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N72EX (Kobe Bryant) Crash Update-

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N72EX (Kobe Bryant) Crash Update-

Old 20th May 2021, 23:40
  #221 (permalink)  
 
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Insurer Seeks Removal from Kobe Bryant Crash Lawsuit

OC Helicopter insurer Endurance claims a $10 million policy does not cover rotorcraft.

Mark Huber
|
May 2021The insurer of a key defendant in a tsunami of litigation engulfing the January 2020 crash of a Sikorsky S-76B that killed basketball legend Kobe Bryantand eight others filed suit earlier this month, seeking to be removed from the proceedings. Sompo International Holdings unit Endurance Assurance filed the suit in U.S. District Court, claiming the $10 million non-owned policy it issued to OC Helicopters, which booked the flight for Bryant and his party, does not cover helicopters. Island Express Helicopters owned and operated the accident helicopter.

Endurance had been defending OC in the crash lawsuits brought by Bryant’s widow and others subject to “reservation for rights” but now seeks reimbursement for those costs. The defense employed by OC to date has been that it did not have “operational control” of the crash flight. In September, the company issued a formal statement on the crash, saying in part, “we adamantly deny any responsibility for the accident.”

In February, the NTSB found that the probable cause of the crash was “the pilot's decision to continue flight under visual flight rules into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), which resulted in the pilot’s spatial orientation and loss of control.”

The filing by Endurance is the latest insurance cloud hanging over the crash. As early as February 2020, industry experts charged that the $50 million insurance coverage carried by Island Express Helicopters was inadequate, considering the passenger capacity of the S-76. In response to suits against it, Island Express has filed a cross-claim against the U.S. government charging that the air traffic controllers handling the flight failed to provide adequate service. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin denied the government’s motion to dismiss that claim and ruled it could proceed to discovery. In its final report on the accident, the NTSB found that the actions of the controllers did not contribute to the crash
https://www.bjtonline.com/business-j...ource=hs_email
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Old 21st May 2021, 13:31
  #222 (permalink)  
 
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"..a tsunami of litigation..."

They got that bit right.
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Old 21st May 2021, 14:42
  #223 (permalink)  
 
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Weasels looking for a way into a Hen House in my opinion.

Combined with a competition to see who can claim to have the least to do with what happened that sad day.

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Old 21st May 2021, 15:59
  #224 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Weasels looking for a way into a Hen House in my opinion.

Combined with a competition to see who can claim to have the least to do with what happened that sad day.
Welcome back SASless! Your ears must have been burning.
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Old 21st May 2021, 16:12
  #225 (permalink)  
 
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In response to suits against it, Island Express has filed a cross-claim against the U.S. government charging that the air traffic controllers handling the flight failed to provide adequate service.
Thatís an interesting but futile move.
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Old 21st May 2021, 17:03
  #226 (permalink)  
 
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The legal liability of Air Traffic Controllers in the United States is a complicated issue but the final analysis is going to focus upon whether the actions by the Controller(s) violated their duty of care as set forth by Federal Law and FAA Directives.

The primary function of ATC is to prevent collisions between aircraft and collisions between aircraft and vehicles and other obstacles within the operating area (airport confines) and terrain.

Those responsibilities vary from VFR and IFR and the type airspace involved.

In this particular case....the accident aircraft was being operated VFR not IFR.

At no time did any ATC Controller issue a clearance specifying a minimum flight level to be maintained.

All Clearances given instructed the Pilot to operate within Visual Contact with the Surface and outside of Cloud.

The Pilot is the final authority re control of the aircraft and is compelled to comply with ATC Clearances except for Emergency Situations.

Under FAR Part 135, that responsibility is shared by the Operator's employee who is tasked to oversee Flight Operations but the final authority is the Pilot.

There was no emergency...there was no assigned Flight Level...and other than requiring the aircraft to remain clear of certain Control Zones and out of cloud.....there was no route of flight clearance issued by ATC.

The Pilot did communicate with ATC about planned flight paths and did receive replies from ATCconfirming receipt of that information.

The Operator needs a better Lawyer....one that understands reality and Federal Aviation Law.

Attempting to sue the Government and any ATC Controller is just a waste of time and paperwork.

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Old 21st May 2021, 19:25
  #227 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, welcome back SAS, guess the Country Club next to your house had enough of your excuses that you had to stay there for Covid lockdown and had to remind you lockdown was over a while ago and gently escorted you off the premises ....
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Old 22nd May 2021, 02:52
  #228 (permalink)  
 
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Like others here I'd love Island Express to spell out exactly what service the ATC failed to provide. Good to see you back SAS providing us with your sorely missed wisdom.
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Old 22nd May 2021, 08:16
  #229 (permalink)  
 
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Isn't this the way of law in the US? File and counter file to muddy the waters and try to abdicate responsibility?
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Old 22nd May 2021, 10:08
  #230 (permalink)  
 
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[[email protected];11048971]Isn't this the way of law in the US? File and counter file to muddy the waters and try to abdicate responsibility?[/QUOT

Unfortunately Crab, we're going the same way here. Keep suing until you get the answer you want.
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Old 22nd May 2021, 15:32
  #231 (permalink)  
 
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Megan,

This is just a news report and not the actual filing by the Operator's Lawyer but it gives some insight into the Operator's allegations against the two ATC Controllers.


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/he...rs/ar-BB18mGoF

Last edited by SASless; 22nd May 2021 at 15:46.
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Old 22nd May 2021, 18:20
  #232 (permalink)  
 
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Difficult to see how the end result would have been different had ATC provided better flight following.
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Old 22nd May 2021, 19:55
  #233 (permalink)  
 
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Commonsense alone instructs us that if you are flying below terrain in a valley....Radar is not going to see you even if you have a Transponder operating.

