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Kobe Bryant killed in S76 crash

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Kobe Bryant killed in S76 crash

Old 30th Jan 2020, 10:22
  #301 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Bremen
Posts: 118
From an archived version of the currently inoperable Island Express website (emphasis mine):
How many guests can a helicopter accommodate?
It is determined by total passenger weight. Below are the maximum number of guests for each of the styles of aircraft we fly:

Sikorsky S76 – 9 guests
A-Star – 6 guests
JetRanger – 4 guests
FAQ - IEX Helicopters

That should put that speculation to rest.
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 10:57
  #302 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Originally Posted by Search&Rescue View Post
Nick Lappos is the Man and Pro for sure concerning S76, but the investigation board made a finding 2005 that flight controls might partially jam with some coll/cyclic combinations... and the pilot needs to use additional force to release the jam... (Now we are talking about ”extreme handling” in stead of normal flight.)
This finding was done when S76C+ ended in the Gulf of Finland 10/08/2005 and 14 people perished.
This is incorrect. It was a design and tolerance fault of the actuator, not of the flight control system overall design. From the investigation report (section 3.2):
The Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission determined that the cause of the accident was the uncommanded extension of the main rotor forward actuator and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. Contributing to the uncommanded extension and the actuator was the separation of the plasma coating on one of two actuator pistons and the operator’s failure to detect the internal leakage of the main rotor forward actuator.
Further detail in section 3.1.2:
The design and tolerances of the piston head allowed excessive rework of the piston head; as a result of the excessive rework of the piston head, the plasma coating at the piston head had separated into chips; the chips and resulting contamination led to excessive piston ring wear, in ternal leakage and blocked return ports;
Also, the current pertinent AD for the servo actuators:
(a) For a servo actuator with 1,500 or less hours time since new (TSN) or time since overhaul (TSO), determine the leakage rate on or before reaching 1,500 hours TSN or TSO. This 1,500 hour TSN or TSO inspection revises the airworthiness limitations section of the applicable maintenance manual.

(b) For a servo actuator with 2,250 or less hours TSN or TSO, but more than 1,500 hours TSN or TSO, determine the leakage rate on or before reaching 2,250 hours TSN or TSO.

(c) If the leakage rate in any servo actuator exceeds 700 cc per minute when performing the leakage rate inspection specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of this AD, then:

(1) Replace that servo actuator piston, HR Textron or Woodward HRT P/N 41004321 or P/N RW41004321, with a servo actuator piston, P/N 41012001 or P/N 41012001-001, and re-identify the servo actuator on the servo actuator data plate as Sikorsky P/N “76650-09805-111” and Woodward HRT P/N “3006760-111” using a metal stamp method; or

(2) Replace the servo actuator with an airworthy servo actuator, Sikorsky P/N 76650-09805-111, Woodward HRT P/N 3006760-111.

(d) On or before 3,000 hours TSN or TSO, whichever occurs first, replace each servo actuator piston and re-identify the servo actuator as specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this AD or replace each servo actuator as specified in paragraph (c)(2) of this AD.
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 11:22
  #303 (permalink)  
 
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From my own navel-gazing, I agree with BrogulT that a straight ahead max-performance climb would appear to have been the best option. If the pilot was familiar with the area (as reportedly he was), a climb along the track of the 101 which he was already following would have meant the least likelihood of encountering terrain. Depending on the climb capability, given the typical marine layer pattern here, he'd be reasonably assured to be on top within 30-60 seconds.
And I think the majority here would agree with you.

I suspect that if the pilot in this case was reading about someone else's accident, his answer would have been the same - the question is why he didn't just climb out of it - without CVFDR information we will probably never know.
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 11:30
  #304 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Georg1na View Post
SAS and Crab - two best posts so far by far. Much common sense - luck is such a huge factor and I should know......................
I agree two great posts. Who will be next ?

