Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Rotorheads
Reload this Page >

N72EX (Kobe Bryant) Crash Update-

Rotorheads A haven for helicopter professionals to discuss the things that affect them

N72EX (Kobe Bryant) Crash Update-

Old 27th May 2021, 19:17
  #261 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida
Age: 56
Posts: 233
Flight following isn't going to do you much good if you're poking around in the fog and lose control of the aircraft. I don't know why ATC is even being brought into this. There was nothing they could do for him if he doesn't declare an emergency.
helonorth is offline  
Old 27th May 2021, 22:52
  #262 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 73
Posts: 17,029
FH....get squared away....put a chip on the other shoulder will you?

Bobby was not about to spend the money to put any instruments in those aircraft you flew so you could not go IMC and survive it

The just proves your judgement was better than your flying skills....as judgement kept you from having to prove you had superior flying skills...which sounds about the way it should be.

Ara was not incompetent....he was human. and subject to all of those human frailties that are common to all of us.

He did fail to satisfactorily complete his assigned task that sad day.

I have been defending him as I can....but do have to admit his failures that we know occurred.

People liked him he was well regarded, and had been trained, tested, and certified for the Tasks assigned to him.

Yet....we see a chain of events that led to his loss along with his passengers and it is fair to seek explanations for what seem glaring errors when viewed from afar and well after the fact.

Understanding how he got trapped might help prevent some one else from winding up with similar results one day.

We do this not to impugn Ara.....but to see that his loss can provide a means to avert another such tragedy.
SASless is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 00:06
  #263 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida
Age: 56
Posts: 233
Originally Posted by SASless View Post

Bobby was not about to spend the money to put any instruments in those aircraft you flew so you could not go IMC and survive it




I got there after Suggs was gone but those 206's and 407's were pretty well equipped and we were adequately trained for it. Haven't heard of a PHI offshore IIMC accident in a long, long time. I believe the 407's now all have HeliSAS. No more 206's.
helonorth is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 02:51
  #264 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SE Asia
Posts: 58
Originally Posted by helonorth View Post
I got there after Suggs was gone but those 206's and 407's were pretty well equipped and we were adequately trained for it. Haven't heard of a PHI offshore IIMC accident in a long, long time. I believe the 407's now all have HeliSAS. No more 206's.
No helisas in the offshore 407s, but really excellent training
beebo is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 03:06
  #265 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: yes
Posts: 281
Originally Posted by FH1100 Pilot View Post
...
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."
Scud runs, had an FAA violation, alleged illegal IMC let-down, and it appears an illegal IMC climb. That seems like a recipe for an accident...

A "Darker Shades of Blue" kind of thing.
JimEli is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 05:02
  #266 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 4,193
As a Chief Pilot with all that experience and an IR
Unfortunately crab he was lacking in one area, and that was IF time, he gained the rating in 2007 and reported 68.2 hours simulated in about 2010, then 75 hours total in 2019, no reported actual so presumably all simulated. He reported 1,300 hours in the S-76 as at 2019, so experienced in type but no actual IF it would seem. It's very difficult to simulate IF in the 76 so with him finding himself in cloud for the very first time, even though he has a rating, is going to be something of a task, even without the distraction of talking to some body or pushing ident. Had a rating but no proficiency. Typical VMC into IMC with the usual predictable outcome, though it didn't need to be if he had some real IF time. As said we're all human and no one has yet found a new way to have an accident.
I don't know why ATC is even being brought into this
Likewise, presumably to shine the spotlight elsewhere and have a line of reasoning (story) to feed the jury who is ignorant of technicalities. Bring on the expert witnesses.
megan is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 07:29
  #267 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: EGDC
Posts: 8,782
Megan - I get all that but it therefore begs the question of how you can be allowed to hold a commercial IR with no actual IF experience - it should be a mandatory requirement for issue and currency.
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 08:49
  #268 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Wanaka, NZ
Posts: 2,543
Originally Posted by megan View Post
...Had a rating but no proficiency.....
An hour or two in the simulator would have been useful. Time and time again I saw IR ticketed S76 pilots who had no idea which buttons to push and when. Once it is explained to them, and they get a bit of practice, they have a good foundation to then not screw up within 30 seconds when they find themselves in the real stuff. Competency in these Level D simulators should translate to competency when you need to do it for real. This simulated stuff with foggles in R44's doesn't cut the mustard as far as I'm concerned.
gulliBell is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 12:02
  #269 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: EU
Posts: 487
Originally Posted by gulliBell View Post
An hour or two in the simulator would have been useful. Time and time again I saw IR ticketed S76 pilots who had no idea which buttons to push and when. Once it is explained to them, and they get a bit of practice, they have a good foundation to then not screw up within 30 seconds when they find themselves in the real stuff. Competency in these Level D simulators should translate to competency when you need to do it for real. This simulated stuff with foggles in R44's doesn't cut the mustard as far as I'm concerned.
If you are flying an R44, basic IF and IFR competence is sure to be better than no training. And an FAA IR certainly involves a lot more than a bit of IF under goggles as part of a VFR qualification. But it needs to be refreshed. Targetted IFR night work and low visibility procedure training, not just a bit VMC with goggles on (assuming a non-certified aircraft).

