TMZ Reports.. Kobe Bryant Killed In Crash!!! RIP KOBE! May god watch over your family! You and Gigi will always be loved! (2 Viewers)

AmerVet

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So here is my question, and please understand I have no idea how Aviation works outside of what a rudder is used for, so bare with me. Is there a way to completely stall the blades and deploy a parachute system like they do on a reentry module in the space program? I'm talking about massive canopies that spring out from the tail and from middle section in between the blades above the cabin. I'm asking people who know because all I can do as a person who doesn't is wonder and imagine. I know the blades would destroy the lines, thats why I ask if there is anyway to completely stop the blades from rotating within the time it would take to deploy a parachute? I wish I could illustrate better what I mean.
 

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Any of you well-informed people can speak to that eyewitnesses account that this helicopter doesn't appear to have been going more than about 5 miles an hour when it hit the hillside?
Though I've never worked for the NTSB, I have read hundreds of accident reports that feature eyewitness accounts of the incidents in these reports. While the investigators do find some validity in what people say they saw and heard, there is most often conflicts with other eye witnesses as well as the reliable data from black boxes and such.

Sometimes something as simple as the angle the witness viewed the accident can have an affect on his perception of what actually happened. Also what people hear from a distance is delayed from what their eyes are perceiving which can seem to alter time somewhat.

In most cases the eyewitness reports are used by investigators to help corroborate what has been discovered by other evidence. Some eyewitnesses testimony does not fit in with known facts and can be completely unreliable. But sometimes what people report can help to paint the total picture of the events leading up to the accident.

But hitting a hill at 5 mph would likely not have the aircraft burst apart as the debris field seems to suggest. Even if the main rotors contacted the hillside first, the aircraft would have simply dropped and rolled to the low side of the hill. But the crash scene depicts a much more catastrophic impact with the terrain.
 

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Though I've never worked for the NTSB, I have read hundreds of accident reports that feature eyewitness accounts of the incidents in these reports. While the investigators do find some validity in what people say they saw and heard, there is most often conflicts with other eye witnesses as well as the reliable data from black boxes and such.

Sometimes something as simple as the angle the witness viewed the accident can have an affect on his perception of what actually happened. Also what people hear from a distance is delayed from what their eyes are perceiving which can seem to alter time somewhat.

In most cases the eyewitness reports are used by investigators to help corroborate what has been discovered by other evidence. Some eyewitnesses testimony does not fit in with known facts and can be completely unreliable. But sometimes what people report can help to paint the total picture of the events leading up to the accident.

But hitting a hill at 5 mph would likely not have the aircraft burst apart as the debris field seems to suggest. Even if the main rotors contacted the hillside first, the aircraft would have simply dropped and rolled to the low side of the hill. But the crash scene depicts a much more catastrophic impact with the terrain.
For sure. This was clearly a high velocity impact. Something else to consider with eyewitness reports is that the fog would likely obscure visibility such that it would be difficult to determine what's actually happening in real time. I doubt the chopper was visible for any significant length of time.
 

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Another aspect of this which I find strange is, looking at the route, why not just fly over the ocean?
Flying VFR on a clear day is absolutely effortless if the aircraft simply continues on a route that uses the major highways and interstate roads as the references to the destination. This is how the attempt to reach Thousand Oaks was planned out. It becomes a bit more challenging if you are trying to circumnavigate very hilly and mountainous terrain with complete or intermittent loss of those visual references.

Kobe_Flight.jpg
(See this above image) A direct flight from Santa Ana to Thousand Oaks does not put the flight over the ocean as shown by the yellow line. In fact it actually puts the helicopter in the IFR traffic that is approaching and departing LAX (which is near the coastline south of Santa Monica). There is also a high mountain range between L.A. and Thousand Oaks which would have presented a problem due to the critically low visibility. There is no way that even a 'Special VFR' flight would have been made on this route.

The red line is the actual course they flew. It was made to take advantage of the highway system that naturally follows the valleys around Glendale, Burbank, and San Fernando. the sweeping turn to the left (west) and then toward the southwest was so the helicopter pilot could pick up the visual reference of Hwy 101 and then turn right following the valley all the way into Thousand Oaks. As you see by the red line that the flight continued past the 101 and into the Santa Monica Mountains just south of that highway. The pilot seemed to understand that he was approaching rapidly rising terrain because the data shows that he started the climb long before ever reaching the original intended turn at Hwy 101.

