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The Kobe Bryant crash

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by Juan-Manuel Fantango, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

    Jan 3, 2009
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    Would be interesting to see altitude&speed labels on that flight-track map. Looks like a roller coaster ride.
    If the vertical lines/green dots are data points taken at regular time intervals it appears that they were travelling at a fairly consistent speed over this last ~1 minute of flight (trying to account for the POV and direction of flight), except for a brief moment almost directly below the "N1" label. After which there is a sharp increase in speed and, to a lesser extent, descent.
    He was really skimming Rte 101 at the start of that final minute.
     
  2. Manda racing

    Manda racing Formula Junior
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    Darn— pilot had recent training for IIMC.

    Looks like two mid sized EFIS screens.

    (darn coastal fog) I soloed out of Santa Monica in 1984.
     
  3. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
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    Unfortunately it's looking like what people here have been saying...pilot error in poor weather conditions. Reading about how he was only 100 ft below clear skies made it worse...completely avoidable.
     
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  4. donv

    donv F1 World Champ
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    The helicopter guys I know think flicker vertigo could have been a factor, especially near the tops of the clouds.
     
  5. tritone

    tritone F1 Rookie
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    splain please?
     
  6. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

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    #106 Nurburgringer, Feb 8, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flicker_vertigo

    Damn, those last 20-30 seconds must have been absolutely horrible inside the chopper.
    Looking again at the initial NTSB report, says the main wreckage was located 127ft from the "impact crater", which seems to indicate fairly high speed.

    It's crazy that there isn't some kind of "black box" in every single aircraft, especially a high end heli like this one. Are some pilots opposed to flying with a cockpit voice and/or flight data recorder, or is it simply a matter of cost? This says they cost $10-$15k, which yeah is a lot for a homebuilt but on a multi-million dollar craft a drop in the bucket: https://science.howstuffworks.com/transport/flight/modern/black-box.htm

    Thinking more about that final-minute flight map, wondering at what point the pilot or the passengers knew something was wrong. If it was flicker vertigo then "pilot error" might not be the correct verdict even if he did make poor decisions leading up to it.
     
  7. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

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    #107 Nurburgringer, Feb 8, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
    From NTSB update:

    "The pilot reported to SCT that the flight was going to Camarillo at 1,500 feet. The SCT controller advised that he would not be able to maintain radar contact at that altitude and terminated services. The SCT controller was subsequently relieved by a different controller. At 0945, the pilot of N72EX again contacted SCT and advised he was climbing above cloud layers and requested advisory services. The second controller was not aware of the aircraft, as services had previously been terminated, so asked the pilot to identify the flight. The SCT controller then asked the pilot his intentions, to which he replied he was climbing to 4,000 feet. There were no further transmissions."

    There may have been nothing this "second controller" could have done to change the outcome, but seems strange that the prior controller "terminated services" and "was relieved" apparently without any kind handover info to the second controller who was "not aware of the aircraft". Is this SOP? With numerous aircraft being tracked maybe it's not feasible to fully brief the next radar control shift on all of them, but in this case with a swiftly moving heli full of people at low altitude in heavy fog it would have been a thoughtful thing to do.
    The pilot was apparently asking for help, which he didn't receive until it was too late to make any difference.
     
  8. donv

    donv F1 World Champ
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    [QUOTE="Nurburgringer, post: 147032164, member: 76365"
    Thinking more about that final-minute flight map, wondering at what point the pilot or the passengers knew something was wrong. If it was flicker vertigo then "pilot error" might not be the correct verdict even if he did make poor decisions leading up to it.[/QUOTE]

    If it was flicker vertigo, which is not unlikely, it was still pilot error, in my opinion. First of all, he put himself in a very bad position, and secondly, as with any kind of vertigo in flight, you have to trust your instruments. That's a basic first principle that, as a CFII, he knew.
     
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  9. furmano

    furmano F1 World Champ
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    The correct way to "ask for help" in that situation is to notify ATC that you are no longer VFR, now IFR, climbing to 4000 ft., and declaring an emergency.

    That notifies ATC that you are entering an area where you are not supposed to be and they need to accommodate you immediately.

    Going through whiteout conditions when not expecting it can be very disorienting.

    -F
     
  10. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

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    reconstruction of flight, final minute starts ~23:00 of video:
     
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  11. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    But he did not respond properly, for whatever reason ….Charter for the service was VFR only.
    IFR in this aircraft required two pilots also, apparently.

    Too much for one guy to watch......interesting recreation, below.

    I suspect his stand by time was increasing internal pressure on the pilot, as to the schedule for arrival.
    Still, his last turn, to me...makes no sense.

