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N72EX (Kobe Bryant) Crash Update-

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N72EX (Kobe Bryant) Crash Update-

Old 25th May 2021, 05:17
  #241 (permalink)  
 
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Anyone with any aviation knowledge would likely be filtered out by the defence during jury selection.
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Old 25th May 2021, 05:24
  #242 (permalink)  
 
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I agree with all of that, except for the pilot not understanding the implications of squawk 1200. He knew.
That may very well be in doubt, forget whether this came from the report or docket.
The second SCT controller said that, when he received his first radio communication from the accident pilot (when the pilot advised that he was starting a climb to go above the layers), the pilot spoke as if the flight were receiving ATC radar advisory services (which it was not). To identify the flight, the controller requested that the pilot “ident,” observed the flight’s location and 1200 transponder code, and asked the pilot for information about his intentions. During this exchange, the controller lost radar contact and radio communication with the flight. According to the controller, he was not providing flight-following service to the flight at the time he lost contact with it because he had not received enough information from the pilot to complete the flight’s entry into the system. He said he did not report losing radio communication and radar contact with the flight because such losses were routine with low-flying aircraft in that area due to spotty radio and radar coverage in the mountains.
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
Would you care to expand SAS so we all may learn, I thought the probable cause was a fair summation. We can rabbit on about vestibular illusions and the like, but the focal point is he was not supposed to put himself in a situation where those illusions might arise, it's a typical VMC into IMC accident, with rookie mistakes apparent, such as failing to slow down, was arrival time for drop off important, far, far better to be late than dead on time.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the pilot’s decision to continue flight under visual flight rules into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in the pilot’s spatial disorientation and loss of control. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s likely self-induced pressure and the pilot’s plan continuation bias, which adversely affected his decision-making
Love a plagarised quote - The irony about flying in fog is that the weather nearly always clears up and sunny by the time they put you in a body bag
Anyone with any aviation knowledge would likely be filtered out by the defence during jury selection
That's when one side or the other brings out its "expert witness", sometimes a contradiction in terms.
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Old 25th May 2021, 14:28
  #243 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Anyone with any aviation knowledge would likely be filtered out by the defence during jury selection.
Not necessarily. Have seen pilots and mechanics on aviation juries. It all boils down to how the plaintiff wants to sell their version of "duty of care," how sharp the defense side is, and who the jury want to believe. Keep in mind, how the plaintiff defines "duty of care" is not bound by any aviation regulation or in some cases common sense. For example, Part 135 Pilot A doesn't follow various items on a checklist. Pilot A takes off with T/R servo switch in OFF position. Pilot A loses control, hits light pole, and crashes, killing most. Plaintiff convinced jury the helicopter OEM designed a faulty fuel storage system and was awarded $100M. Nothing against Pilot A. And there are many other similar examples both operations and maintenance based. Given the Kobe accident has a wide public following I wouldn't expect less if this does go to trial which I'm sure the ace legal team Kobe's widow has put together is pushing for.
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Old 25th May 2021, 14:49
  #244 (permalink)  
 
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Megan,

"The second SCT controller said that, when he received his first radio communication from the accident pilot (when the pilot advised that he was starting a climb to go above the layers), the pilot spoke as if the flight were receiving ATC radar advisory services (which it was not). "

The first Controller denied the pilot's request for Radar Flight following telling the Pilot the reason was that he would be losing Radar and Comms with him due to his low height above ground and directed the Pilot to Squawk VFR (1200) on his Transponder.

That Controller told the Pilot to contact ATC when he was closer to Camarillo Airport....but did not specify which ATC Unit to contact.

The Pilot appears to have continued to monitor SCT ATC and upon entering IIMC and electing to climb to VMC conditions.....the Pilot informed SCT of that.

The second Controller having no information about the Aircraft....initiated the standard identification process.....seconds later it was all over with no response from the Pilot or the Transponder.

The bold text in the quote is pure supposition by whoever is being quoted and is not borne out by any information, data transfer, or recorded communication that would indicate that being a fact.

I see the listing of Spatial Disorientation as being the Primary Probable Cause also to be speculation not borne out by any direct confirmation.

