RIP Kobe and Gianna - Page 3 - Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum
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post #21 of 42 Old 01-28-2020, 04:18 PM
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Rock, yeah the pilot was definitely knowledgeable and experienced. He was flying an S76, which is a super high end, capable helicopter normally only used by governments and anyone else who can afford it.

As far as I know, a pilot can switch from VFR to Instrument (IFR) on a whim by contacting Air Traffic Control. But after this is done, ATC has total control of the flight. You just tell them your destination airport and ATC will guide the pilot thru the airspace and even straight onto the runway of a controlled airport safely. Having said that, if the helo's destination was a baseball field or park, then ATC will not be able to guide the pilot and land safely on the ground. The pilot would have to make that decision whether it's safe enough to navigate to that field and land. And the pilot would have to announce it to ATC. There's one thing flying around in SoCal, every sliver of airspace is controlled. You cannot fly from one city to another without ATC knowing. When I was taking lessons, talking to ATC never ended. I remember needing to contact one ATC frequency to another ATC frequency as we flew from one airport to the next. Even when entering SoCal from ANY direction, pilots must contact SoCal Approach (or they contact you first). Nothing gets through without them knowing.

On that foggy day I was out near the foothills of SoCal and in some areas I had to slow down because I couldn't see 50 feet in front of me. The S76 surely would have had the instruments to tell the pilot the ground level and other major obstacles without him seeing them. Anyway, even though ATC is strict and vigilant, the pilot still has a great deal of discretion.

Last edited by OCL; 01-28-2020 at 04:23 PM.
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post #22 of 42 Old 01-28-2020, 04:48 PM
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Ocl, I could totally see that. Flying in, it's pretty bad, but the pilot makes it to the pick up spot. Running late because because he had to spent 15 minutes spanking it over Pasedena for clear airspace. That are up any extra time that might have been available for better, more safe decisions.

Theres still time to make it to the game. The conditions are getting worse, but the game is not going to wait if you divert to the nearest airport, so the guy presses on and it does not go well, from there.

Seriously, hes just a victim of the fucked up traffic down there. Hes different in that he had the means to avoid sitting on the freeway.
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post #23 of 42 Old 01-28-2020, 05:25 PM
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RC, yeah that's about sums up what often happens. Pilots often discuss the Get-There-Itis "disease" wherein pilots ignore the warning signs and press on. Then get trapped between two layers of icing clouds. Or they decide (usually under pressure) to land in an airport with questionable weather conditions. Or they think they see a "hole" in the sky, fly there believing they can make it, and they make it to the "hole" and the visibility went from questionable to near zero. On the road we just keep riding as long as we can see the lane markings. There are no lanes in the sky. On a helicopter flying under 1,000 feet above ground level, that ground can come up at you fast especially in the Hills of Malibu.
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post #24 of 42 Old 01-28-2020, 05:26 PM
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Seriously, hes just a victim of the fucked up traffic down there. Hes different in that he had the means to avoid sitting on the freeway.
I mean he chose to live down in Orange County well out Los Angeles proper and had his basketball training center where the games played in Thousand Oaks in Ventura County. 80 miles apart. The entirety of L.A. county is between the two. Without traffic it's a 90 minute drive. So let's not blame this on traffic, choices were made as to where to live and where to do business and the logistics of it all were not imposed on anyone.

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post #25 of 42 Old 01-28-2020, 05:33 PM
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Seriously, hes just a victim of the fucked up traffic down there. Hes different in that he had the means to avoid sitting on the freeway.
Many people fantasize about helicoptering to work daily. I've talked to a number of co-workers who have bad commutes daily. What they don't realize is that their fantasy is conjured up when the sun is shining bright, there's no wind, rain, or fog. Flying daily isn't as easy to do because the weather is not always going to cooperate.

Yes the commute from Newport Beach to LA Proper is a nightmare of epic proportions. I don't blame Kobe for helicoptering regularly. I would if I were him.
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post #26 of 42 Old 01-28-2020, 06:39 PM
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Maybe it isnt fair to blame traffic, but the number of multi-millionaires ,playing for the Utah Jazz, who take helicopters to and from games... .zero. Theres no need as they are able to drive to the better parts of town within an hour.

