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Kobe Bryant killed in S76 crash

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Kobe Bryant killed in S76 crash

Old 11th Feb 2020, 17:36
  #561 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Pensacola, Florida
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There are two other things to speculate on that haven't been discussed much here.

We do not and cannot know what was going through the mind of Kobe's pilot. But there are some clues. In a Facebook thread on this accident, long-time and well-respected former Chief Pilot of PHI, Mike Hurst opines about a certain psychological phenomenon that happens to pilots as they get closer to their destination. It's slightly different from "Get-there-itis" although it falls under that category, I suppose. Mike had a fancy name for it, which I forget at the moment. It's not so much an urge or pressure get where you're going, but a subtle belief as you get closer and closer that you can make it. And Mike certainly knows a thing or two about helicopter pilots.

The other thing nobody is really talking about is fuel. You all know that we helicopter pilots are always battling fuel vs. payload. I suspect that Kobe's pilot took off with "just enough" fuel to get to his destination with the required reserves and not much more. But then Burbank Tower held him out, circling for over 12 minutes. And then, instead of letting him go direct, they told him to go northbound, circumnavigating east of both Burbank and Van Nuys to circle around north of both fields before coming back down south to pick up the 101. I'll bet you that all this circling and rerouting ate into his reserves...which gave him the impetus to pull the power in and keep the speed up when really, in perfect hindsight, we know that he should've slowed that beatch down. And he was a short guy, and his S-76 has a *BIG* glareshield, and slowing an S-76 down brings the nose up, decreasing outward visibility even more... And in the L.A. area you can't just plop an S-76 down in someone's parking lot like you can a 206...

There sure are a lot of pieces to this puzzle! Talk about a guy stuck between a rock and a hard place. Granted, he probably put himself into that jam, but still...
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Old 11th Feb 2020, 18:20
  #562 (permalink)  
 
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Wasn’t this a S76B FH1100? Iirc correctly MAUW 11700 pounds, so he should have been able to upload at least 2 hours of fuel.
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Old 11th Feb 2020, 18:34
  #563 (permalink)  
 
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It's called "speculation," Torque ;-)
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Old 11th Feb 2020, 18:59
  #564 (permalink)  
 
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If we know he was attempting to climb (likely into IFR/goop) to 4000, how much are we doubting that the left turn at around 2300 was intentional?
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Old 11th Feb 2020, 19:36
  #565 (permalink)  
 
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The turn is. meaningless compared to the descent In terms of outcome!


What say you sleuths work that one out for us first...then figure out the turn.
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Old 11th Feb 2020, 20:00
  #566 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FH1100 Pilot View Post
...But there are some clueAnd he was a short guy, and his S-76 has a *BIG* glareshield, and slowing an S-76 down brings the nose up, decreasing outward visibility even more...
.
Not really. The nose attitude in an S76 remains mostly level throughout flight with changes in airspeed. It's not until you really slow it down (to a speed well below minimum IFR speed) that the nose starts to pitch up. If you are in cloud you don't want to slow it down to a point where the nose starts to pitch up.
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Old 11th Feb 2020, 21:15
  #567 (permalink)  
 
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FH100.....exactly where do you come up with the idea the Pilot was short in stature?

What is your source for that information....or did you just make that up out thin air somehow?

I assume you do not know the guy.

Would you be surprised to learn he was over Six Feet Tall?

While discussing this tragedy with another Old Git friend who has about four thousand hours in the 76....all of it in the Gulf of Mexico....we both had similar questions about IIMC procedures and the use of the Auto Pilot system.

He also raised concerns about folks being overly quick to criticize those who are no longer able to defend themselves.

The following arrived by email and I think it needs to be shared.

"The readiness to blame a dead pilot for an accident is nauseating, but it has been the tendency ever since I can remember.
What pilot has not been in positions where he was in danger and where perfect judgment would have advised against going?
But when a man is caught in such a position he is judged only by his error and seldom given credit for the times he has extricated himself from worse situations.
Worst of all, blame is heaped upon him by other pilots, all of whom have been in parallel situations themselves, but without being caught in them.
If one took no chances, one would not fly at all.
Safety lies in the judgment of the chances one takes."