I was part of a crew of a Jetranger from Edinburgh - Boynie near Lossiemouth a positioning flight for pleasure flying. Not long after departure from Edinburgh we encountered foggy conditions near Kinross so turned around and headed back to Edinburgh. On the ground the captain phoned the boss and was told he HAD to get to the destination that day. No pressure there then. We had three choices, try the original route again and turn up at Boyndie in two wooden boxes with the helicopter on a salvage truck, find an alternative or get the sack !

We found a completely weather free route by going via Glasgow - Cumbernauld - Loch Lomond - Fort William - Inverness and then along the coast to Boyndie. One hell of a long way round for a short cut. It could have been us that day !

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Old 30th Jan 2020, 11:56
  #305 (permalink)  
 
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We sit here all comfy, coffee cup in hand for me, and consider what could have happened to cause the tragic end to this flight and the loss of nine people.

Without going too far out on a limb, and acknowledging I am not privy to all of the factors involved....one question keeps coming back to fore.

Putting myself in that pilot's seat....and assuming I had found myself between two layers...one being low lying fog and the other a layer above e me....and realizing they were merging ahead of me....I would have been confronted with doing something really quick.

My gut instinct based upon years of experience including flying S-76's and being familiar with that particular area.....considering the reported weather for the time in question.....I would have gone wings level, pitched up ten degrees, applied Climb Power, and gone for sunshine and VFR on Top.

It seems that would have been the quickest and safest path to clear air.

We do not know what the Pilot could see from the cockpit that might have influenced his decision to do what he did.

Over time there will be lots of discussion about how he found himself in the situation he did....and that is a valid discussion.

We can also debate why he reacted as he did and that is valid also.

But....we must accept we do not know the actual circumstances of the final few moments of the flight and probably never will.

The real lesson that will be re-learned from this tragedy is avoidance is the absolute best practice.

To out this tragedy in perspective.....look back to the RAF Chinook crash at the Mull of Kintyre.

Some similarities arise between the two crashes.
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 12:02
  #306 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Megan,a further note re the possibility of “ jack stall” ,or servo stall/jam in the 76B.

At one point there was an effort to provide a gunship version of the 76,and in that pursuit it was decided to do a short test program including the maximum aerodynamic G pullouts as specified in the mil-specs. This program was, of course, well outside the FAA approved flight envelope. I got involved in flying that and we flew the B into severe blade stall in a number of maneuvers. The. Control loads (i.e.,servo loads ) went up dramatically, of course,as did the n/rev vibrations, but were still well within the servo load design criteria. Cyclic free to move.

Last edited by JohnDixson; 30th Jan 2020 at 12:07. Reason: Added note
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 12:07
  #307 (permalink)  
 
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The only thing that occurs to me is that he may have seen the ground and gone for a gap.

We know that low level stratus/hill fog is not consistent in its height or thickness but when you combine upslope stratus with slopes, a glimpse of the ground may give you a completely false horizon and the brain can easily be fooled into believing you are wings level rather than in a turn.

Visual cues are very difficult to overcome - as anyone who has had the leans from going in and out of cloud will tell you.

We used to show pilots a lake in Snowdonia which, in the right conditions, looked like it was sloping (it was referred to as the sloping lake) all it needed was a lowish cloudbase to obscure the tops of the hills and the steep sides of the narrow valley did the rest - illusion complete and difficult to fight unless you believe your instruments, something that is not easy to force yourself to do at low level.. That was a reason we always taught mountain flying as a visual/instrument balance.
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 12:44
  #308 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Old Age Pilot View Post
I feel the same. The narrative of the NTSB is "we cannot answer any speculative questions, we can only deal with known facts - and we know nothing at this stage", yet there is this apparent snipe at the FAA for "failing to implement" their recommendations intended to avoid a specific cause of accident. They are indirectly suggesting the cause before they've even begun the investigation.
I don't see it as suggesting the cause; rather the Board is upset with the FAA for failing to implement a previous formal recommendation. Having said that, I believe Ms. Homendy should not have brought it up during a media briefing.
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 12:48
  #309 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
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What does it cost to buy and install a. CVR?

I have flown aircraft that had them and did not have any concerns about what could be heard on them to include the personal chit chat that occurs during normal operations.

