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Kobe Bryant Dies in Helo Crash

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If he wasn't famous, nobody would care
Exactly. While a tragic event, every day police officers are killed in the line of duty in this country, and at least once a week a firefighter is killed in the line of duty. Soldiers are killed in training every week as well. The media gives those tragedies a lot less play. If you would have known one of those police officers or families like I do that pain is very real.

With Kobes money and all, he should have hired a pilot who would not have flown him into the clouds under " Special VFR" conditions. That means he could fly while looking for VFR conditions in a very congested area. The helicopter was descending at 4000 fpm at one point and hit the hill at 176 mph. I have listened to the tape and the pilot was clearly out of his comfort zone. The best turn you make make in aviation is 180 degrees and go back from whence you came to fly another day.

Proof that you can have all the money in the world and when your number is up, that is it.
 

bbbass

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Meh. I have zero use for any celebrity or sports figure. They are entertainers, period. No more important than court jesters. Not important. Sad to hear about ANYONE dying in a crash. But they are only important to their loved ones.

I lost two different very good Coast Guard buddies killed in action during two different USCG Search and Rescue helo missions. That was important. Not this.
 
Last edited:

Aero Denezol

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As a lifelong Lakers fan who grew up imitating Kareem skyhooks and Magic no-look passes on the backyard hoop, this one hit close to home.

Kobe was no saint, but none of us are. He loved the game of basketball, he was a fierce competitor, and an inspiration to kids all over the world. He made millions of people happy. And like any entertainer, he made people briefly forget about their oftentimes dreary lives.

There is a local tie as well: Kobe was a great friend and mentor to Oregon's own basketball phenom Sabrina Ionescu.

Rest in peace #8
 
I have flown Special VFR (Actually a IFR Clearance) in planes and helicopters. I was concerned in airplanes, as I could not slow much, When flying Helicopter I could go down to 30 or so (Often you might not be able to hover at that altitude, temperature, and weight. The S-76B however, has very strong engines and likely could hover,). The slower you go in any aircraft the easier it is to estimate your forward visibility. There are LIMITS written in the regulations as to how low these visibilities, if operating for hire under Part 135 these limits are usually higher than private general aviation limits, I have heard this was Part 91 general aviation, and then it has been said it was for hire Part 135. This wonderment will clear up soon.
If the flight visibility was going below the prescribed limits or the pilot felt it was unsafe to continue. There are still options available, Turning around is usually considered the best idea, but sometimes the weather is closing from all directions. You can declare an emergency to ATC and initiate a Climb to IFR flight levels and request ATC assistance to the airport nearest the destination. This is safe, but most pilots abhor declaring a Emergency as they might be asked to explain themselves later as it is treated as a flight deviation (ATC tattles to Flight Standards, the enforcers sort of) A hassle.
So getting back to that turn around, it is easier to turn in a smaller arc at lower speeds, in airplanes you are considerably more limited in how slow you can go while turning to prevent wing stall. In any case you are normally on one side or the other of the valley, usually on the right on the off chance someone else might be coming in the other direction. (It happens) A slow speed turn to the left would be what I would expect, it would keep you away from the terrain and get you closer the right side of the valley on your way back to better weather. The pilot seat in a S-76B, single pilot, is on the right, people naturally want to turn toward the side they are sitting, you can also keep the terrain in sight. It would be nice to Pirouette to the right, keeping the terrain in sight in that situation, You cannot however Pirouette a helicopter at 153 knots.
Don't speed when it gets foggy, pay attention, if you have a increasing level of concern then that should make your decision easy. Always have a exit plan and execute that plan if needed.
There will be a lot coming out in the months ahead and we will know more, there are no black boxes like airliners have, unless in the unlikely event they ordered or added to the aircraft. The NTSB might be able recover GPS data if they have the device and it was not burned up. That would give more accurate speed and track data than what we have now. I believe the 76B also would have a power usage data track on some controller or other. That would indicate collective (Power lever) position. GPS recorded data would be continuous and not every two minutes or whatever interval some of the external taking apps use.
I would bet large that Pilot Error will be the number one factor, for whatever reasons were important to the pilot. I have not listened to the tapes, I did see one track that had the last recorded speed at 153. I have been in his shoes.
 