In the words of Charles Lindbergh, Journal entry, 26 August 1938
There was a Celebration of Life for the Pilot....attended by about 300 people with helicopters flying in to participate.

A formation flight of Helicopters flew overhead in his honor.

Folks....he was one of us....remember that when you post.....he was well liked and respected and some of his friends attend this Forum.
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Old 12th Feb 2020, 01:55
  #568 (permalink)  
 
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SAS, check out this picture of our boy. Regardless of how tall he was, in the aircraft his eyes are apparently just above the tall glareshield. I'd imagine that it wouldn't take much nose-up attitude at all to make outward visibility pretty bad. Now, before you go running your mouth (again), I do understand how parallax and camera angle can make things look worse. But don't even try to tell me that the S-76 is a good platform for slugging along VFR, down low and slow in scuzzy viz.

And cut the crap with all the jibber-jabber from Lindbergh about not blaming dead pilots. We get it; we're all pilots...human pilots. And we all make mistakes, sometimes fatal ones. I don't think you need to be an expert NTSB accident investigator to see what happened here. Why? BECAUSE WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE! The only difference is that *we* are all still around to talk about our dumb mistakes. Lindbergh's last line is quite succinct: "Safety lies in the judgment of the chances one takes." EXACTAMUNDO, Chuckie! Again, I'm not NTSB guy, but I think that any of us commercial/professional pilots would question the judgment of someone bombing along that fast, pressing on into decreasing weather and rising terrain. He didn't appear to have much of a Plan B. Speaking of which...

gulliBell, never mind "minimum-IFR speed." I don't think IFR was on his mind at all. Otherwise he might have been prepared to do it. So tell me, what pitch attitude would an S-76 be at if you slow to 60-70 knots? Five degrees? Maybe some of the other S-76 whiz kids can answer that. It's a helicopter. You know why you never heard about IIMC accidents with Bell 47's and Hiller 12's? Because they only flew at 60 knots. And if that was too fast, you slowed to 45. I'm thinking that for Kobe's flight, even 90-100 knots would have been too fast for those conditions. (Obviously, 120-130 was too fast.)

We don't know exactly when he went IIMC, but he undeniably did. I'm guessing that it happened where the 101 goes through that "cut-through" or "pass" at that little ridgeline where it meets Las Virgenes. He'd been following the 101 pretty well up to there, and that's where it all started to come apart. So it was in that general area. So maybe the better question is: what speed would have been appropriate that would have allowed him to SEE the cloud/fog-bank he was about to penetrate and make a 180 before doing so?




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Old 12th Feb 2020, 02:16
  #569 (permalink)  
 
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Don't judge the horizon by the angle of his sunglasses. Look at the waterline in the background, then tilt your head right till it's level. Now he has plenty of vis over the glareshield.
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Old 12th Feb 2020, 02:27
  #570 (permalink)  
 
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FH,

Ever making with the attitude and wild assed guesses you are.

You called him "SHORT".....he was over Six Feet Tall!

What else have you got wrong due to having bum information upon which you build your theories?

Have you ever even flown the 76 in your career or were you trapped at the small ship table down there in the GOM?

Evidently you do not get it....as you are well across the line where discussing possible causes of this tragedy in which nine people died has become just another opportunity for you to spout off in a very ugly way about a Man (not a Boy as you called him) who was the Pilot of the aircraft who cannot defend himself.

You are exactly the kind of Pilot Mr. Lindbergh was talking about as demonstrated by you crass comments.
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Old 12th Feb 2020, 02:30
  #571 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
Don't judge the horizon by the angle of his sunglasses. Look at the waterline in the background, then tilt your head right till it's level. Now he has plenty of vis over the glareshield.


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Old 12th Feb 2020, 03:00
  #572 (permalink)  
 
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nonsense just beat me to it, but my effort to straighten up the image attached: note the lower window frame is horizontal.