Is it a cost concern or something else that the Helicopter Industry seems to use to excuse not installing such equipment.

I can see a cost issue for FDR installations but is it time to go that route as well for medium and large Rotorcraft as a certification requirement?

Just to obtain a detailed study of the issue is not cheap!


https://www.businesswire.com/news/ho...er-FDR-TPL-DRB
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 13:06
  #310 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by EFHF View Post
This is incorrect. It was a design and tolerance fault of the actuator, not of the flight control system overall design. From the investigation report (section 3.2):

Further detail in section 3.1.2:


Also, the current pertinent AD for the servo actuators:
I was not saying that a ”control jam” was the reason for that accident 2005... But Thanx EFHF for completing my post with these facts...
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 13:26
  #311 (permalink)  
 
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1:24,000 topo snippet of crash site area.


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Old 30th Jan 2020, 13:38
  #312 (permalink)  
 
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FWIW, unintended flight in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (UIMC) statistically ranks at the top of fatal helicopter accidents. DISCLAIMER: it is complete speculation that UIMC played any role in this accident:


IMHO, as a former sim instructor, MOST pilots exhibited difficulty at the onset of IMC, and many pilots had extreme difficulty. All of these pilots were instrument rated, but not necessarily performing IFR duties. ONLY a handful could successfully execute an immediate 180 degree turn without the assistance of an autopilot. This maneuver was typically one of the most challenging and problematic to complete successfully.

Previous wisdom highlighted the execution of a 180 turn. In fact, my former military background emphasized the maneuver as part of an IMC recovery. However, the time to make a 180 turn is prior to the UIMC encounter. Climb gradient performance of current helicopters typically allows the straight-ahead climb in all but the most restricted environments. According to the FAA Helicopter Flying Handbook, at the onset of IIMC:

“…pick a heading known to be free of obstacles and maintain it. This will likely be the heading you were already on, which was planned and briefed.”



“Try to avoid immediately turning 180°. Turning around is not always the safest route and executing a turn immediately after UIMC may lead to spatial disorientation. If a 180° turn is the safest option, first note the heading you are on then begin the turn to the reciprocal heading, but only after stable flight is achieved…”

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Old 30th Jan 2020, 14:13
  #313 (permalink)  
 
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It sounds to be like he went inadvertent IMC, initiated climb, started a left turn either intentionally or not, became spatially disorientated and was unable to recover. We are trained to recover from usual attitudes by rolling wings level but if we have put ourselves into that situation hard to say whether we would be able to fly ourselves out of it.

If this is the case we need to question why he did not couple up once he became disorientate or as soon as he was in the soup. Does the 76 have a go-around button? Are any of ye guys trained to couple up as a last resort for unusual attitude recovery?
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 14:33
  #314 (permalink)  
 
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For Jim Eli: Amen. The transition from VFR scan to IFR scan, if not practiced, can create its own problems.
Try to avoid immediately turning 180°. Turning around is not always the safest route and executing a turn immediately after UIMC may lead to spatial disorientation.
If a 180° turn is the safest option, first note the heading you are on then begin the turn to the reciprocal heading, but only after stable flight is achieved…”
That's how we taught it ... wait, how many years ago has it been? Yikes, gettin' old!

I am trying to piece together in my head a picture of what was going on during what looks to me like a climbing turn to the left.
If the pilot also slowed down while entering that climbing turn (trading airspeed for altitude, and also creating a tighter turning circle if he knew of rising terrain to his left) he may have -- speculation here -- created for himself an unusual attitude in IMC within a very short time after entering the goo, and, with a three axis change in flying parameters, induced a mild sense of vertigo. (--Guessing here-- and remembering a few of my own cases of The Leans that happened over the years)
Now the pilot is playing catch up. Finally getting instrument scan together, realizing (perhaps) that wings are not level, and begins to recover from unusual attitude/upset, is unable to arrest descent before running out of altitude.
Not sure all if the pieces fit, but that sequence seems to be a way that the end condition that the mountain bikers heard/saw could come about.

