm and not giving in when you think they're wrong.
     
  12. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Below is the rules. As you can see, when to do it is controller judgement. Helicopters fly a few hundred feet AGL routinely. News, police, SAR etc. Helicopters land in parking lots, stadiums, streets, rooftops, backyards etc. I was a Controller there for 6 years. It would never have crossed my mind to give that flight a low altitude alert and can't recall anyone I worked with ever doing it.

    a. Terrain/Obstruction Alert. Immediately issue/
    initiate an alert to an aircraft if you are aware the
    aircraft is at an altitude that, in your judgment, places
    it in unsafe proximity to terrain and/or obstructions.
    Issue the alert as follows:
    PHRASEOLOGY−
    LOW ALTITUDE ALERT (call sign),
    CHECK YOUR ALTITUDE IMMEDIATELY.
    and, if the aircraft is not yet on final approach,
    THE (as appropriate) MEA/MVA/MOCA/MIA IN YOUR
    AREA IS (altitude),
     
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  13. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The alert is a judgment call for ATC. If the aircraft is under FF, the code will induce an MSAW alert which will differ depending on computer setting. For VFR, the warnings go off all the time but generally you ignore them because there isn’t an MIA, MEA for a VFR.

    In the case of this accident it’s a moot point anyway be because they had dropped off of radar before the crash.

    Yeah, what Luv stated above.
     
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  14. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    There's ample examples over the years of fixed wing pilots making a rapid pitch up in or into IMC followed subsequently by "forward stick" because their inner ear is telling them the aircraft is continuing to rotate nose up (and about to go over on its back). There's a few accidents I can recall where the investigation concluded the pilot was forward pitch as they emerged from the clouds just before impact, even though the airplane was nose down and accelerating.
     
  15. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Anybody know if the S76 has an FDR or anything like that? Just saw the NTSB arrived on scene yesterday evening.
     
  16. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    The rules for SVFR are slightly different between Canada and the USA, although the practical result when requesting it within a control zone is essentially the same.
     
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  17. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    1) IFR aircraft / pilot mean nothing when trying to get to where the customer wants to go. Similar to the scud running we did in Astan / Iraq. Completely capable IFR aircraft, but if we have no IAP at our destination, that capability is useless.

    2) slow up, it’s a helo. Easier said than done though. If you’ve ever flown with someone who hasn’t made a living during poor VFR weather (1/2 mile CoC) and seen first hand how they freeze up, you won’t understand. Oh the stories I could tell.

    3) To the “hover hold” feature. Doubtful if an S76 has it. Some of your military helos (AH-64, SH-60, HH-60) do though. Don’t need hover hold anyway. It’s called staying beneath the clouds and hand flying the aircraft at a hover.

    4) The aviation expert dude who posted the vid above is pretty accurate. Only thing I’d say it isn’t “needed” to stay above auto pilot speed in helo. If it drops off, you can hand fly and some helos with SAS, you can hover it IMC without AP engaged. It’ll be difficult but doable. You can easily climb at 2,000 + fpm at zero air speed as well.

    5) Witness statements are useless. No bystander is going to be able to determine the normal noise for an S76. If you recall the guy who wrecked the A109 in NYC, you can hear the blade noise increase when he was diving out of the clouds. That’s probably what the witnesses heard. The blades are highly loaded, the blades are rubbing up against retreating blade stall, and if maneuvering rapidly, you can get Blade Vortex Interaction or “blade slap.” Nothing wrong with the aircraft or engines. The aircraft is just being unintentionally max performed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  18. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    If you're using the published raw ADS-B via Flightaware or others it, from an investigative standpoint, is normally very inaccurate within the stated time frame. Once the data goes through a verification process the results will usually be different. I believe it has something to do with the data sampling time-stamps.
    All SAR helicopters have had auto-hover capability for some time, but doubtful in this aircraft. Newer versions usually require a 3 or 4 axis autopilot. However, I know of no system that would allow auto-hover to engage at cruise speed as I'm pretty sure there is an airspeed lock out switch that would prevent that. Most modern large helicopters like an S-92, EC225, or AW139 now have economical options to install in non-SAR aircraft due to advances in technology and are being used in the GOM rig approaches where the flight will terminate in a hover abeam to the oil platform all on auto-pilot.
     
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  19. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    If in its previous life ever flown under Part 135 it may have one with a CVR. I'm if it does we'll hear shortly.
     
  20. Warlock

    Warlock Cleared for Takeoff

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    Lots of helicopter pilots are IFR rated...currency is really another issue...most years I was only current after taking my annual check ride. I don't know the number but I expect the ratio of current to uncurrent professionals is skewed uncurrent….The S-76 should be a little different though as its designed to fly as an IFR platform where most helicopters still today IFR, is a semi emergency situation.
     