bbbass

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I have flown Special VFR (Actually a IFR Clearance) in planes and helicopters. I was concerned in airplanes, as I could not slow much, When flying Helicopter I could go down to 30 or so (Often you might not be able to hover at that altitude, temperature, and weight. The S-76B however, has very strong engines and likely could hover,). The slower you go in any aircraft the easier it is to estimate your forward visibility. There are LIMITS written in the regulations as to how low these visibilities, if operating for hire under Part 135 these limits are usually higher than private general aviation limits, I have heard this was Part 91 general aviation, and then it has been said it was for hire Part 135. This wonderment will clear up soon.
If the flight visibility was going below the prescribed limits or the pilot felt it was unsafe to continue. There are still options available, Turning around is usually considered the best idea, but sometimes the weather is closing from all directions. You can declare an emergency to ATC and initiate a Climb to IFR flight levels and request ATC assistance to the airport nearest the destination. This is safe, but most pilots abhor declaring a Emergency as they might be asked to explain themselves later as it is treated as a flight deviation (ATC tattles to Flight Standards, the enforcers sort of) A hassle.
So getting back to that turn around, it is easier to turn in a smaller arc at lower speeds, in airplanes you are considerably more limited in how slow you can go while turning to prevent wing stall. In any case you are normally on one side or the other of the valley, usually on the right on the off chance someone else might be coming in the other direction. (It happens) A slow speed turn to the left would be what I would expect, it would keep you away from the terrain and get you closer the right side of the valley on your way back to better weather. The pilot seat in a S-76B, single pilot, is on the right, people naturally want to turn toward the side they are sitting, you can also keep the terrain in sight. It would be nice to Pirouette to the right, keeping the terrain in sight in that situation, You cannot however Pirouette a helicopter at 153 knots.
Don't speed when it gets foggy, pay attention, if you have a increasing level of concern then that should make your decision easy. Always have a exit plan and execute that plan if needed.
There will be a lot coming out in the months ahead and we will know more, there are no black boxes like airliners have, unless in the unlikely event they ordered or added to the aircraft. The NTSB might be able recover GPS data if they have the device and it was not burned up. That would give more accurate speed and track data than what we have now. I believe the 76B also would have a power usage data track on some controller or other. That would indicate collective (Power lever) position. GPS recorded data would be continuous and not every two minutes or whatever interval some of the external taking apps use.
I would bet large that Pilot Error will be the number one factor, for whatever reasons were important to the pilot. I have not listened to the tapes, I did see one track that had the last recorded speed at 153. I have been in his shoes.

I have flown as helo Aircrew in fog... it's not fun.

I listened to the tapes of the radio traffic convo between the helo and tower, and watched the track. He had been in a holding pattern for 15min then was released to transit the area under Special VFR looking for the major roads and freeways, instructed to report VFR when he had visibility. Was making a turn to the left, looking for Hwy 101. Asked for continued flight following but was denied because he was too low. By that time it was too late.

He was probably spooked and spatial disorientation being the reason he ask for flight following. Was reported at 185knots, descending at 4000ft/min... whoa, way abnormal descent! Either something went drastically wrong mechanically, or he lost control of the aircraft, miscontrolled the aircraft. Seems to be another victim of "absolutely have to get there" syndrome!!! Happens to too many pilots, and Kobe being pissed about delay would be added pressure to continue when a climb may have been in order. From the descent rate, I would guess he was in panic mode, misread the instruments, and thought he was climbing out to visibility. :(:(:(
 

bbbass

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This morning the news is reporting that the pilot had ascended from 1500' to 2300' and then the pilot reported he was making a left turn and descending.
 

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