The ripple effect of a celebrity dying in a crash.
When celebritiy names are associated with something, all kinds of weird side effects happen.
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 15:17
  #315 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by aterpster View Post
I don't see it as suggesting the cause; rather the Board is upset with the FAA for failing to implement a previous formal recommendation. Having said that, I believe Ms. Homendy should not have brought it up during a media briefing.
Yes I can see it from that angle too. It just seemed off to mention during that particular briefing.
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 15:39
  #316 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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From Forbes:
"The helicopter that crashed Sunday killing basketball star Kobe Bryant and eight others was owned by a charter company that only operated under visual flight rules, and its pilots were not permitted to fly solely based on their cockpit gauges if they encountered weather that limited visibility, a former pilot for the company told Forbes."

My experience is strictly limited to time as a Navy Fighter Pilot and later as a Commercial Airline Pilot but that was "back in the day". I know almost nothing about Part 135.

If the article in Forbes is true, it might explain why the pilot tried so hard to complete his mission using VFR/SVRF in such poor weather. Can someone with experience in Part 135 VFR-only operations comment on what would be the legal and professional ramifications if in this case Bryant's pilot had given up his "scud running', entered IMC, and presented himself as a pop-up IFR aircraft? I imagine plenty of people would be tight-jawed about doing this starting immediately with the controlling agency and no doubt it would not end there.

I don't know if the pilot was current for IFR or not and I suspect that although the helicopter may have been suitably equipped, I'm guessing that the maintenance required for IFR flight was not up to date. So it's certain that more than one person would have to do an unpleasant rug-dance and somebody would be paying fines and/or be forced to deal with licensing problems some place down the line. But almost anything is better than slamming into a hillside.

Comments from those closer to the action than I?
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 15:47
  #317 (permalink)  
 
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Lots of "what if'ing" there Mozella!

Do your remember your FAR's re Pilot Actions during an Emergency?

You do raise some good questions but some of your statements get ahead of the facts known at this time I suggest.
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 16:02
  #318 (permalink)  
 
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Wait, I'm confused...

I suspect all on this forum would agree that filling out some paperwork, explaining truthfully how you got caught in IMC when it was not your intention or legal option to do so to your CP, FAA POI, company owner, customer, local sheriff, co-workers, local news hounds and friends at the bar is preferable to what is happening now. You might lose your job, which you lose by being in a fatal accident anyway, or get a suspension of your certificate but in perspective, sitting in an empty parking lot waiting for another company pilot and clearing weather is a pretty attractive alternative. Proper IIMC recovery procedures notwithstanding, they were going to a baketball game.....a basketball game is pretty low on the " gotta get there scale". Come to think of it, most everything is.
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 16:30
  #319 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jimtun View Post
Heli could also have continued West on 118 towards Camarillo in maybe marginal VFR
The maximum elevation of Hwy 101 is approximately 800 MSL in the area of the crash and farther west at Conejo summit. The general terrain is rolling to moderate hills and the valley floor is at least 1/4 mile wide in most spots. There are a few narrow points along the route but no place is a "gorge" with big vertical road cuts as someone else claimed. The narrowest points in the valley are a mile to the west around Liberty Canyon, and at Conejo Summit. See post #311 for a good topo.

On the other hand Hwy 118 climbs to 1700 MSL through the Santa Susana Pass, and points on the route are much narrower and "V" shaped. Surrounding terrain along the route is steep, rugged, and rapidly rising in spots.

Possibly it was "tribal knowledge" that 101 was a better route than 118 in MVFR (seems like 118 was solid IFR anyway), and the pilot was more familiar with the 101 route.
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 16:37
  #320 (permalink)  
 
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OK does anyone actual know for sure that the company was not certified to fly IFR? Pilot was instrument qualified yes but current? Aircraft capable but maybe not maintained to IFR standards, record wise as that does cost money. If company wasn't qualified and had a no IFR policy then that would add another decision roadblock for the pilot to overcome as he would be reluctant to violate company policy.
So I ask again, was this company by certification or company policy not IFR capable?
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