CA - Kobe Bryant, 41, daughter GiGi, 13, & 7 others die in helicopter crash, Calabasas, 26 Jan 2020

Discussion in 'Currently Awaiting Trial' started by Gardenista, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. Cryptic

    Cryptic Well-Known Member

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    I think alot of crashes are caused by a series of cascading events or "perfect storms".

    Cascading events in this crash could have been: Pilots and lead customer having "get thereitis" and weather conditions that while not forbidding the pilot to fly per se, made it unadvisable to do so.
     
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  2. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy

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    I'm not recalling all the earlier details but seems to me that if not for the early holding pattern for I think traffic, they just might have safely reached their destination. In other words, I don't recall if there were recommendations NOT to fly when they left the ground. Perhaps instead of holding for 15 minutes, they should have returned to the airport. Indeed, a sad, perfect storm.

    MOO
     
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  3. Cryptic

    Cryptic Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there were any explicit recommendations not to fly. But....

    The area was under Special Visual Flight Rules (SVFR). This means that though non instrument rated pilots could still fly, the weather was bad enough to the extent that there was a noticeably higher risk of accidents.

    Los Angeles County Sheriff and LAPD evidently do not ordinarily fly in SVFR conditions as both had grounded their helicopters and light planes for the day.

    Thus, while no explicit advisory, the SVFR conditions seem to imply: Flying by non instrument rated pilots not recommended- unless you really need to, are very experienced and are very aware of the exact local conditions.
     
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  4. BeachSky

    BeachSky Well-Known Member

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    My brother lives out that way. Fog settles suddenly while driving on the freeway ...settles fast...yeah out of nowhere...it’s bad. Very hilly and those hills “hold” in fog.

    Fog was thick like milk ....
     
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  5. Luna20

    Luna20 Well-Known Member

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  6. Roselvr

    Roselvr Ask me how to get your loved one in NamUs

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    I'm not surprised. We knew he said he was climbing but they claim to have record of him banging left and descending very fast, so fast he couldn't recover from it.

    There was nothing left of the pilot to see if he had a medical episode so we won't get more then their opinion and what they tell us are facts.

    He was very experienced. Im having issues believing it
     
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  7. Cryptic

    Cryptic Well-Known Member

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    Spatial disorientation can happen very quickly to even the most experienced pilots.

    For example, in a ten year period the Airforce alone suffered 44 fatalities from spatial disorientation related crashes:

    https://www.faa.gov/about/office_or...ies/aerospace_medicine/sd/media/MP-086-18.pdf

    Needless to say, it is not just the US Airforce as this Japanese fighter pilot was recently killed in a crash after coming spatially disoriented:
    Japan’s Air Force: Pilot Error Caused F-35A Crash
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
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  8. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, he was experienced but he wasn't instrument rated. He was flying in conditions that were beyond his skill level.
     
  9. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy

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    Actually, it was the Charter company (Island Express Helicopters) that was confirmed to only have VFR certification, and not to be confused with the pilot's rating. Zoyban was an instrument-rated pilot.

    Pilot In Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash Wasn’t Allowed To Fly By Instruments

    Island Express Helicopters, a Long Beach-based company that has seven helicopters registered to it and a related holding corporation, is certified under Part 135 of FAA regulations to provide on-demand charter services under VFR conditions only, according to FAA records. The regulations impose tight specifications on how air carriers operate, including what kind of weather conditions they can fly in, and pilots must file a flight plan before every trip with the FAA stating how it will be conducted. For a VFR flight, any cloud cover must be at least 1,000 feet above ground level with visibility of at least three miles.

    It’s financially demanding and time-consuming for a company to ensure it and its pilots can operate under instrument flight rules, or IFR, says Deetz, and in the Los Angeles area, with its usually balmy weather, he says it isn’t worth it for most helicopter operators, apart from emergency medical services.

    [..]

    Zobayan, 50, was the chief pilot for Island Express, where he had worked for ten years, according to a statement on the company’s website, and had 8,200 hours of flight time as of July. An instrument flight instructor as well, he reportedly flew Bryant regularly and Deetz says he knew the area well.
     
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  10. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. That makes the situation even worse. He failed to properly use his training to avoid crashing the helicopter. IIRC, in cases poor visibility and spatial disorientation, pilots are supposed to rely only on their instruments. A difficult thing to do, but, unless you can do it, you have no business flying in those conditions.
     
  11. BeachSky

    BeachSky Well-Known Member

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  12. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy

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    Reportedly, the weather forecasts for airports near the route of flight appear to have been better than the conditions that the pilot encountered in the final minutes. At one point, the pilot was also directed to hold for traffic for 15 minutes.

    In a situation like this where a helicopter pilot inadvertently flies into challenging weather, he'd have to declare an emergency, requiring that they fly by instruments, and the nearest air traffic controller vector the aircraft in for a landing.

    Short of permission to land at a nearby airport, a VFR-restricted pilot wouldn't make a decision to switch to IFR lightly-- given the potential legal repercussions (Charter was FAA certified for VFR only and the Sikorsky S-76B is certified for single-pilot instrument flying).

    Burbank ATC directed the pilot to proceed with VFR.

    Van Nuys ATC advised the pilot there was a cloud ceiling in the area of 1,100 feet and visibility of 2.5 miles, and he passed through.

    I think this tragedy was a perfect storm where seconds made the difference between the disaster and a safe landing.

    Those qualified to speak cite pilot Zobayan as a pilot's pilot -- he also lost his life here.
     
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  13. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that clarification. Seems an interesting way to do things in an area full of mountains, routinely prone to fog and full of local air traffic. Good to know. Sounds like this accident was almost inevitable. Will remember to never fly in small aircraft in that region.
     
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  14. Cryptic

    Cryptic Well-Known Member

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    As a side note, there seems to be some dispute regarding the pilots level of experience with instrument flying.

    Evidently one source lists him as an experienced instruments instructor.

    Yet, other sources relate that though instrument rated, his level of experience in actual instrument flying could well have been far more limited.
     
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  15. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy

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    It could very well be true as there are many instrumented rated pilots that go on to fly for years, and/or hundreds of hours, for on-demand Charters using VFR only.
     
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  16. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Forum Coordinator Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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