Skip to Navigation
Skip to Main Content
Skip to Related Content
Kobe Bryant's body, 8 others recovered from helicopter that lacked key terrain warning system
Chris Woodyard and Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY
January 29, 2020
Read full article
Sign in to post a message.
Retired LASD ( lived in Agoura 5 yrs, never assigned to our Aero Bureau, but knew many rotary and fixed wing pilots. I am a private pilot for past 20 yrs . FAA recommendations are just that. Our Department holds itself to higher standard. Our SWAt Team and Search/Rescue are transported by helicopter on most missions. It is a shame that pilots didn't heed warning and more importantly lost situational awareness and resulted in such a tragedy. Pilots should always error on the side of caution and their unfamiliarity with terrain and collapsing minimums allowing them to fly VFR, (Visual Flight Rules) resulted in this tragedy. Pilot error will be the end result when the NTSB releases their results of this accident. Such a tragedy that could have been avoided.There are minimums for all pilots that fly. Their situational awareness and inability to recognize they had minimums that were rapidly collapsing on them, cost them their lives. A prudent pilot would do a 180 and fly back to where they knew it was clear (possibly Van Nuys Airport) and land there. Such a tragedy. You don't hear about too many law enforcement helicopters crashing (especially during high speed pursuits and dangerous maneuvers because of the hours and hours of training and experience they have).. Another example is the tour helicopter that just crashed in Hawaii. R.I.P. to all those on board that flight. By His Grace. God Bless
Low ceilings, limited visibility, mountainous terrain are a perfect setting for a mishap. There is a saying in the flying family: "It is far, far better being on the ground wishing you were in the air than being in the air and wishing you were on the ground." From time to time, no matter the consequences a pilot has to refuse to fly telling the owner it just isn't a safe thing to do in this weather.. I did that one time with a two star general in the Army.
Guys this whole discussion on terrain warning system is irrelevant to VFR flying. VFR flying you use the old Mark I eyeball as we used to say in military flying. This pilot had VFR conditions up until around Van Nuys airport leaving their airspace. Pilot tried to sneak through the pass following hwy 101 and saw that it was too foggy. The moment that he inadvertently went into IMC conditions he needed to transition to instruments and get an IFR pickup from ATC and turn 180 back away from where he was going. He started his climb and reached 2500 feet or so and then descended rapidly to around 1300 feet. He was going way too fast. He should have been at 60 kts or so to allow for more time to react and more power available to climb faster if needed. His speed was just about at VNe which is never exceed airspeed. In a helo when you exceed that you will stall or rip the airframe apart. I believe he stalled the bird and got Vertigo. Whatever happened, it happened very quickly. So the point is that having a terrain warning system when he should have remained VFR is irrelevant. And when he went inadvertent IFR he needed to slow to 60 its and start a stable, level climb immediately and contact ATC.
As a former door gunner on an old huey in another life, fog at night was by far the scariest trip you could ever imagine having to take. I thank God for those two pilots that night. I don't know how they managed because you literally could not see a foot in any direction.
Should never have been flying due to weather. PERIOD. Bad weather forecasts and Upcoming weather requires instrument certified pilots which pilot alledgedly was qualified for. Why oh why, did he continue? Trying to visually travel the well known visual flight path of pilot. Great experienced pilot. Worried about getting Coach, girls and Kobe Bryant to game. Not there in time? Would game be forfeited? Even the best in aviation, sports, government, business - ordinary families can find themselves lost some times in the land of the living. We really are never in control and try to be with our world tribe of connections. Our God is in control, our connection is love. Love each other, lets be humble, and gracious being kind to those that suffer, are in emotional, physical, spiritual pain. Life is precious and beautifully created. Let us all celebrate life. Life on earth is bitter and sweet. Bad things and differences will happen cause we get in our own way because we have free will, make mistakes - OOHPS we are not all knowing. We can't predict our future, families, environments, world politics. ALL WE HAVE IS THE BEAUTY & GIFT OF NOW.
I have been flying many years and while automation is important we never want to rely solely on it, however every aircraft I have flown since the early 2000s have been equipped with taws & tcas and as of lately synthetic vision and head up displays.
Some say this spoils us as pilots and to some degree I agree, it is a joy to fly with these as a backup to primary situational awareness. They are great tools to have and controlled flight into terrain accidents have dramatically decreased since their inception.
