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Kobe Bryant killed in S76 crash

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Kobe Bryant killed in S76 crash

Old 27th Feb 2020, 21:39
  #741 (permalink)  
 
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I am sure Crab didn't mean it, but I am afraid that some will misunderstand his post of saying that the actual conditions when given a Special VFR clearance are neccessarily worse than the VFR limits for helicopters operating outside of a control zone (CTR). Or to rephrase, that once exited the control zone in which you were operating under SVFR, in order to continue under VFR the visibility needs to have improved, else you can't proceed.
No, the SVFR clearance is an ATC permission, in this case to cross class B airspace when VFR isn't available (in some US airports I believe) or the weather precludes VFR (again I don't fly in the US but I believe when the ceiling is below 1000'agl). Helicopters can fly SVFR in class B with visibility less than the Class G VFR limit of 1 statute mile. Therefore on exiting Class B SVFR into Class G VFR you could be going from worse visibility limits to higher ones.
So, while he was in Class B - IF the visibility was poor, he would have to have an improvement in vis to 1SM as he crossed B to G in order to claim VFR.
It could well be that he had more than 1 SM all the way through B and out into G but he seemed hesitant to confirm VFR when asked which could have been visibility related or cloud related.
We are pretty sure that soon afterwards he entered cloud (definitely not VFR) where it all went wrong.

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Old 27th Feb 2020, 23:59
  #742 (permalink)  
 
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Unless I am mistaken the aircraft did not get into Class B airspace..

Burbank is class C, Van Nuys is D, and from there the track would have taken him into Class G airspace.

SVFR in both the C and D is legal with an ATC Clearance which he had for each Control Zone.

Once in Class G airspace, 91.155(a) visibility minima is one half statute mile and clear of cloud.

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Old 28th Feb 2020, 03:20
  #743 (permalink)  
 
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Y'all sure do like to pick the flysh** out of the pepper. The airspace doesn't matter. The regs don't matter, not a bit. The man made a choice to continue VFR into IMC and it appears he lost control. Now it may well be that a mechanical failure caused the loss of control. Perhaps there was a sudden incapacitation. But barring those things, it's pretty clear he continued VFR into IMC and screwed the pooch. No changing of the regs would prevent this accident, not even a requirement for GPWS because it appears control was lost. It comes down to judgement and experience and you cannot legislate those. The weather conditions on that day were apparently pretty unusual as far as the maritime layer was concerned. But if you are instrument rated you should be able to climb out of it.
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Old 28th Feb 2020, 03:42
  #744 (permalink)  
 
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So it seems the rules for helicopter minima outside CTR are basically the same across the world (with 1 statute mile roughly being 1,500 metres).

Other than that we must not confuse actual flying conditions with minimum permitted conditions. We fly in actual visibility, not in "minima". Actual conditions can be said to get worse if (for example) viz drops from 2,000m to 1,500m.

you could be going from worse visibility limits to higher ones.
But what are "worse limits"? If, say, the ceiling limit in a control zone is 600ft, and then outside that control zone the limit is "clear of clouds", are we saying the limit got "worse", or are we saying the limit got "better"? That's ambiguous.

In reality, when flying from a zone with higher (= stricter) limits, into a zone with lower (= more lenient) limits, our options (degree of freedom) improve.

At the same (= unchanged) actual conditions, the only way the pilot - on existing SFVR - should be hesitant to confirm to be within VFR limits applicable to helicopters would be if he had been using the maximum extend of the SVFR clearance down to viz 800m. Then yes, upon exiting the CTR he would have to continue under IFR, as now the min required viz is 1,500m.

But that was not necessarily the case: Inside the CTR he could have had viz 2,000m (which in Class C and D airspace still would have required him to obtain SVFR clearance). Now upon exiting that CTR, with the same viz of 2,000m, he would have been well above helicopter VFR limits.

It would be wrong to assume (for the proverbial layman) that by definition the actual conditions would need to have improved to legally continue from SVFR (inside a CTR) into uncontrolled airspace. What could be though is that - due to approaching marine layer and/or rising terrain - the actual conditions (here: ceiling) got worse as he proceeded.
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Old 28th Feb 2020, 13:15
  #745 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Unless I am mistaken the aircraft did not get into Class B airspace..
Burbank is class C, Van Nuys is D, and from there the track would have taken him into Class G airspace.
SVFR in both the C and D is legal with an ATC Clearance which he had for each Control Zone.
Once in Class G airspace, 91.155(a) visibility minima is one half statute mile and clear of cloud.
Additionally, I believe Class G in this vicinity has a 700' ceiling. If he entered Class E, his visibility requirements would have been 3SM with cloud clearances of 500’ below, and 2000’ laterally. FAR 135.205 should have governed his minimum visibility requirement for the entirety at 1/2 mile, however his operation’s GOM could have imposed stricter limits.
Originally Posted by 8driver View Post
The airspace doesn't matter. The regs don't matter, not a bit.
Except, given your supposition that, “the man made a choice to continue VFR into IMC,” if he had honored the airspace regs, chances are he wouldn’t have crashed.