Was he climbing on purpose, perhaps to keep from getting trapped in a rapidly lowering ceiling of clouds and fog? Could he have been 'chasing' some faulty instrument reading that was making him think he was actually descending? For some reason he had lost radio contact with the controllers at a point prior to crossing over the 101 (possibly due to an extremely low altitude trying to stay under the 'scud' in order to maintain VFR) and he never gave his intentions verbally. (Edit: Reports now say that he actually reported the decision to climb in an effort to get above the cloud layer. He may have been trying to ascend to an altitude where he could receive radar flight following.) Was he disoriented or incapacitated? These things may be hard to know for sure unless they are able to determine that he was still trying to take some sort of corrective actions immediately prior to the impact with the hillside.

Sometimes the simplest things to do in an aircraft can become extremely difficult if all your visual clues are suddenly lost. Though the pilot had the training and capability of flying that aircraft in zero visibility, he determined that the flight could be made safely under the 'Special VFR' rules even though other agencies were grounding their helicopters due to the deteriorating visibility. It may be that he was just so familiar and confident with the situation that he saw no reason to get into the IFR system and use that method to reach his destination.

With this pilot's knowledge, this could have still been very uneventful had he been able to make the right turn at the 101 and continued on the remaining miles to Thousand Oaks under the 'Special VFR' rules. But something yet unknown changes his plans as he headed southwest toward the 101. My guess is that the visibility along that stretch got a whole lot worse than expected and there was an attempt to get out of harm's way by climbing out of the trouble, possibly to where it was clear on top. But the climb suddenly changed to a descent into the hills.
And the rest is history. :sad:
 
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Saint Kamara

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Really good perspectives from other pilots.

One thing that was being misreported was that communication was lost for the last 5 or so minutes. But just before the crash happened, the pilot communicated that he was going to ascend above the cloud cover. Why there was an immediate and steep descension into the hill side at 184 mph is the biggest question that remains.
 
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LuvNOLA

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Flying VFR on a clear day is absolutely effortless if the aircraft simply continues on a route that uses the major highways and interstate roads as the references to the destination. This is how the attempt to reach Thousand Oaks was planned out. It becomes a bit more challenging if you are trying to circumnavigate very hilly and mountainous terrain with complete or intermittent loss of those visual references.

Kobe_Flight.jpg
(See this above image) A direct flight from Santa Ana to Thousand Oaks does not put the flight over the ocean as shown by the yellow line. In fact it actually puts the helicopter in the IFR traffic that is approaching and departing LAX (which is near the coastline south of Santa Monica). There is also a high mountain range between L.A. and Thousand Oaks which would have presented a problem due to the critically low visibility. There is no way that even a 'Special VFR' flight would have been made on this route.

The red line is the actual course they flew. It was made to take advantage of the highway system that naturally follows the valleys around Glendale, Burbank, and San Fernando. the sweeping turn to the left (west) and then toward the southwest was so the helicopter pilot could pick up the visual reference of Hwy 101 and then turn right following the valley all the way into Thousand Oaks. As you see by the red line that the flight continued past the 101 and into the Santa Monica Mountains just south of that highway. The pilot seemed to understand that he was approaching rapidly rising terrain because the data shows that he started the climb long before ever reaching the original intended turn at Hwy 101.

Was he climbing on purpose, perhaps to keep from getting trapped in a rapidly lowering ceiling of clouds and fog? Could he have been 'chasing' some faulty instrument reading that was making him think he was actually descending? For some reason he had lost radio contact with the controllers at a point prior to crossing over the 101 (possibly due to an extremely low altitude trying to stay under the 'scud' in order to maintain VFR) and he never gave his intentions verbally. Was he disoriented or incapacitated? These things may be hard to know for sure unless they are able to determine that he was still trying to take some sort of corrective actions immediately prior to the impact with the hillside.

Sometimes the simplest things to do in an aircraft can become extremely difficult if all your visual clues are suddenly lost. Though the pilot had the training and capability of flying that aircraft in zero visibility, he determined that the flight could be made safely under the 'Special VFR' rules even though other agencies were grounding their helicopters due to the deteriorating visibility. It may be that he was just so familiar and confident with the situation that he saw no reason to get into the IFR system and use that method to reach his destination.