It is probably the final cause but it was not proven to be "the" probable cause.

Did the NTSB actually rule out all other possibilities as the cause of this crash?

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Old 26th May 2021, 02:00
  #245 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks SAS, woods and trees come to mind.
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Old 26th May 2021, 04:04
  #246 (permalink)  
 
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While it may not have had any direct bearing on the crash, it's worth noting that Ara had no idea that he was talking to a new controller. Look at it from his point of view. He'd been in contact with SCT, and they cut him loose. Just a short time later, he calls them back, most likely assuming he's talking to the same controller who knows who he is and where he is. Ara reports that he's climbing (maybe momentarily task-saturated now that he's IMC), and now the dang controller treats him like a first-callup and goes through the whole radar-ID thing! I'm sure it was one of those WTF moments for Ara. Now he has to reach down and put in a squawk - at the very worst time to be performing that act.
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Old 26th May 2021, 06:31
  #247 (permalink)  
 
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Yet he still cracked on at very high speed in poor conditions - nothing the controllers could have done about failure to aviate.
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Old 26th May 2021, 11:53
  #248 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FH1100 Pilot View Post
...Now he has to reach down and put in a squawk - at the very worst time to be performing that act.
If George was doing the flying at the time as it should have been, to look down and press the squawk button would have been the most trivial task to complete.
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Old 26th May 2021, 12:35
  #249 (permalink)  
 
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FH.....Playing the "What was he thinking?" game is utterly useless as there is no way ever to know what any person is thinking at any given point in their Lives.

Only they know and shy of them telling you in person....would you come close to knowing as they might not be telling the truth in their admission.

One thing is certain....and requires very little "thinking"....if you are scud running...doing so at a 140 Knots....close to the ground...in a valley with high ground on both sides of your flight path....that is all you are going to be cogitating about.

Ara failed to cope with the situation he had gotten himself into.....and from what evidence we have....was trying to do so and initially was doing the right thing....executing a climb to VMC on top of a thin layer of cloud.

He failed to perform that maneuver.

The NTSB says it was because of Spatial Disorientation.

Much is being made of his task loading as he made the climb...and anyone that has gone IIMC. KNOWS how burdened you are if it is unplanned, unexpected, and you had not prepared yourself for that eventuality.

That preparation begins long before you take your seat in the aircraft and continues until that IIMC event occurs.

Successful encounters with IIMC should be as investigated as are failed encounters....to determine what Pilots did right and build training and testing to inculcate that knowledge into all of us.

In a fully kitted out IFR Twin like the S76B that Ara was flying....a straight ahead IMC Climb to VMC on Top should have been easy to accomplish yet Ara failed......why?

It was not because ATC asked something of him in response to his calling them about his intentions.....or being distracted as he punched the Ident Button on the Transponder Control Panel.

He had been cut loose from SCT ATC...told to squawk VFR (1200) and to contact ATC when closer to Camarillo.....thus the Transponder should have already been set to 1200 from the specific squawk he had been using....leaving him to push one button one time in order to comply with ATC's request.....an action he did not have to do immediately or at all as he was certainly dealing with an Emergency situation.

You want to ask what he was thinking.....then ask some useful questions and summon up an answer that means something and might explain what happened.

I ask what was he thinking when I ask why he did not use the Autopilot System to HIS best advantage during routine VMC Flights and carry that good thinking over to flights like the one he was making the day of the crash.

Why did he ignore the very procedure he tested other company pilots on....re the existing IIMC SOP of slow down, divert, turn around, or land?

Why did he not discuss alternative plans with his Director of Operations as was required by the Operator's Risk Assessment Policy?

Those are the kinds of questions that need to be asked and answered.

Ara is no different than any of us....but something happened to take him and his passengers from us that day.

It was not Spatial Disorientation that did it....it was something that set him up in the situation that allowed that to happen.

That is the real cause of the accident...not Ara getting Vertigo as says the NTSB.
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Old 26th May 2021, 15:20
  #250 (permalink)  
 
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Gullibell, I think it has been established that Ara was not using the autopilot - as he "should have been."