But if you are flying passengers in a complex type like an S76, with a decent AFCS, and in an area known for fog and marginal visibility, layered with complex airspace, which provides high levels of service and ways to get an aircraft from A to B and C in poor weather, then you really should be doing proper Level D simulations of what you are very likely to encounter in your job.

This isn‘t even about decent emergency training to manage the aircraft properly; it is basic competence according to aircraft and qualifications.
Torquetalk is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 13:06
  #270 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Wanaka, NZ
Posts: 2,543
My key point is, many S76 pilots just don't know what button to push. I can guarantee 100% that the accident aircraft was not properly configured for what the pilot was attempting to do, irrespective of any operational decision making or radio distractions or whatever other furphies are being thrown into the mix. If the aircraft was properly configured, even if the pilot had never flown in cloud or hadn't flown simulated instrument for years, this accident would not have happened.
gulliBell is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 16:18
  #271 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 73
Posts: 17,029
The aircraft properly configured could have flown itself to VMC with no problem at all....with a minimum of input from the Pilot.

If it had been Force Trim-ON, ATT Mode engaged, resetting the pitch attitude to a climb attitude and ensuring adequate power was applied to maintain a positive climb rate would have been all of the immediate actions required.

A couple of subsequent actions to engage the upper modes and then the Pilot would have been able to progress from the Aviating to the Navigating and Communicating while monitoring the aircraft performance.

He could have done nothing but the immediate actions for the short period of time it would take to regain VMC.

Examination of the past practices of the Pilot, Training and Checking, Operator SOP's and established procedures, review of Aircraft Check Lists would produce the information needed to show why the Pilot was not prepared to cope with a simple straight ahead climb following an IIMC event in the daytime.

The other aspects of how he got into that predicament are a different matter that also bear scrutiny.

SASless is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 16:35
  #272 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: EU
Posts: 487
Originally Posted by SASless View Post
If it had been Force Trim-ON, ATT Mode engaged, resetting the pitch attitude to a climb attitude and ensuring adequate power was applied to maintain a positive climb rate would have been all of the immediate actions required
Immediate yes, but don’t forget that PBA working in the background; it can help so much against flapback that it can seriously spoil your day.

Last edited by Torquetalk; 28th May 2021 at 17:21.
Torquetalk is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 16:41
  #273 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 73
Posts: 17,029
Please do explain your grave concern over the operation of the PBA in the S-76....as you keep throwing that out but never explain to the non-76 pilots why you see that as being such a big issue.

If it had been Force Trim-ON, ATT Mode engaged, resetting the pitch attitude to a climb attitude and ensuring adequate power was applied to maintain a positive climb rate would have been all of the immediate actions required.