With this pilot's knowledge, this could have still been very uneventful had he been able to make the right turn at the 101 and continued on the remaining miles to Thousand Oaks under the 'Special VFR' rules. But something yet unknown changes his plans as he headed southwest toward the 101. My guess is that the visibility along that stretch got a whole lot worse than expected and there was an attempt to get out of harm's way by climbing out of the trouble, possibly to where it was clear on top. But the climb suddenly changed to a descent into the hills.
And the rest is history. :sad:
Thank you for all of the education! 🙏🏻👍🍺

Jennifer Homedy, who is leading the NTSB investigation, said Kobe’s helicopter missed clearing the mountain by about 20-30 ft.

Only 20-30 ft and they would still be alive!!!????
The mystery of life.......sometimes it just sucks.

The coroner has identified Kobe, 2 of the men & one women, by their fingerprints. That sounds like good news, in that maybe they did not suffer total body burns.

😢
 

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Thank you for all of the education! 🙏🏻👍🍺

Jennifer Homedy, who is leading the NTSB investigation, said Kobe’s helicopter missed clearing the mountain by about 20-30 ft.

Only 20-30 ft and they would still be alive!!!????
The mystery of life.......sometimes it just sucks.

The coroner has identified Kobe, 2 of the men & one women, by their fingerprints. That sounds like good news, in that maybe they did not suffer total body burns.

😢
It's possible the kids don't have fingerprints on record so they'll have to do secondary methods of identification. I'm not recalling the numbers. I was thinking 6 adults and 3 kids or 5 and 4?

And just missing by 20-30 feet is ugh! I'm really wanting to see the outcome and conclusions drawn from the investigation.
 

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Thank you for all of the education! 🙏🏻👍🍺

Jennifer Homedy, who is leading the NTSB investigation, said Kobe’s helicopter missed clearing the mountain by about 20-30 ft.

Only 20-30 ft and they would still be alive!!!????
The mystery of life.......sometimes it just sucks.

The coroner has identified Kobe, 2 of the men & one women, by their fingerprints. That sounds like good news, in that maybe they did not suffer total body burns.

😢
Well, as more information about the final moments come to light it appears that the helicopter was no longer in level flight but in fact was descending at a rate of approximately 4000 ft per minute at the moment impact. The crash was said to have left a partial crater near the peak of that ridge. The data is beginning to lead to the conclusion that the pilot was experiencing spatial disorientation and may have been completely unaware of his attitude and direction of flight. If this is indeed accurate, then it really doesn't matter how close the impact was to the top of that hill. Without a significant amount of distance between the base of the cloud and the terrain, when he emerged from the cloud bank at the speed and angle the helicopter was flying, the crash was imminent and unavoidable.
 

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Well, as more information about the final moments come to light it appears that the helicopter was no longer in level flight but in fact was descending at a rate of approximately 4000 ft per minute at the moment impact. The crash was said to have left a partial crater near the peak of that ridge. The data is beginning to lead to the conclusion that the pilot was experiencing spatial disorientation and may have been completely unaware of his attitude and direction of flight. If this is indeed accurate, then it really doesn't matter how close the impact was to the top of that hill. Without a significant amount of distance between the base of the cloud and the terrain, when he emerged from the cloud bank at the speed and angle the helicopter was flying, the crash was imminent and unavoidable.
It seems that his spatial disorientation might have caused a stall which would possibly explain the rapid loss of altitude. It sounds like he got high enough to escape colliding with the mountain, but the fog caused the pilot to lose sense of where he was.

I think there will be a lot of people second guessing, but I understand that pilots can run into similar situations from time to time. Still a lot of unanswered questions though.
 

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Well, as more information about the final moments come to light it appears that the helicopter was no longer in level flight but in fact was descending at a rate of approximately 4000 ft per minute at the moment impact. The crash was said to have left a partial crater near the peak of that ridge. The data is beginning to lead to the conclusion that the pilot was experiencing spatial disorientation and may have been completely unaware of his attitude and direction of flight. If this is indeed accurate, then it really doesn't matter how close the impact was to the top of that hill. Without a significant amount of distance between the base of the cloud and the terrain, when he emerged from the cloud bank at the speed and angle the helicopter was flying, the crash was imminent and unavoidable.
Isn't that similar to what the pilot in the Buddy Holly crash experienced? Thought he was ascending instead of descending.
 

