Kobe Bryant dead in helicopter crash

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

  1. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

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    Yes. A stable descent to a hover and landing can be automated, too. A 1991 S-76B does not have any of that.

    No, but you can experience "mushing" and if your speed is slow and you have 20-100% power applied, you can get into "Settling with Power." Either way, you will experience an uncommanded descent, possibly unrecoverable.

    Depending on the weight of the aircraft and the power available, it may not be possible to fly without forward speed to keep clean air into the rotor system.

    Slowing down and going very slow is how you safely operate in reduced LEGAL weather (less that one SM visibility in SVFR and clear of clouds in class G) and that is what should have been happening if inflight visibility was deteriorating. The high speed recorded by radar is cause for questioning what was going wrong in the cockpit.

    Yes, a helicopter autopilot can transition from forward flight to a hover and then descend vertically. Again, a 1991 S-76B does not have that capability.

    ____________________

    Operating a helicopter in reduced visibility and SVFR can be done safely and can save lots of time and airspace congestion, especially when there is no instrument procedure at or near the destination. Yes, you can always slow down, pick a spot and land if conditions get worse than forecast.

    Helicopters are not like airplanes when it comes to low and slow, crappy weather operations. That's why almost all night operations done by aeromedical helicopters is done under NVGs. How many airplane-only pilots have ever even considered night ops with night vision systems?

    Anyone can fly a helicopter, but the level of skill, proficiency and ADM needed to safely operate in really bad conditions requires much more training, experience and expensive hardware than most pilots realize. Despite all this, we still screw up and do dumb stuff every now and then.

    I can't imagine going 145 KIAS in those conditions. Something went terribly wrong with either the pilot or the aircraft.

    That's my $.02, anyway... R.I.P.
     
  2. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    A pilot not using jargon? Gotta say VRS or Vortex ring state at least. Lol
     
  3. dreyna14

    dreyna14 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I hate when they talk about knowledge of something like this. I'm extremely knowledged of my own home but if I go through it fairly quickly while blindfolded I'm going to run into a wall or two.
     
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  4. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    Is there a reason not to just bypass all of LA, fly over the ocean and approach 1000 Oaks from offshore? No mountains and easier airspace navigation.


    Tom
     
  5. redtail

    redtail En-Route

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    Yeah, that would baffle my mind as wello_O
     
  6. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for letting me know! I've never requested SVFR in the US. What are the major differences?

    (I wouldn't request SVFR or a contact approach anywhere I didn't know very well, so it's unlikely I'll ever do it in the US, but it's still good to know.)
     
  7. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The marine layer is usually worse at the coast. There are mountains between the coast and Thousand Oaks unless you go far west but that puts you in PT mugu airspace... if you try to avoid pt mugu airspace you still have part of the mountain range that is higher than the hills in the Calabasas/Agoura area that he was trying to get through. My daughters middle school is across the street from the crash site and I fly this area and the L.A. airspace A LOT. (Fixed wing)
     
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  8. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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  9. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Psychiatrists have a "Goldwater rule" that they're not allowed to share speculative diagnoses for someone they haven't personally examined ("E.g. Politician X seems to suffer from narcissism").

    We should apply the same rule to anyone in aviation who's tempted to play the talking-head "expert" with the media. Don't claim to have expert knowledge about anything you don't know from personal experience or involvement with an investigation. It makes you look like a fool, and the rest of us look bad.
     
  10. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I suspect most of us have seen that. Note that it's about non-instrument-rated pilots blundering into IMC, so it doesn't apply here.
     
  11. Kelvin

    Kelvin En-Route PoA Supporter

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    This may have been posted before. I'm on my cell phone so I haven't looked all the way through the thread but this guy is pretty amazing in his description.

     
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  12. redtail

    redtail En-Route

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    Don't get me wrong, I've done a lot of mind baffling things myself over the years. Some with family members onboard, such as flying up and down the Hudson River corridor 1000' AGL without wearing life vest! So I'm in no way trying to be harsh, I just always thought that.. "very experienced", "professional", "Instrument rated", "instructors"/commercial pilots were held to higher standards, which translates into much better ADM.
     