With about a thousand hours on S76s I would agree with Ascend Charlie that sighting over the coaming isn’t at issue here except by some without practical experience. I’d be more interested in the cross cockpit visibility when in a left turn, but the Polaroid glasses issue has also got my attention and some actual feedback from an S76 driver would be appreciated.



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Old 12th Feb 2020, 03:36
  #573 (permalink)  
 
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But don't even try to tell me that the S-76 is a good platform for slugging along VFR, down low and slow in scuzzy viz
The 76 is no better or worse than any other helo I've flown, 12K in the aircraft and plenty of that was scud running, I stand 5'7", a short arse.

John, we had glass screens rather than the much lighter weight acrylic, think the Polaroids did give funny colours from comments by other chaps, I had Raybans.
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Old 12th Feb 2020, 04:27
  #574 (permalink)  
 
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megan thanks: I’ve been reliably informed that the sunnies were only worn in bright sunlight, otherwise ‘parked’ on the top of his head. So that’s a non issue. (I’m also a RayBan wearer from the early 70s, bit of a running joke in the family!)

At 6’ 2” tall he is most likely have found the coaming slightly obscuring the top of the instrument panel, rather than having it obscure his outside view. I know with the seat adjusted for my 5’11” I could lose part of the top attention getters.

Again, theories thrown in by some here without knowledge and experience on type can appear ‘right’ but not actually be so. A very deep coaming may appear in photos to be a hindrance to external vision in the S76, but is neatly designed to actually give very good forward vis whilst acting as a glare shield for the panel.
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Old 12th Feb 2020, 06:07
  #575 (permalink)  
 
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I wore polarising prescription sunglasses for 1300 hrs in an S-76B, and found no problems with the glass panel instruments, though there were some light brown wavy (transparent) lines in the front windscreen from the laminations, and the side windows had a slight rainbow tinge. Don't bother with the LGBPDGW comments, but the windows were slightly bent.

At night I had to lean forward and cover the shield with my arms to see out into the very dark bits of the Barrington Tops - despite being a BIG glare shield it only seemed to be anti-sun for daylight rather than anti-internal reflection for night.
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Old 12th Feb 2020, 06:16
  #576 (permalink)  
 
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John Eacott,

nobody knows for sure, if ”the sunnies were only worn in bright sunlight, otherwise ‘parked’ on the top of his head.” Sometimes pilots like to wear sunnies because of the contrast
(terrain vs. clouds) even if the sun is not the primary issue... but they might have been ”parked” on the top of his head as well...

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Old 12th Feb 2020, 06:45
  #577 (permalink)  
 
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This accident didn't happen because of sunnies, the outcome was set when they left the pad.
It may have made one of the holes slightly larger than it should have been, but it isn't a case of death by Rayban.
This really is digging too far into the detail, trying to make sense of something that happens far too often, with or without sunglasses, in an assortment of aircraft.
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Old 12th Feb 2020, 10:47
  #578 (permalink)  
 
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Totally agree with you Bell ringer, that there have been several factors affecting this sad accident... starting on the pad as you mentioned...
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Old 12th Feb 2020, 11:49
  #579 (permalink)  
 
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My experience on 76 was a very pleasant change from Bell Products and I found the cockpit layout quite comfortable.

As noted the Glare Shield was quite large but was very well designed and allowed for excellent visibility outside and more than adequate inside.

After flying Bell products....the 76 was a real treat...fast, slick, smooth....and NEW!

Having a FD. AP, and Area Nav made the machine fun to fly too.

By FH1100's standard I too am a short are...being only 5'9" tall.
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Old 12th Feb 2020, 13:13
  #580 (permalink)  
 
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Pretty sure I remember somewhere it states eyes should be level with the glare shield in 76 publications. 76 always had good viz and was easy to reference in all stages of flight. Super aircraft.

went to the basement to dig this up...


whose nose?

Last edited by Sir Korsky; 13th Feb 2020 at 14:48.
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