  21. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    No it isn't. But the whole advantage with a helicopter is you can normally get right to your specific location. While SVFR is not popular in the fixed-wing world quite a few helicopters operate in SVFR daily. If you ever fly along coastlines it part of the normal routine. From what I've heard this wasn't this pilot's 1st rodeo on this route or conditions. He appeared to hit IMC and was executing a 180, climbing turn when he ran out of air. Perhaps he thought he further along than he was. Hopefully they'll figure that out.
     
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  22. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    A couple of major news sites are trying to spin that it’s ATC fault for clearing the helicopter to fly under SVFR. o_O
     
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  23. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Trying to paste the flightaware link for the flight here, but can’t paste it for some reason. In the last two minutes of flight, the first of those two minutes the altitude went up about 800 feet while the airspeed went from about 145 to about 125. Then in the last minute the altitude was constant while the speed went back to about 145.
     
  24. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    that dog won’t hunt.
     
  25. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    I don't know what you saw in the crash site, but what I find unusual is that it appears to be M/R blade parts in the center of impact crater. Plus not all the wreckage has been shown in the media probably due to removal of the remains. Perhaps a complete overhead view of the entire debris field may answer some of the questions here.
     
  26. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Was doing a XC a couple years back in my amphib, somewhere between controllers I went from Amphib123 to Cessna123, whatever I just went with that. VFR with some pretty weather and getting bored of straight and level I decided to land in a lake for a minute, told ATC, without fully thinking out how I said it, that I’ll be landing in the lake, yeah his initial reaction wasn’t the best lol. Oops
     
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  27. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    I believe they were already outside the controlled airspace (BUR Class C and VNY Class D) where SVFR rules apply (controlled airspace around an airport which extends to surface). In other words, flying VFR without the "S". And too low for flight following assistance from ATC.

    This idea that ATC has some primary responsibility for VFR flights outside controlled airspace (also expressed by some PoA posts earlier in this thread regarding terrain clearance in mountainous areas when flying VFR) is ridiculous. If you want ATC to have some responsibility for saving your azz then file IFR. Otherwise, expect ATC will attempt to be helpful but it bears no responsibility for keeping airplanes flying VFR from impacting the earth.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  28. jspilot

    jspilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks for this. I really appreciate it! So essentially even while Scud running this helicopter pilot was basically on his own because no one was going to give him any warning about the terrain in the area. That's really amazing and makes the decision to fly so low even more risky.
     
  29. Gordon Freeman

    Gordon Freeman Filing Flight Plan

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    Am I wrong in assuming that Flight Following is an ATC service provided largely for aircraft separation, not to avoid CFIT?

    Is ATC during Flight Following responsible for alerting the pilot that they're too low while en route?? I don't think so.

    Don't know much about the helicopter in question here but augmented terrain display would have helped. Overall, this looks like visibility got progressively worse around the hills and PIC made the wrong call in continuing the flight.

    What a tragedy.
     
  30. Matt Jensen

    Matt Jensen Filing Flight Plan

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    ATC during VFR flight following is not even responsible for separating you from other aircraft, much less terrain. They're simply (and voluntarily at their own discretion) agreeing to help you out to the extent that is practical for them.
     
  31. Gordon Freeman

    Gordon Freeman Filing Flight Plan

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    Ah, thanks for that explanation. Student pilot here. Still learning. Always learning.
     
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  32. Matt Jensen

    Matt Jensen Filing Flight Plan

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    No problem! As am I... (not a student anymore, but "still learning, always learning.")
     
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  33. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Fake news lol.
     
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  34. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Somewhere, and of course I can't find it now, one article stated that the helicopter was under direction of ATC.

    A total erroneous statement, but it is, or was, out there in print.

    No matter what the cause, it is still sad to see that children lost their lives among the others.
     
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  35. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    Zobayan was instrument rated.
     
  36. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Around here in the west most VFR flights through the mountains are at altitudes that are below the peaks. The majority of VFR is flying the valleys, which is where all the airports are as well.

    You're much braver than me. Where I live I won't contemplate crossing the rocks out this way VFR at night in a piston airplane. It's risky enough to do that in the daylight given how high the granite is, and how fast the weather can change.
     
  37. dreyna14

    dreyna14 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sometimes it comes down to not who the better pilot is but who the better decision maker is.
     
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  38. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ATC is responsible for insurance of a safety alert for VFRs. That means traffic and or terrain. The safety alert paragraph that Luv attached above, isn’t just for IFRs.

    And while ATC doesn’t provide traffic separation under FF “basic radar services” they do provide traffic separation for FF in TRSA, C and B with VFRs.

    The whole FF thing doesn’t apply in that case anyway. Can’t issue a low altitude alert if you’re not on radar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  39. jspilot

    jspilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's why I asked the ATC guys and gals on here to clarify this because I've heard them reference ground clearance before but it is VERY uncommon. This warning seems like it is not something done in mountain terrain because of the impracticality of it all. I agree that this is extremely sad and seems like avoidable.
     
  40. jspilot

    jspilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    Almost always it does in my book. That's why complacency is such a key to avoid( not at all meaning to say the pilot in this crash became complacent--just as an overall statement.)