Kobe Bryant killed in helicopter crash

Discussion in 'Main Sports Forum' started by oxrageous, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. Swamp Donkey

    Swamp Donkey Bring Back Mohammed and Assquish
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    I was going to make a joke about Marine Corps wives making their own gravity also but I won't do that.

    I have a question about a speed.

    I know he tried, if I understand it correctly, to go higher and was told they had commercial traffic in the way and then he asked for flight following and was advised he was too low for radar assistance. I assume that's the little bump up to 2000 feet likely because the fog was so bad and he was looking for a clear patch.

    I don't understand much about helicopters and I'm wondering if there's a reason why he was flooring it. I assume going slow in helicopter probably burns more fuel but if Wikipedia is correct he was almost at max speed. aircraft rarely traveled at Max speed, correct?
     
  2. SeabeeGator

    SeabeeGator Well-Known Member
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    500 foot drop in 15 seconds... wow. That’s 33 ft/sec. @Zambo - does your body feel the difference between a drop like that and a rise at a similar rate? I just imagine feeling “your stomach in your throat” while dropping and feeling “sucked into your chair” while rising. Would 15 seconds be enough time to register and react to that drop?
     
  3. Zambo

    Zambo Poo Flinger
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    I'm not a helo guy so take it for what its worth. I think for a helo that max speed and cruising speed are often the same. The limiting factor for a helo is the speed of the rotor blades, specifically because the as the aircraft moves forward, the airspeed is added to the advancing blade and subtracted from the retreating blade. Eventually you get to the point where the retreating blade isn't making enough lift and the rotor stalls. So something below that airspeed would be the max the helo could fly. I don't think its uncommon for them to spend time very near this speed however.

    Now, as to why he was going so fast in those conditions I couldn't begin to speculate. I'm not sure how fast he was cruising but it sure seems like it would make sense to slow down when the going gets tough. The speed at impact could have simply been a result of being in a dive. Anyway, things like excess airspeed are often signs of loss of situational awareness. Just look at the Max crashes and how fast those pilots were going. I promise they weren't going that fast on purpose, they just left the power up and got going so fast they couldn't control the plane any more.

    As for radar advisories, what he was asking for is called "flight following." All this means is that he's still navigating himself around, but talking to ATC so they can point out other aircraft or potential airspace problems. This is different than being on an instrument flight plan because then ATC has control over you and gives you clearances (orders) to fly certain headings, airspeeds, and altitudes in order to get you where you're going but also deconflict you with other aircraft. I'm sure the pilot was hesitant to climb high enough to accept instrument handling because IFR flying was not part of the company opspec. Opspec is the agreement that any company that flies airplanes has with the FAA on how they are going to operate and the training and regulations required to do so.
     
    • JCTow

      JCTow Well-Known Member

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      Terrible but funny as hell. I guess that makes me terrible..oh well
       
      • Zambo

        Zambo Poo Flinger
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        A lot of the speed and descent rates that are normal for aircraft sound very large to the lay person. When you take off in an airliner you are climbing anywhere from 2000-4000 feet per minute and I've even exceeded 6000 fpm in light loaded aircraft. Similarly, when you start down in a normal idle descent from your 37k ft cruising altitude, its not uncommon to see over 3000fpm. ATC normally expects us to climb and descend at least 1000fpm in order to ensure vertical clearance with other aircraft in front of us. So 500 ft in 15 seconds may sound like a lot but you've done it plenty of times if you ever fly the airlines.

        The thing that differs is the angle of descent, which obviously is much steeper in a slow flying aircraft for the same rate of descent. An airplane going 400 knots and descending at 1000fpm is doing so at a much shallower angle than an aircraft going 100 knots but descending at the same rate.
         
        • 78

          78 Dazed and Confused
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          The Hornets trade their No.13 pick of the 1996 draft to the Lakers for Vlade “the stiff” Divac, who use the pick to draft teenager Kobe Bryant.

          A few weeks later the Lakers sign Shaq as a free agent.

          Jeremy Foley was not the Lakers GM at the time.
           
          #286 78, Jan 30, 2020
          Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
          • SeabeeGator

            SeabeeGator Well-Known Member
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            Your last paragraph makes sense. And I only ask because I know I can feel when the plane is dropping or rising on takeoff. I figured the pilot and passengers would’ve felt that descent. You think he recovers is if he doesn’t hit that ridge? At what point does a helo pilot start hovering and acknowledging sh*t is too dangerous?
             
          • Zambo

            Zambo Poo Flinger
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            Yeah it seems like simply slowing down and staying as low as you need to go to maintain ground contact would be the way out, although hovering isn't done as much as people think. Generally that is reserved for a short amount of time right over the landing spot with good visual reference to the ground. Even helicopters maintain forward speed while just "flying around." Think about police chases and such, the helos don't just hover out there they are always moving. You can see this guys ground track and notice while he was holding for 15 minutes waiting to proceed past Burbank and Van Nuys airports that he was flying around in circles rather than just sitting still. Obviously crashes like this aren't normal so clearly unless something was wrong with the bird the pilot did stuff that helo pilots don't normally do.
             
            • T REX

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              The helicopter company was not certified to fly in poor visibility.
              The pilot flying the helicopter did not have the legal authority to navigate with his instruments because the aircraft owner did not have the necessary federal certification, according to three sources familiar with the charter helicopter company’s operations.