The Controller knew he was going to lose Radar Contact with the aircraft due to the altitude it was maintaining and the route it was following.

ATC is not required to provide additional services to VFR traffic when their Control Zone is IFR....their job is to provide services to IFR Traffic.

The one exception is when they have a Special VFR flight operating INSIDE their Control Zone under a Special VFR Clearance.

As to their radio transmissions to the Accident Aircraft....they could be ignored by the Pilot if he was becoming overloaded by the deteriorating weather.

What is that old rule....."Aviate, Navigate, Communicate"....in that sequence.

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Old 24th May 2021, 06:49
  #234 (permalink)  
 
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My impressions and take, those with FAA experience may pick it to pieces.

With respect to the controllers the formal report says,
The controller advised the pilot that radar and radio contact with the flight would likely soon be lost and instructed the pilot to “squawk VFR” (set the helicopter’s transponder code to 1200) and contact the CMA tower once closer to the airport, and the pilot acknowledged
The report even provides the reference as a footnote,
The VFR transponder code of 1200 is used for aircraft that are operating under VFR without ATC radar advisory service (FAA 2019b, 5-2-4). See section 1.5 for more information.
Being told to "SQUAWK VFR" or "SQUAWK 1200" is indication that the radar service being provided is now terminated, it doesn't require the "RADAR SERVICE TERMINATED" call in these circumstances
5-1-13b.Radar service is automatically terminated and the aircraft needs not be advised of termination when: 1. An aircraft cancels its IFR flight plan, except within Class B airspace, Class C airspace, TRSA, or where basic radar service is provided
It seems to me the pilot didn't understand the implications of squawk 1200 in that radar advisories were no longer a provided service.
What is that old rule....."Aviate, Navigate, Communicate"....in that sequence
When you're up to your neck in alligators ignore ATC until you get to the third point of the rule, you might give a "standby", not scrambling about the cockpit looking for the ident button, the old story of "am I up here because you're down there, or are you down there because I'm up here" is relevant. Aircrew at times are cowed by the term "controller".
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Old 24th May 2021, 13:02
  #235 (permalink)  
 
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I agree with all of that, except for the pilot not understanding the implications of squawk 1200. He knew. What he didn't know was he was in a descending left turn and impact with terrain was imminent. It was the aviate bit he got wrong. Unfortunately.
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Old 24th May 2021, 13:19
  #236 (permalink)  
 
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"The controller instructed the pilot to “squawk VFR” (set the helicopter’s transponder code to 1200) and contact the CMA tower once closer to the airport, and the pilot acknowledged."

I edited the wording to simplify the exchange between the first ATC Controller at SCT (Southern California Terminal Radar) and the Pilot.

The deleted part of the edit provides the Controller noting Radar Coverage for the aircraft was not going to be available due to the low height above ground the aircraft was flying (400-600 feet AGL).

That wording clearly connotes Flight Following was terminated....the Pilot was to set his Transponder to a standard VFR Code (1200) and to contact ATC when he was closer to Camarillo Airspace.

The Controller at that point was finished with any handling of the Accident Aircraft and a change of Controllers occurred (no mention of the Accident Aircraft was made during the handover of the position ).

What is complicated about that?

In effect that lessened the burden on the Pilot as now he did not have to talk to anyone....as there was not a hand off to another ATC unit.

Unless he wanted to enter Controlled Airspace....he had no requirement to talk to anyone.

He could have continued on as he did....and even done the IMC climb to on top of the cloud layer without having to make a call until established on top....then reported to the appropriate ATC unit what had happened.

Reading the Accident Report....The Pilot did not speak to ATC until four minutes later when he initiated the exchange with the second Controller when he announced his decision to climb IMC to VFR On Top.

The Controller (having no knowledge of the aircrafts position, track, or intentions) asked the Pilot to "Ident" and asked him his position and got a response from the Pilot confirming the requests and offered his location and confirmed his climbing to clear air.

Within seconds the flight path turned left and a descent was begun with the aircraft impacting the ground.

Why would the Operator think ATC played a role in this and should be held liable in Court?

Doing a straight ahed climb in a fully instrumented S-76B....of just over a thousand feet should not be that difficult.

But as we know....it was for some reason and Spatial Disorientation is being blamed when we know full well it was other factors that set up the environment for that to happen.

I am disappointed in the NTSB Final Conclusion as to the Cause of the Accident....it goes far deeper than one guy getting the whirlies and losing control of the aircraft.



https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/...ts/AAR2101.pdf

Last edited by SASless; 24th May 2021 at 13:34.
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Old 24th May 2021, 13:38
  #237 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Why would the Operator think ATC played a role in this and should be held liable in Court?
I think this has been covered in the topic already. There's no way the operator truly thinks that, not in a million years. The operator and their lawyers are just waging what some would call "lawfare".

And don't forget that if any of this goes to a jury trial the likelihood of any aviation professional be empaneled as a juror is very, very small. Thus ultimately it will almost certainly be non-aviators passing judgement on the case.
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Old 24th May 2021, 19:04
  #238 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by aa777888 View Post

And don't forget that if any of this goes to a jury trial the likelihood of any aviation professional be empaneled as a juror is very, very small.
At least thereís still a chance of a few Robbie drivers
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Old 24th May 2021, 19:48
  #239 (permalink)  
 
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At least there’s still a chance of a few Robbie drivers
It doesn't matter how much experience the jury may have . They can only use the evidence put before them.
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Old 25th May 2021, 00:42
  #240 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
It doesn't matter how much experience the jury may have . They can only use the evidence put before them.
You do not understand the US legal (note I do not write "justice") system.
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