Last edited by JimEli; 28th Feb 2020 at 14:30.
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Old 29th Feb 2020, 00:46
  #746 (permalink)  
 
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Ladies and gentlemen there’s has been a lot of discussion on the VFR minimums, /Special VFR Visibility and cloud separation legally required for this flight in various air spaces under Far 135 and 91. However, this been a great review, it doesn’t indicate what the pilots flight visibility was from the cockpit.

One of the many pieces of information the investigation are using to determine flight visibility is the security camera footage of the aircraft above Moreau Road and Highway 101. Without knowing the focal strength of this camera, it would be a guess, but I would say he was in legal flight visibility.

Figure 6 in the updated briefing is labeled still frame security video showing N72EX flying into clouds. The remainder of the video may show the aircraft fading into the background. But with the camera angle from the ground it would be difficult to tell whether he was climbing above the marine layer or flying into it.

Attached Files
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Old 29th Feb 2020, 02:30
  #747 (permalink)  
 
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Sad part is, having climbed to 2300' safety was only 100' away, but he was not to know that, higher overcast layer obliterating the sun.


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Old 29th Feb 2020, 02:30
  #748 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by vortex-generators View Post
Without knowing the focal strength of this camera, it would be a guess, but I would say he was in legal flight visibility.
Refer to 8driver's point. If you're not competent or capable of flying on instruments then what matters is the visual cues available to you to allow you to determine your attitude and the rate of change so that your brain gets to complete that pesky hand-eye feedback loop. In flight visibility rules are only a regulatory tool to try to ensure visual references can be maintained, and generally at the pre-flight planning stage. It's a means, not an end. Try to accurately estimate visibility in flight.

Lose the ability to comprehend your attitude and take appropriate action then catastrophy occurs (see the recent Coulson C130 accident).

In control but not thinking about the terrain? Loss of situational awareness leading to CFIT.

Lose control because you can't maintain attitude? Loss of control in flight leading to UFIT.

Personally, I think that the balance of probably lies with CFIT. The only LOC indication is 'powered rotation'. Maybe he red-lined the torque when he saw terrain and ran out of tail rotor, maybe he tried to turn-away at last minute and used a bootfull of pedal. It draws a fine line between CFIT and UFIT but doesn't change the cause, which was his being there in the first place. What-​​​If's about technical failures by lawyers might make this another Mull of Kintyre, which I doubt it is.
​​

Last edited by reader8; 29th Feb 2020 at 03:05.
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Old 29th Feb 2020, 03:48
  #749 (permalink)  
 
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I seen many mention that he should have coupled up (if he wasn't already) but could there be a chance that he was below the speed needed and couldn't, got fixated trying to figure out why, or actually punched it all in thinking it was then coupled up? I don't fly the 76 so not sure on how the AP works but assuming it's similar to other types re speed needed to engage.
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Old 29th Feb 2020, 07:14
  #750 (permalink)  
 
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Is there an air traffic controller type who might be able to answer. I am not familiar with the Los Angeles area, but looking at the terminal chart; it seems that the area in which the pilot was flying was Class G to 700' AGL overlain by Class C airspace (thick magenta line) which goes to 4000'. That would imply equipment needed, visibility and cloud separation required, and communication. What would be the intent to climb specifically to 4000' ? (why not 3500' or 4500'?). Standard ops would imply communication with the company to describe a deviation from original dispatched flight and a communication with ATC to outline intended plan upon reaching stated altitude. What woiuld a controller be expecting in such circumstances.
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Old 29th Feb 2020, 13:03
  #751 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Glacier pilot View Post
Is there an air traffic controller type who might be able to answer. I am not familiar with the Los Angeles area, but looking at the terminal chart; it seems that the area in which the pilot was flying was Class G to 700' AGL overlain by Class C airspace (thick magenta line) which goes to 4000'. That would imply equipment needed, visibility and cloud separation required, and communication. What would be the intent to climb specifically to 4000' ? (why not 3500' or 4500'?). Standard ops would imply communication with the company to describe a deviation from original dispatched flight and a communication with ATC to outline intended plan upon reaching stated altitude. What woiuld a controller be expecting in such circumstances.
I'm not a controller but I am familiar with the airspace. He was still speaking with SoCal TRACON (SCT) but he was close to or past the boundary of Point Mugu TRACON's eastern boundary. As he was climbing he would have reappeared on SCT's radar and probably appeared on Point Mugu's radar. Depending what he said to SCT they would likely then have asked him whether he was declaring an emergency. If so, then they would request his intentions. I have no idea what those intentions were. His destination was KCMA, which is handled by Point Mugu TRACON. If those intentions were for an instrument approach to either KCMA or KOXR (which has an ILS whereas KCMA only has RNAV and one VOR approach), SCT would have handed him off to Point Mugu and advised of the emergency status on the handoff.