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It seems that his spatial disorientation might have caused a stall which would possibly explain the rapid loss of altitude. It sounds like he got high enough to escape colliding with the mountain, but the fog caused the pilot to lose sense of where he was.

I think there will be a lot of people second guessing, but I understand that pilots can run into similar situations from time to time. Still a lot of unanswered questions though.
Isn't that similar to what the pilot in the Buddy Holly crash experienced? Thought he was ascending instead of descending.
Having been a victim of spatial disorientation for a few brief moments in a night flight over Lake Pontchartrain many years ago, I can tell you from experience how strange the feeling is... and also how life-threatening it quickly becomes. I was flying NNW on a direct flight from MSY to Hammond. There was a solid overcast 1200' ceiling that was lowering that evening, but was clear below the cloud layer. Once my route took me over the lake, it was as if I was flying over a black hole with only the lights of Kenner behind me to give me a sense of up or down.

Hence I was determined to focus heavily on what my instruments were indicating regarding the attitude of my airplane and making sure I did not climb into the dense ceiling of clouds just above me. But it only took the brief distraction of reaching down to my radio microphone to acknowledge the radio instructions from the departure controller to begin a slow roll to the left.

Before I realized it, my aircraft was literally in a 90° left bank with the nose pitched downward approximately 20°. My first clue that I was no longer flying straight and level was when I saw some very distant car headlights that were traveling south on Interstate 55. I thought the lights were faint stars because I was looking at them through the top center of the windscreen! But I knew that couldn't be correct because the clouds would have been obscuring them. And then almost immediately the sound of the increasing whine of the engine as the RPMs began to rapidly increase. I knew I was starting to dive.

My eyes quickly focused on the attitude indicator first. It told me that I was now flying in a sharp & descending left bank. However, my head was still telling me that I was flying straight & level. But my instructor always told me that in these situations a pilot should trust his instruments before his 'head'. I took the correct action of leveling the wings first before trying to correct the shallow dive. Had I allowed the now-screaming engine cause me to pull back the yoke first, I would only have tightened the turn and spun into the lake, which was now only about 800' below me.

Once I rolled the wings back to level, I had to fight the mental signals which were trying to tell me that I was over-correcting into a sharp right bank, even though the attitude indicator (artificial horizon) now showed that my wings were level. I then began to pull back on the yoke to stop the descent and climb back to my original altitude. Yes, the sensation of all my guts moving into my britches during that maneuver only added to the confusion my head was feeling. But keep in mind that the entire description of what you just read happened in a span of time that was about 100 times less than what it took for me to type this out!

The gist of my experience is that spatial disorientation happens so quickly in zero visibility that any momentary distraction or lack of attention to what the flight instruments were indicating could have made that S-76 pilot believe he was doing the right things all the way until just before his rotor blades struck the ground. Since the latest reports coming out are that he flew out of the clouds in a diving left bank, it really hit home with the experience that I described above as I recognized both then & now how close I came to becoming a statistic of spatial disorientation.
 
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LuvNOLA

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Having been a victim of spatial disorientation for a few brief moments in a night flight over Lake Pontchartrain many years ago, I can tell you from experience how strange the feeling is... and also how life-threatening it quickly becomes. I was flying NNW on a direct flight from MSY to Hammond. There was a solid overcast 1200' ceiling that was lowering that evening, but was clear below the cloud layer. Once my route took me over the lake, it was as if I was flying over a black hole with only the lights of Kenner behind me to give me a sense of up or down.

Hence I was determined to focus heavily on what my instruments were indicating regarding the attitude of my airplane and making sure I did not climb into the dense ceiling of clouds just above me. But it only took the brief distraction of reaching down to my radio microphone to acknowledge the radio instructions from the departure controller to begin a slow roll to the left.