  13. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Would be nice if it were true...
     
  14. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Pure speculation, and I may be wrong, but I feel the pilot may have been under some pressure to complete the mission and maybe even make up for the time they lost holding for the SVFR clearance.
     
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  15. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    Get there itis. Everyone was waiting for them to arrive at the gym to get started. They still had to get to CMA then drive to the gym?
     
  16. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    ATC said he was to low for FF. With ADSB which I assume it has, is GPS based. What am I missing?
     
  17. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Perhaps radio? Maybe the hills blocked radio transmission to or from the helicopter? Just a guess on my part.
     
  18. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    Never thought of comms. But the way Memphis Ctr tolerates their crappy coverage in N Miss., I would think comm coverage is not an issue since they were communicating already
     
  19. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    What is a complete sentence? ;-)

    Seriously, your question is unclear. I could guess, but...
     
  20. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    Had an issue with my comms

    Assuming the helo has ADSB, why would they not have a track (FF) on the helo regardless of altitude? We're required (ADSB) to squawk ALT on the ground.
     
  21. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    I’m flying right at the bases of the clouds. You are looking down. Popping in and out of short “thin” clouds. Focused on outside and not inside. All of a sudden you enter that “thin” cloud don’t pop out immediately on the other side. All of a sudden it’s soup. Head is outside the cockpit. You are in trouble. Trying to turn it around hard in the clag and climbing is recipe for disorientation. Even for someone experienced the reflex accompanied with the panic would align a lot of bad things.
    question for helo guys. How easy is it to stall a helicopter. How do you normally recover?
     
  22. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

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  23. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    Helicopters don't stall. But they do, do some other really cool things.

    And, @IK04,

    SixPapaCharlie asked: Does a helicopter have a button you can push like on a toy drone (and I am not even kidding) where you hit it and it will stop and hover in place?
    You replied: Yes. A stable descent to a hover and landing can be automated, too. A 1991 S-76B does not have any of that.

    I'm sure this is not what you meant, as it sounds that all helicopters have this, when in fact, it's very few that do.
     
  24. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Really can’t stall unless you’re operating way outside max OGE hover, or you panic during an auto and don’t lower collective. Recovery for both is to reduce the collective. Neither one of those would be in the accident in question.

    Now there’s compressibility where the outer part of the advancing blade stalls because of a shockwave. That’s only in high forward speeds and negative temps. There’s also the more common retreating blade stall that occurs in high forward speed as well but hot temps. Both recoveries are level the wings, slow down and reduce the severity of the maneuver.

    Mushing is similar to an accelerated stall on a plane but technically the rotor system isn’t stalled.
     
  25. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    When looked at the video in one of the earlier posts, they showed a track of the helicopter. At the end, it seemed to me that ATC was talking but no reply was heard from the helicopter prior to the crash. He may have flown into an area where the hills blocked the signal. Although there was 2-way communication, that communication may have been lost. I also note some posts where it was claimed the pilot said he was climbing just prior to the crash- if that is true, and it was heard by the controller he was talking to, my guess is wrong.
     
  26. Piperonca

    Piperonca Pre-takeoff checklist

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    10 to 1 it was the pilot, if I was betting. Terror factor of all of a sudden seeing a hill appear out of the clouds 100 feet below, and maybe a quick turn of the head to disturb the inner ear and inducing just enough vertigo to lose it.
     
  27. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    As I understand it what the LiveATC receiver picked and recorded up was not the full transmissions that were broadcast between ATC and the pilot and on their tapes probably due to altitude...so there very well be a bit more than what was posted.

    LiveATC is just a third part receiver like any other aircraft subject to similar limitations, not necessarily what ATC is ACTUALLY hearing or transmitting direct from the source.
     
  28. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Basic ADS-B out transmits your GPS derived position to a ground station then to ATC. That ground station can definitely get blocked by terrain.

    Space based ADS-B requires a separate top antenna that relays the position of the aircraft back to a LEO satellite, and then down to ATC. That’s an optional system that not all aircraft have installed.
     