    Looking for a way, when climbing and declaring "Emergency" was the way.
     
  12. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    No need to declare an emergency. Simply contacting ATC and explaining you were IMC and climbing to VFR would do the trick.

    As everyone has stated, no logical reason for doing a turning descent into IMC over unknown terrain. Sucker holes have killed a lot of aircrews.
     
  13. Manda racing

    Manda racing Formula Junior
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    I suffered vertigo on a Virtual Reality (out of synch) driving sim the other day. I was sick with nausea for 12 hours. No way I could have controlled a complex machine.

    worse than any of the actual I’ve been in.
     
  14. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Anybody with that much time knows to lock on to the instruments when things go gray.
     
  15. spicedriver

    spicedriver Formula 3

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    True. But I did read an article that quoted an "earwitness" who lived in Calabasas. He said that he heard the aircraft approaching, and then he heard the aircraft "sputtering", and then he heard a loud boom.

    Assume that the pilot began losing power. He may have turned away from the freeway deliberately, to find an open area for an emergency landing.
     
  16. donv

    donv F1 World Champ
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    Sure, and that just randomly happened at the time the weather started to close in. Not likely. Eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable on stuff like this.
     
  17. donv

    donv F1 World Champ
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    Helicopter guys often don't have much, if any, actual instrument time. And vertigo can be very disorienting.

    The exception to that are the ex-military guys, but civilian trained guys like this fellow rarely, if ever, go into actual IFR.
     
  18. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    Sucker Holes have been in business since the dawn of commercial aviation, hence the title of my first av painting. Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
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  19. Tarek307

    Tarek307 Formula Junior

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    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but is there any chance the pilot was just flying normally and hit the mountain all of a sudden? as in the passengers would have not had any idea what was coming and just instantly died ? or was this a situation where they were rapidly descending in an uncontrolled way and they knew it was coming?

    I'm hoping they just thought everything was fine and all of a sudden in the blink of an eye they were gone..really terrible to think of them having to endure even 10 seconds of thinking what was to come
     
  20. ChipG

    ChipG Formula 3

    May 26, 2011
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    none, absolutely none...The last minute was one crazy ride
     
  21. Tarek307

    Tarek307 Formula Junior

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    A minute is such a long time, i just can't imagine..without mechanical failure how could it be a crazy ride i don't get it..why all of a sudden crazy accelration unless you thought something was gonna happen or you lets say had a heart attack or something while flying..an entire minute, my goodness...I wonder if the chopper stalled from him and he tried to power dive to gain control..but i guess thats not a plane..i'll be quite now as i know nothing about flying - May they all RIP
     
  22. spicedriver

    spicedriver Formula 3

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    There were reportedly more than one eyewitness who heard the sputtering.

    So the pilot tells the controller that he's going to climb to 4,000' (from 1,400'). But instead climbs to 2,000', and then makes a 180 degree left turn in a steep dive all the way to the ground ? It seems like it would take more than fog to cause this. Even if he were completely blinded, he would still have the instruments.
     
  23. spicedriver

    spicedriver Formula 3

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    Okay, so here's my current theory:

    While attempting the climb through the fog to 4,000' for flight following, and to get above the fog, the engine lost power DUE TO THE FOG. Radar showed max altitude to be 2,300'. The ship then started LOSING altitude. The pilot tried to turn back, but it was too late.
     
  24. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

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    #124 Nurburgringer, Feb 12, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
    If the X-Planes recreation's ATC/SCT audio is an accurate representation of what was actually heard (by ATC, apparently, not the heli pilot) I'm reminded just how skilled these men and women are at deciphering what to me is frequently unintelligible.

    Wish the video included captions indicating who is speaking and what is being said.
    20:39 I believe it's the first "SCT Controller" (maybe his final transmission to 2EX before being replaced by "second [SCT] controller" mentioned in NTSB update?) that says "2 echo x-ray you're, uh, still too low level, uh, for, uh, flight following at this time"
    Then narrator's voice "Also too low level to pick up the helicopter's radio".

    I never hear the pilot's transmission referenced in the NTSB update "advised he was climbing above cloud layers and requested advisory services"

    Still seems crazy for him to be going ~140knots (for some time) in such conditions. He damn near trims the trees at 23:22, 10 seconds before the final climb began and SCT received his final transmission "four thousand".

    Maybe this close call freaked him out? Supposedly the fog was so thick and low cars on the highway just below had almost no vis, which the video doesn't adequately convey.
     
  25. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Fog and clouds do no affect engine performance in any meaningful way.
     

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