SAS, of course we cannot know what Ara was thinking. But we can make a good guess. One of Ara's pilots relayed a story to the NTSB about how Ara flew offshore and made an IMC descent to get under an overcast so he could get back in toward land. We can derive from that that Ara was at least competent controlling the helicopter on instruments. By watching the various video recreations of the Kobe crash and pairing them with his ATC conversations, it appears that when Ara reported that he was climbing to 4,000 feet he was *actually* in a steep descending left turn. Clearly, Ara was not - could not have been - looking at his instruments as he pulled the trigger for that transmission. So what *was* he doing? Where were his eyes?

The Big Question is: What caused a proficient instrument pilot to screw up what "should" have been a relatively simple climb-to-VFR through a thin layer? To even try to answer that leads to the thirteen pages of speculation on websites like this. And obviously, we'll never know. But many of us have been in his shoes. Those of us who have - and lived to tell the tale - have "some" idea of what was going on in that cockpit. Even taking your eyes off the gauges for a couple of seconds can cause a pilot to get Spatial-D, whether to re-center the GPS or to look down and hit the IDENT button...whatever. Sh*t happens fast, especially when you're bopping along at 140 knots.
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Old 26th May 2021, 15:25
  #251 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FH1100 Pilot View Post
Gullibell, I think it has been established that Ara was not using the autopilot - as he "should have been."
Yeah I know. That is exactly what I said. He should have been using George (the auto-pilot), but wasn't.
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Old 26th May 2021, 15:34
  #252 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FH1100 Pilot View Post
The Big Question is: What caused a proficient instrument pilot to screw up what "should" have been a relatively simple climb-to-VFR through a thin layer?.
The only true test of proficiency is flying in actual cloud. Which if reports attributed to pilot colleagues suggesting the accident pilot had never flown in a cloud, means previous assessments of his proficiency might not have been a valid assessment of real IMC skills. I've seen for myself first hand, newly minted IFR pilots arriving on the job site and within seconds of poking the clouds for real the first time they end up almost upside down within 30 seconds.
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Old 26th May 2021, 17:42
  #253 (permalink)  
 
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FH - I think the story about Ara's descent to get VMC beneath says more about his lack of IMC IFR experience than anything - making an uncontrolled (by radar or ATC) descent overwater isn't a clever move, especially if you have a normal instrument approach available at your destination.

Was he a hardened 'cloud-dodger' who only talked a good IMC flight? Was he actually fearful of IMC and would try anything to avoid it?
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Old 26th May 2021, 18:30
  #254 (permalink)  
 
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Over water IMC descent to find VMC conditions.....now who flying offshore has never done that?

Granted it is safer with Radar installed and working....perhaps even having an installed and functioning Auto Pilot.

Doing a descent hoping to find VMC over uneven terrain...no thanks.

We will. not know if that descent was by intent or was the result of a loss of control by the pilot.

As he called SCT to report climbing.....and the very short time between that transmission and loss of Radar Contact would suggest a rather abrupt change in plans if it was intentional.


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Old 27th May 2021, 02:35
  #255 (permalink)  
 
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I had forgotten the initial document that prompted my previous about the pilot not being aware radar flight following had been cancelled by the issuance to squawk 1200. It's the company, Island, submission on the docket. They clearly have little understanding of how the ATC system operates.



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Old 27th May 2021, 03:26
  #256 (permalink)  
 
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Let's put this in context.

An additional service a Controller is expected to provide Aircraft he has in Radar Contact is Altitude Alerts.

The Aircraft was not on an IFR Route, it was not conducting an Instrument Approach, and was not being vectored....even while it was being handled by Controller 1 at SCT.

Compound that with the Aircraft was flying VMC at approximately 400-600 feet following highways on the ground....all the time well below the Minimum Safe Altitude (MSA) for the whole flight until perhaps at the max altitude it reached before beginning its uncontrolled descent leading to the impact with terrain.

Controller 1 knew he would lose both radar and comms with the aircraft and that is why he terminated his services to the aircraft.

He did not use the required wording....."Radar Service Terminated"...but the language used and instruction to return the transponder to the standard VFR Code of 1200 speaks volumes to what was his intent.