Plus, I cheated a bit. Theres an interview, with Kobe, talking about how he started taking helicopters because he missed a school play while he was sitting in traffic. Just like all bad things that happen. It's usually not one thing that puts a persons life at risk. It takes a bunch of small things to stack up.
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post #27 of 42 Old 01-28-2020, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Rock, yeah the pilot was definitely knowledgeable and experienced. He was flying an S76, which is a super high end, capable helicopter normally only used by governments and anyone else who can afford it.

As far as I know, a pilot can switch from VFR to Instrument (IFR) on a whim by contacting Air Traffic Control. But after this is done, ATC has total control of the flight. You just tell them your destination airport and ATC will guide the pilot thru the airspace and even straight onto the runway of a controlled airport safely. Having said that, if the helo's destination was a baseball field or park, then ATC will not be able to guide the pilot and land safely on the ground. The pilot would have to make that decision whether it's safe enough to navigate to that field and land. And the pilot would have to announce it to ATC. There's one thing flying around in SoCal, every sliver of airspace is controlled. You cannot fly from one city to another without ATC knowing. When I was taking lessons, talking to ATC never ended. I remember needing to contact one ATC frequency to another ATC frequency as we flew from one airport to the next. Even when entering SoCal from ANY direction, pilots must contact SoCal Approach (or they contact you first). Nothing gets through without them knowing.

On that foggy day I was out near the foothills of SoCal and in some areas I had to slow down because I couldn't see 50 feet in front of me. The S76 surely would have had the instruments to tell the pilot the ground level and other major obstacles without him seeing them. Anyway, even though ATC is strict and vigilant, the pilot still has a great deal of discretion.
So he would have broke the rules by using instruments and not landing in an airport, but under the conditions no one would have penalized him. Even if so, safety first, penalties be dammed. So this is on the pilot. Well, on Kobe as well. Poor Sikorsky has the challenge of vindicating themselves now.
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post #28 of 42 Old 01-28-2020, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Shaq is definitely more affable than Kobe was and certainly still well regarded around here. The one person this city loves most is Magic. He walks on water around here. Even if you're not a basketball fan he's a pillar of the community and part of the Dodgers and Los Angeles Football Club ownership.
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I got a chance to get 2nd row seats at a Seattle pre-season game against Miami. It was Shaq's second season there and had nothing to prove at that point in his career. Even though Seattle never plays Miami in the regular season, most of the place booed him as he came on the court for warmups. Shaq, a giant of a man from the second row, only smiled and waved at the crowd. He played most of the game, where other superstars can't be bothered with pre-season games. Such a class act.
He's just an all around cool guy. I don't know if you guys saw the news on the west coast but when he was with the Celtics he asked if he could conduct the Boston Pops orchestra one night and they let him. It was funny as hell. He was in a Tux with tails and actually did a half decent job conducting. It was one of the coolest, and funniest, things I ever saw an athlete do.

When I got back from the hospital last winter he almost broke my stitches open. I mentioned this before on another thread. I was binging on Orange County Chopper, having nothing to do, and he was on one of the episodes having a Super Man chopper built for him (yes he rides). He was such a freakin 10 year old it was hysterical. I was trying not to laugh. And he's always super respectful to people even when being a nut. IF you notice he was the only celebrity that tweeted prayers to the family of the other passengers. No other celebrity did that. That pretty much sums Shaq up.

Tyre I get the magic thing. He's been an institution for a while in LA. He's even loved in NYC. He invested allot of cash in various theaters and such in Harlem. Of course that was the start of the gentrification process which likely gave him a nice return on his investment, but still, there did seem to be some sincere desire to help the community.
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post #29 of 42 Old 01-28-2020, 09:40 PM
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Thinking about the accidents we have had, at work, time is always a component. And damn near always, it's someone doing something wrong, against common sense, or policy, however they got by with it in the past.

I think I came across as saying g a car was safe....yea, well, anyway....
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post #30 of 42 Old 01-29-2020, 03:04 PM
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Well the preliminary reports are in.

The S76 was not equipped with Terrain Avoidance Warning System because it was an older model. Newer models are now required to have one.

Also, the experienced pilot was indeed in direct contact with ATC. The pilot was flying under Visual Flight Rules. ATC instructed the pilot to climb and maintain 2,500 to avoid the fog. The pilot began a high speed climb back up to 2,300 feet but then began a left hand turn back down to below the minimums, and that's when the impact occurred.
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