A couple of subsequent actions to engage the upper modes and then the Pilot would have been able to progress from the Aviating to the Navigating and Communicating while monitoring the aircraft performance.

SASless is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 17:20
  #274 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 717
megan says:
It's very difficult to simulate IF in the 76 so with him finding himself in cloud for the very first time, even though he has a rating, is going to be something of a task..,
Hah! That's rich, ma'am. Megan, I seriously, seriously doubt that the Kobe flight was Ara's first foray into IMC conditions. With what know about the weather in the L.A. area, *and* what we've come to know about Ara and his usual practices, I think it's safe to say that he was no virgin when it came flying on the gauges. He probably just got lucky on the previous times.

Then SAS sez: :
Examination of the past practices of the Pilot, Training and Checking, Operator SOP's and established procedures, review of Aircraft Check Lists would produce the information needed to show why the Pilot was not prepared to cope with a simple straight ahead climb following an IIMC event in the daytime.
Look, we're not here to dogpile on Ara and beat him to a pulp. But let's face it - he did kind of screw up a bit on that last flight. Everybody keeps talking about the "should haves" of this flight. "Ara SHOULD HAVE been using the force-trim (autopilot, etc.)... or, "Ara SHOULD HAVE canceled the flight," or..."Ara SHOULD HAVE been more proficient in Instrument flight." Heh. Well, heh didn't, and wasn't. Oh! Which brings up a question: How many Commercial helicopter pilots in the U.S. are Instrument Rated and actually proficient? I don't know exactly, but I'd guess "pretty damn few." The exceptions would be guys who fly for operations that file IFR a lot - like maybe EMS and some Corporate guys.

I was once friends with a Corporate fixed-wing pilot who flew a single-pilot business jet (Beech Premier) for a very rich guy. It happens more...much more than you'd think in the Corporate world. Rich people do not like to spend money. My friend was no youngster - he was about my age. And he was a very experienced pilot. He seemed very professional - to me, at least. Hey, he flew a sophisticated jet! Riding along with him one day, we were coming back to Dallas from the rich guy's hunting camp in south Texas. Rich guy is asleep in the back. The weather was bad, and ATC told us to hold at such-and-such fix. My friend turned to me and said, "This is embarrassing. I really don't know how to do a hold in this thing." At first, I thought he was joking. But he really did seem embarrassed and chagrined, and really, truly did not know how to do a hold. He said, "In all my years, I've NEVER had to do a hold for real.". Well, I don't have an IR so I was of little help. We blasted over the fix and then floundered around, well outside of the protected airspace until ATC started yelling at him. (My only thought at the time was, "Shouldn't we be slowing down?" I mean, the Premier is a fast jet - I would've slowed the thing back to something less than hyper-speed if I knew we were going to go around in circles (ovals, actually) for any length of time.

What's my point? Not every pilot is Chuck Aaron/Yeager. Some guys out there...some Chief Pilots out there are...well...let's be kind and say "not all that great." WHY wasn't Ara using the autopilot or any level of stabilization in that sophisticated helicopter? We don't know. WHY didn't Ara slow the hell down? We don't know. WHY couldn't Ara accomplish a "simple straight-ahead climb in IMC" through a relatively thin layer? We don't know. All we *DO* know is that he crashed and killed himself....and some other people. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Helicopters...all helicopters...are VERY EASY to crash. We pilots don't like to acknowledge this fact or we think it doesn't apply to us. But it's true, and it does. Divert your attention from the task at hand for even a couple of seconds and the ship will to turn itself upside down. This "law" of helicopters does not get repealed because you fly a "sophisticated" helicopter like an S-76 or an AW-139 at night in the Bahamas. And it certainly doesn't get repealed just because you have a crap-ton of flight time.
FH1100 Pilot is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 17:31
  #275 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: EU
Posts: 487
Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Please do explain your grave concern over the operation of the PBA in the S-76....as you keep throwing that out but never explain to the non-76 pilots why you see that as being such a big issue.
It is a feature of the S76 that needs careful monitoring, as it’s function changes the flight configuration which is initially established. Attitude + power = performance; except the pitch bias actuator is actively lowering that attitude to compensate for flapback/blowback. This will lead to a decrease in the initial rate of climb and an increase in airspeed. Without active intervention by the pilot, the aircraft will not maintain the desired climb-away configuration.