In light of the low altitude and pending loss of comms....what service was the Controller expected to provide to the Aircraft?

Even Controller 2 assumed the aircraft was VMC and was climbing VMC (possibly through a hole he said to investigators) but was following the procedure to identify and locate an aircraft making contact with him.
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Old 27th May 2021, 12:37
  #257 (permalink)  
 
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Aside to the response above by SAS: Also, the ATC radar canít be expected to offer the performance of an onboard TF/TA radar.
(Terrain Following/Terrain Avoidance).

Last edited by JohnDixson; 27th May 2021 at 12:38. Reason: typo
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Old 27th May 2021, 14:42
  #258 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Over water IMC descent to find VMC conditions.....now who flying offshore has never done that?
Ummm...me? Never. Not once did I do that. Admittedly, I only flew in the GOM for fifteen years. Maybe if I'd stuck around for another year I would've "had' to do it? Who knows. People often castigate and insult me because I don't have an Instrument Rating. But over my whole career, I've either stayed low or turned around or...gee, imagine this...LANDED. You know why I never "went IMC?" Because I never pretended that I could fly on instruments. Like Ara. And like so many other superior, Instrument-rated and supposedly competent pilots (perhaps like yourself)... but who've met their demise due to overconfidence in their abilities. (Plus, I've never flown any helicopter that was IFR-capable...or certified...or was able to carry enough fuel for an IFR flight after loading up all the crap.)

Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Granted it is safer with Radar installed and working....perhaps even having an installed and functioning Auto Pilot.

Doing a descent hoping to find VMC over uneven terrain...no thanks.

We will. not know if that descent was by intent or was the result of a loss of control by the pilot.

As he called SCT to report climbing.....and the very short time between that transmission and loss of Radar Contact would suggest a rather abrupt change in plans if it was intentional.
No, SAS. It was unintentional. I believe that Ara really thought he was still climbing straight ahead when "something" distracted him and he diverted his attention from the instruments in front of him to the left...to the center console, maybe. Then, unconsciously, his hand put some left pressure on the stick which caused the left bank which, left unattended and uncorrected, progressed into a steep, unrecoverable descending left turn.

It's funny... People act as though Ara was some incompetent, unqualified boob. They act like he was some newbie 206 charter pilot who just graduated from R-44's with a fresh Instrument ticket and no practical experience. We should remember that he was the CHIEF PILOT of that chicken outfit. To be a Chief Pilot you need at least three years of Part-135 experience. Typically, you don't get to be CP because the Director of Ops walks in one morning and says, "Oh damn, I forgot, we need a new Chief Pilot. Hey Ara, you doing anything right now? You wanna be Chief Pilot? I mean, it's either you or the other R-44 guy we just hired."
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Old 27th May 2021, 15:15
  #259 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FH1100 Pilot View Post
,...People often castigate and insult me because I don't have an Instrument Rating. But over my whole career, I've either stayed low or turned around or...gee, imagine this...LANDED. You know why I never "went IMC?" Because I never pretended that I could fly on instruments. Like Ara. And like so many other superior, Instrument-rated and supposedly competent pilots (perhaps like yourself)... but who've met their demise due to overconfidence in their abilities. (Plus, I've never flown any helicopter that was IFR-capable...or certified...or was able to carry enough fuel for an IFR flight after loading up all the crap.)
So you never became that "better pilot" the Instrument Rating is supposed to make you,...yet you somehow survived a career at this?

Yeah, I met a few of old guys like you during my training. With my generation though, its, "No IR? Sorry, but you're not even qualified to do photo flights in an R22,...let alone fly tourist in a straight line for five minutes over the Vegas strip!"

Yep, plenty of old guys did just fine without it, but we younger guys (well relatively younger) who have to have it keep killing ourselves in IIMC. Kinda makes you think...?
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Old 27th May 2021, 16:39
  #260 (permalink)  
 
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As a Chief Pilot with all that experience and an IR - Ara should have known that getting a radar service in those conditions at that height was never going to happen. He was well below MSA and was therefore responsible for his own terrain clearance.
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