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  29. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

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    True. I was hoping the "can be automated" part of it implied that it was possible, but almost no helicopters have caught up to that standard yet. The cost of certification is too high...

    Military helicopters, on the other hand, have been doing it for decades...
     
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  30. jd21476

    jd21476 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Im not a helicopter pilot so this question is more for the helo pilots out there. It says he was doing about 125 mph when he flew into the ground. Couldnt he have slowed down in the fog and flown at something like 30 MPH almost like when your driving a car and the fog sets in on the highway? Was he going too fast and too low for the conditions?
     
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  31. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/com...n-helicopter-crash.124018/page-2#post-2865891
     
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  32. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    The ADS-B system in the USA is ground station based, not satellite. The USA is the only country that so far decided against satellite based. The only thing GPS has to do with it is you must have a WAAS capable GPS position source in your airplane for the transponder.

    I don't think it was a Comms issue in this instance as the radio handoff from VNY Tower to Socal seemed to be fine. I think he was too low for Socal radar coverage. It's a wee bit difficult for ATC to provide flight following if they can't see you.
     
  33. Re-Tired

    Re-Tired Filing Flight Plan

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    One mistake in an otherwise flawless career.... That's all it takes sometimes.. Private too ATP, We are all responsible for our aircraft and it occupants.
    The limits were definitely pushed here. Many of us have done it, fortunately we survived.. have we learned from those experiences? Hopefully...
    Every accident is a chain of events. No one link in the chain is the cause. Every time you climb into your aircraft you face a great deal of negative possibilities. On a successful flight you manage them all and learn from them... the time you don't, bad things happen..
    To this Aviator, I say, "But for the Grace of God, there go I"....
    Stay safe, my friends!!
     
  34. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    All these comments remind me of this thread about this rather spectacular accident in Alaska. 40 years of experience.

    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/com...n-alaska-impressive-wreckage-location.113095/
     
  35. mr_happyland

    mr_happyland Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I wanted to better understand what possibly happened on this flight. Plus I've had multiple non-pilot friends asking about went wrong. I decided to download the KML data from Flight Radar 24 and build a flight path animation in Google Earth Studio. I then pulled in ATC audio and weather data from the time. The resulting video is a fly-thru of the last 5 minutes of the flight. While it's only a guesstimation based on the data available, I think it helps contribute to the discussion, especially for those unfamiliar with flying in the area.

    I'm slightly uneasy posting this because of the human tragedy involved, but I thought I'd put it here because perhaps it helps paint a better picture.

     
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  36. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    There is implied pressure on these guys to fly.

    If you don’t the owner will find somebody that will. this doesn’t need to be said, it’s just sort of out there in the corporate world.

    Exactly why 121 and unionized flying is safer.
     
  37. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Nicely done. FWIW here's a screenshot of an X-Plane simulation of an S-76 at 1,400' over the 101 Freeway approaching Las Virgenes, with the weather set to what VNY was reporting (1900' MSL ceiling, 2-1/2 mile visibility). Of course it could have been much different at the accident scene.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
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  38. Peter Anderson

    Peter Anderson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Damn that really puts a visual to it. Great analysis on an terrible tragedy.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  39. mr_happyland

    mr_happyland Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Interesting. thx for posting this.
     
  40. jpskies

    jpskies Pre-Flight

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    From that eye witness video, could the pilot experiencing the "Settling with Power" since the helicopter was almost stationary while he tried to gain altitude by "lift the collective" ? Then he was not able to recognize the uncommanded descent caused by this effect because he was in the IMC and crashed?

    I am not a helicopter pilot but a helicopter friend told me this could be one of the possibilities.
    WIKI about Vortex Ring State / Settling with Power:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_ring_state

    In 2014, an ROCAF-Taiwanese Apache AH-64 Attack helicopter crashed in a similar situation. The investigator found the pilot inadvertently flew into IMC, he stopped forward movement and pulled the collective tried to ascent above the cloud layer. The helicopter entered the "vortex ring state" and uncontrollably descent in 45 degree angle and crashed. The following is the video captured by a motorist (pay attention to the right side of the screen). Both the pilot and WSO survived due to the much stronger airframe but the AH-64 was totaled.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020