Of course, monitoring is necessary in all conditions and all types, but in a situation where pilot overload is to be relieved by the the use of the autopilot, simply relying on ATT mode may be very much less effective and safe compared to engaging an upper mode like IAS to aid the maintenance of the initial ATT + PWR response.
Torquetalk is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 18:22
  #276 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida
Age: 56
Posts: 233
Originally Posted by beebo View Post
No helisas in the offshore 407s, but really excellent training
That's a bummer. All Air Med had it that I know. I thought the Gulf was going that way, too.
helonorth is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 19:24
  #277 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 5,221
Out of my 16,500 hrs rotary I did about 2,500 on the S76, a large chunk of it offshore under IFR or actual IMC conditions. I never noticed anything untoward about its handling characteristics. Mind you it had clocks and dials so I didn't have to have a degree in Microsoft to operate it.
Fareastdriver is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 19:56
  #278 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 73
Posts: 17,029
Torque,

The PBA is a result of the FAA requirement for a "Positive Stick Gradient"....in quite simple terms....the faster you go....the more forward the cyclic stick position should be.....Higher Airspeed more forward the cyclic must be.....right?

Sikorsky in the 76 as did Boeing-Vertol in the Chinook discovered the cyclic stick displacement was non-linear with increased airspeeds and each thus had to find a way to make the FAA happy....ergo PBA on the 76.

On the Chinook it was DCP....Differential Collective Pitch....different but the same in result as PBA.

Over time....we disconnected the DCP or left it installed but unserviceable as it had no discernible effect in the handling of the aircraft.

On the 76....some models did much the same or built in the algorithms into the Sperry System as I understand it.

In both aircraft....sans an indicator showing the PBA/DCP displacement.....it would take a Tape Measure to tell the difference in Cyclic position.

One thing you quite correct about is the need for the Pilot Handling to monitor the Aircraft Instrument Displays and ensure the aircraft is performing as desired....that applies as FH says....to all helicopters.

I suggest you doth protest too much about PBA's potential to upset the aircraft....but you and FH are right in saying not monitoring the aircraft's performance surely can and will.

The short version is the PBA takes out of what the Pilot puts in.....but if that results in the loss of Airspeed (for example) the Pilot monitoring the instruments will note that decrease and.......put the cyclic forward again and the process repeats.

In the ATT Mode...hitting the Coolie Hat and beeping a bit more positive pitch angle into the system accomplishes the same thing.

Can you point to an example that you can use to document the PBA causing an upset with a Pilot properly monitoring the Autopilot System or was it because the Pilot was not that allowed a problem to occur?
SASless is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 20:21
  #279 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: EU
Posts: 487
Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
Out of my 16,500 hrs rotary I did about 2,500 on the S76, a large chunk of it offshore under IFR or actual IMC conditions. I never noticed anything untoward about its handling characteristics. Mind you it had clocks and dials so I didn't have to have a degree in Microsoft to operate it.
Surprised that with your experience, you noticed no quirkiness in the S76 FED. A tendency to sidestep right when lowering the collective is another.

Did the accident pilot have a degree in Microsoft? Is that what countless pilots in such accidents have in common?

Last edited by Torquetalk; 28th May 2021 at 20:38.
Torquetalk is offline  
Old 28th May 2021, 20:25
  #280 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: EU
Posts: 487
SAS, not saying that the PBA needs to be a big deal, and certainly not upset the aircraft. But it is something that could catch the unwary out, if they just set attitude and power, get a good safe climb and speed, then move to other tasks, without an upper mode in. In the context of the accident discussion, with a pilot who did not use the AFCS much, the lack of familiarity and confidence to engage an upper mode is clearly a contributor to the accident.
Torquetalk is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.