              Island Express Helicopters, which owned the helicopter, had a Federal Aviation Administration operating certification that limited its pilots to flying under what are known as visual flight rules, or V.F.R., with at least three miles of visibility and a cloud ceiling no lower than 1,000 feet above the ground. The company did not have certification for its pilots to fly with instruments.

              The helicopter had sophisticated instruments onboard that in other circumstances would allow for instrument flight, and the pilot was certified to fly by them. But because of the company’s certification limitations, he was required to fly only in conditions of sufficient visibility to navigate visually.
               
              • 78

                78 Dazed and Confused
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              • stephenPE

                stephenPE Senior Member
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                This is off topic but I FINALLY got to see the movie Sully. Was it amazing that he put it down so safely in that river? Or was it something many pilots could do with no power? It seemed like the jet floated a long time for them to stand on the wings. Was he hammered like that in the inquiry in real life and proved the simulations were not correct. The movie was much different that thought it would be.
                 
              • Swamp Donkey

                Swamp Donkey Bring Back Mohammed and Assquish
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                This was discussed earlier but you can't fly IFR from Kobe's house to Kobe's girl's game. IFR is from an airport to an airport. By their very nature, these prestige flights aren't IFR.

                That being said, he was allowed to operate at or below 2500 feet and I'd think there were a lot less shyt to fly into at 2500 feet vs 1300.
                 
                #292 Swamp Donkey, Feb 1, 2020
                Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
              • CapitalGator02

                CapitalGator02 ( . Y . )

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                Pilots and aircraft have been operating in IFR for decades with simplistic equipment with no issues. You can be decked out with the latest and greatest gear, but without proper training, all of that is irrelevant.

                Island Express Helicopters, the owner of the helicopter that crashed, is only certified to operate flights under visual flight rules, meaning they can only operate when the cloud deck is at or above 1,000 feet and at least three miles of visibility. Why pay to install and maintain a Terrain Awareness and Avoidance Warning System when the company isn't certified to operate IFR flights? The pilot most likely knew he had terrain to the south which explains why he began to climb as he entered the turn. The issue is that he apparently lost control of the flight so a TAWS would've been useless in this particular instance.

                Burbank tower approved sVFR and instructed them to maintain an altitude at or below 2500' as they transited the departure paths of Burbank and Van Nuys to avoid departing traffic. Next, they were instructed to follow I-5 to State Route 118 then track highway 101 to their destination. As they begin their transit, the pilot reported to Van Nuys that they were currently at 1400' while the tower indicated overcast skies with a ceiling at 1100', visibility 2 1/2 miles and asks the pilot to report to Van Nuys ATC when they are in "VFR conditions." This means that well before they were anywhere near the 101 and headed westbound, they were already in IFR conditions. My guess is that they had difficultly identifying the 118 and 101 and reduced altitude as a result to gain visual of the roadways, which also put them too low for radar assistance.

                IMO, since they were placed in an unscheduled hold just southeast of BUR for 15 minutes, the pilot was trying to make up time once they were released from their hold.

                No chance. The combination of an increase in altitude while conducting a tight 180 turn in terrain with no visual references caused the pilot to lose control of the helicopter. Considering the fact they lost control during a turn, it's possible they barrel-rolled and crashed on their side or upside down, further reducing any possibility to recover.
                 
                • 78

                  78 Dazed and Confused
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                  Another impressive take from Capital. I’m guessing you’re in the aviation industry in one form or another.
                   
                • Swamp Donkey

                  Swamp Donkey Bring Back Mohammed and Assquish
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                  He is a Zoomie.
                   
                  • Zambo

                    Zambo Poo Flinger
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                    You seem to have forgotten that pilots report their altitude in relation to sea level, while ceilings are reported with respect to ground level. Burbank and Van Nuys are around 800 feel above sea level, so an 1100' ceiling would be at around 1900 above sea level and about 500' above his stated altitude of 1400'.
                     
                  • Swamp Donkey

                    Swamp Donkey Bring Back Mohammed and Assquish
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                    So, I see VFR birds flying at night, especially law enforcement. I know they aren't always VFR but I also know they use GPS bc I've heard them asking for target coordinates.

                    Could this guy just have stayed at 2500 feet and used his GPS to follow the 101 or whatever? It seems like he was never going to be able to see the damn road regardless.
                     
                  • Marine1

                    Marine1 Semper Fidelis

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                    Great analysis from both Zambo and CapitolGator. Very informative and helps understand this tragedy. Thanks....
                     
                    • Zambo

                      Zambo Poo Flinger
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                      No idea what kind of gear this guy had in his aircraft. Could be anything from the latest space age heads up display, digital moving map, synthetic terrain display, etc,......or more likely he had an ipad with a navigation app on it such as ForeFlight. In any event if he was proficient at flying on instruments I'm sure he could have navigated internally via such stuff but it would be illegal as hell. Regardless, you have to maintain control of the aircraft. I don't think it was a navigation problem, I think he just lost control in the soup due to disorientation or some other problem. I don't think its a stretch to suppose that a helo pilot working for a company that isn't cleared for IFR operations has spent almost zero time recently in actual IMC (in the clouds).
                       
                      • ThreatMatrix

                        ThreatMatrix Yuge Clemson fan
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                        So I guess Kabe Bryant is still dead.
                         

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