Last edited by aterpster; 29th Feb 2020 at 17:51.
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Old 29th Feb 2020, 13:57
  #752 (permalink)  
 
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What beats me is that if he lost visual references etc, one option you have in a helo is just to stop where you are and hover whilst seeking assistance over the radio... such as can you see me on radar, where am I, how close to terrain am I ? In which direction should I proceed and do I need to climb? etc etc
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Old 29th Feb 2020, 14:03
  #753 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Paul Lupp View Post
What beats me is that if he lost visual references etc, one option you have in a helo is just to stop where you are and hover whilst seeking assistance over the radio... such as can you see me on radar, where am I, how close to terrain am I ? In which direction should I proceed and do I need to climb? etc etc
Ey? Enter a hover without visual reference?
That sounds like a recipe for success.
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Old 29th Feb 2020, 15:20
  #754 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Paul Lupp View Post
What beats me is that if he lost visual references etc, one option you have in a helo is just to stop where you are and hover whilst seeking assistance over the radio... such as can you see me on radar, where am I, how close to terrain am I ? In which direction should I proceed and do I need to climb? etc etc
For God sake, if you have nothing intelligent to say, please go back to your videogames.
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Old 29th Feb 2020, 15:31
  #755 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by reader8 View Post
Refer to 8driver's point. If you're not competent or capable of flying on instruments then what matters is the visual cues available to you to allow you to determine your attitude and the rate of change so that your brain gets to complete that pesky hand-eye feedback loop. In flight visibility rules are only a regulatory tool to try to ensure visual references can be maintained, and generally at the pre-flight planning stage. It's a means, not an end. Try to accurately estimate visibility in flight.

Lose the ability to comprehend your attitude and take appropriate action then catastrophy occurs (see the recent Coulson C130 accident).

In control but not thinking about the terrain? Loss of situational awareness leading to CFIT.

Lose control because you can't maintain attitude? Loss of control in flight leading to UFIT.

Personally, I think that the balance of probably lies with CFIT. The only LOC indication is 'powered rotation'. Maybe he red-lined the torque when he saw terrain and ran out of tail rotor, maybe he tried to turn-away at last minute and used a bootfull of pedal. It draws a fine line between CFIT and UFIT but doesn't change the cause, which was his being there in the first place. What-​​​If's about technical failures by lawyers might make this another Mull of Kintyre, which I doubt it is.
​​
I agree with you on everything you wrote.
If you ain't current or proficient you should not go paint yourself in a corner with limited options.
This thread should have been over 600 posts ago.

Things we've learnt:
You can't fix stupid unless you severely punish them, and then maybe not (just look at the EMS industry people killing themselves the same way for year).
ANY aircraft operating under CFR 14 Part 135 or for hire should have a CVR and FDR.
When operating for hire, pilots should be current and proficient for IFR operations and flight in IMC conditions.
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Old 29th Feb 2020, 19:24
  #756 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks. Your explanation was straight forward. One of the 'buzzwords' with the NTSB is "operational control". The mystery of this accident is why the pilot initiated a deviation from the original VFR flight plan, a climb to get on top, that would, de facto, generate a lot of undesireable scruitiny in and of itself, even if the manuever had been 'sucessfull'. In hill country, if one can, it's best to forsee and avoid situations that leave 'emergency actions' as the best and only remaining option.
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Old 29th Feb 2020, 23:23
  #757 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Paul Lupp View Post
What beats me is that if he lost visual references etc, one option you have in a helo is just to stop where you are and hover whilst seeking assistance over the radio... such as can you see me on radar, where am I, how close to terrain am I ? In which direction should I proceed and do I need to climb? etc etc
Originally Posted by tottigol View Post

(Snip)

This thread should have been over 600 posts ago.

(Snip)

The Hamsterwheel has come full circle: time to close this thread again until there is something relevant to discuss.
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