Before I realized it, my aircraft was literally in a 90° left bank with the nose pitched downward approximately 20°. My first clue that I was no longer flying straight and level was when I saw some very distant car headlights that were traveling south on Interstate 55. I thought the lights were faint stars because I was looking at them through the top center of the windscreen! But I knew that couldn't be correct because the clouds would have been obscuring them. And then almost immediately the sound of the increasing whine of the engine as the RPMs began to rapidly increase. I knew I was starting to dive.

My eyes quickly focused on the attitude indicator (HSI) first. It told me that I was now flying in a sharp & descending left bank. However, my head was still telling me that I was flying straight & level. But my instructor always told me that in these situations a pilot should trust his instruments before his 'head'. I took the correct action of leveling the wings first before trying to correct the shallow dive. Had I allowed the now-screaming engine cause me to pull back the yoke first, I would only have tightened the turn and spun into the lake, which was now only about 800' below me.

Once I rolled the wings back to level, I had to fight the mental signals which were trying to tell me that I was over-correcting into a sharp right bank, even though the HSI now showed that my wings were level. I then began to pull back on the yoke to stop the descent and climb back to my original altitude. Yes, the sensation of all my guts moving into my britches during that maneuver only added to the confusion my head was feeling. But keep in mind that the entire description of what you just read happened in a span of time that was about 100 times less than what it took for me to type this out!

The gist of my experience is that spatial disorientation happens so quickly in zero visibility that any momentary distraction or lack of attention to what the flight instruments were indicating could have made that S-76 pilot believe he was doing the right things all the way until just before his rotor blades struck the ground. Since the latest reports coming out are that he flew out of the clouds in a diving left bank, it really hit home with the experience that I described above as I recognized both then & now how close I came to becoming a statistic of spatial disorientation.
That sounds scary as hell........makes your “guts move into your britches” just reading it. 😳

That sounds exactly like what happened to JFK Jr, when his plane went down in the ocean.
 

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Well, as more information about the final moments come to light it appears that the helicopter was no longer in level flight but in fact was descending at a rate of approximately 4000 ft per minute at the moment impact. The crash was said to have left a partial crater near the peak of that ridge. The data is beginning to lead to the conclusion that the pilot was experiencing spatial disorientation and may have been completely unaware of his attitude and direction of flight. If this is indeed accurate, then it really doesn't matter how close the impact was to the top of that hill. Without a significant amount of distance between the base of the cloud and the terrain, when he emerged from the cloud bank at the speed and angle the helicopter was flying, the crash was imminent and unavoidable.
Thanks!

The helicopter was in 1000 different pieces, spread all over the mountain & they are airlifting the pieces out by helicopter, to examine them somewhere else. Thankfully, though, it sounds like when they recovered the 9 bodies, they were all intact.
 

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It's being reported there was no terrain sensor on the helicopter.
Have you heard what the terrain sensor sounds like??? It is some wimpy little lady’s voice, “warning you are approaching terrain, warning you are approaching terrain.” ?????!!!!!

It is so lame, I don’t know how they could even heard it, much less have it be effective.
 

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That sounds scary as hell........makes your “guts move into your britches” just reading it. 😳

That sounds exactly like what happened to JFK Jr, when his plane went down in the ocean.
Keep in mind that even though my few moments of disorientation began very similarly to what happened to JFK Jr., it is likely that he was lost in the clouds and was never able to right his aircraft and return to an area below the lowering cloud layer that he flew into. His accident was much more similar to the Bryant's S-76 crash in that both of those flights (assuming that both are classic cases of spatial disorientation) had very little clear space between the zero visibility they were in and the surface below them.

As a VFR pilot only, JFK Jr. would have been much less familiar or accustomed to controlling his aircraft on instruments alone. However the S-76 pilot likely had many flights in low-to-zero visibility. Once he became disoriented, JFK Jr. allowed his aircraft to exceed the Saratoga's Vne limits. (Vne = the 'never exceed' speed of that model) This resulted in a dive that literally caused the aircraft to break apart in flight. However, as we saw with the S-76 incident, even a seasoned IFR pilot can be susceptible to losing control due to the sensations of flying in zero visibility. Of course the jury is still out on the actual cause of the helicopter crash. But I personally am expecting an eventual report that will include spatial disorientation as (at least) part of the reason for the crash.

But we'll have to wait and see for sure.
 
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