While not an absolute ... I truly feel if taws were on board and working properly this tragedy could have been avoided.
I have over 15000 hours as ATP, Commercial Helicopter and over 6000 hour as a CFI. This appears to be a case of spatial disorientation caused by not flying by instruments alone. Pilot enters a climbing turn normally to the left, stalls the aircraft and spins out of control. Can happen to the best if scud running and abruptly tries to climb out of the scud and get to VFR on top.
wv coal miner
smartest thing for a pilot or ownerthat owns a plane or copter to know is that when u need to know when to park it
We'll never know what the pilot was trying to do, and that is part of the frustration. Was he trying to turn around? Was he completely disoriented? Did he panic? Did Kobe put pressure on him to get to the game, even though the weather was bad? None of this we'll ever know. What is certain is that the pilot made the mistake of going into the fog and/ or not getting out of it once it was there.
I think it's been commented before, pilot was flying low (really low - in fact too low for air traffic control to see him) then ran into dense fog in the hills, tried to climb, stalled then accelerated into the mountain side in an attempt to save the craft. Knowing now that the craft did not have ground avoidance technology blows me away that ground control would've cleared them much less given them special visual flight conditions approval since fog layer was as high as 2500ft to 3k feet
To all those blaming Kobe or the pilot. Know that every individual that entered that helicopter had a choice to find a different mode of transportation or speak up about concerns for safety and made a decision. There was fog when they left. Bad things happen and sometimes we have little choice but the grace of God or whatever you believe in, that could have made you late to miss a planned trip that ended up in painful loss. There are plane crashes, helicopter crashes, train crashes, limo crashes, bus crashes. No one survives this life. Stop the hurtful judgements and comments, putting blame. They all stepped on to that helicopter to enjoy a day with their families to watch their children play basketball. Send love not hate. The circumstances and choices were made and can't be changed. Kobe wasn't the only parent that was on that flight with a child. None of them expected or wanted this. How many of us have gotten on a flight in bad weather and still got on to get to your planned destination. I certainly have.
Can someone please explain to me how it's possible for : LA Sherriff helicopter forces and LAPD helicopter forces to be Grounded in unsafe weather, but commercial/commuter aircraft/helicopters can be clear to fly ??? Does that not concern everyone just in principle??? Are there rules and regulations for air travel?? Or is it free for all ??
What to Read Next
Watch Joaquin Phoenix Rescue A Cow And Her Calf From L.A. Slaughterhouse
Former Pro Athletes Antonio Davis, Sheryl Grant And Devean George To Headline West Coast SRI Conference Events
Sikorsky Receives Second Contract to Build Presidential Helicopters
Details on Kobe Bryant's Staples Center memorial service
A diminished Victoria's Secret sold as women look elsewhere
WH report says economy accelerated under Trump
Stock market news live: Stocks end lower but pare some losses after intraday selloff
Parents join tiny house movement so teen children can live separately: 'We respect their privacy'
U.S. military truck caught on camera ramming Russian jeep off Syrian road
Yahoo News Video
PHOTOS: Ukraine International Airlines plane crashes in Iran killing all on board
Yahoo News Photo Staff
The American shopper wants fewer options
There are new racial wealth gap numbers, and they're not pretty
Taxes 2020: What you don’t know about your tax bracket could hurt you
Americans stranded at Pakistan airport after cruise ship was denied entry to multiple countries over coronavirus fears
Trump on Stone sentencing: ‘I’d love to see Roger exonerated’
Yahoo News Video
Airport worker with no license takes plane for spin near D.C., almost crashes, feds say
PHOTOS: #MenToo: The hidden tragedy of male sexual abuse in the military
Yahoo News Photo Staff
Why Bloomberg can't shed his Wall Street baggage
Michael Bloomberg says it’s not so ‘simple’ to produce his tax returns — here’s what most high-income tax returns have in common
Hertz and Avis slide after Lyft announces car rental service
Yahoo Finance Video
Trump on Stone sentencing: 'I'd love to see Roger exonerated'
2 socialites have reportedly died after their Mercedes fell off a ferry leaving the most expensive ZIP code in the U.S.
Yahoo News Video
This Is the Most Outrageous C7 Corvette We’ve Ever Seen
Road & Track
PHOTOS: Iraqi Shiites break into U.S. Embassy in Baghdad
Yahoo News Photo Staff
Yahoo News Network
About our Ads