RIP Kobe Bryant

Fender57

BoltTalker
Sep 7, 2008
12,253
8,686
350
Latest report says his 13 year old daughter was on board.

Absolutely shocking.

RIP Kobe
Just saw the updates. His daughter Gianna, who was a rising basketball player herself. Report I just read says they were on their way to Mamba Academy for basketball practice.
 

Fender57

BoltTalker
Sep 7, 2008
12,253
8,686
350
Kobe Bryant’s short called “Dear Basketball”, which won him an Oscar.

 

Concudan

Life is really simple, but we make it difficult
Staff member
Administrator
Mar 5, 2006
59,945
5,639
350
RIP. I read his daughter was with him....
 

Gill Man

Inaugural SAN DIEGO Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN
Staff member
Moderator
Sep 1, 2017
20,430
9,183
340
I hate helicopters......seems like too many accidents/fatalities to me. Have to wait the NTSB report on what happened. Somebody mentioned there was an issue with fog. Would not expect that should be any problem, that's what instrument ratings are for. Either pilot error or mechanical most likely.
 

Gill Man

Inaugural SAN DIEGO Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN
Staff member
Moderator
Sep 1, 2017
20,430
9,183
340
I guess he'd travelled around LA that way for years......to and from the Staples Center from O.C.
 

handoverfist

BoltTalker
Sep 10, 2018
2,378
2,213
250
58
Hard to wrap your head around the fragility of life.

Heartfelt condolences to the Bryant family, and to all the families who lost loved ones.

RIP Kobe...RIP Gianna.
 

Gill Man

Inaugural SAN DIEGO Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN
Staff member
Moderator
Sep 1, 2017
20,430
9,183
340
Starting to sound like fog played a role. Other county choppers were grounded due to fog. Pilot requested to elevate to climb above it but was told he was still too low due to the hilly terrain to be followed by radar. Expect pilot error and likely beginning with failure to get full weather clearance for the entire route.
 

Fender57

BoltTalker
Sep 7, 2008
12,253
8,686
350
Starting to sound like fog played a role. Other county choppers were grounded due to fog. Pilot requested to elevate to climb above it but was told he was still too low due to the hilly terrain to be followed by radar. Expect pilot error and likely beginning with failure to get full weather clearance for the entire route.
Except there were witnesses who heard sputtering and a pop before it plunged. Not sure if they visually witnessed the plunge but they heard something mechanically amiss. They were not allowed into the flight pattern and were directed to hold their position, then were told they needed to ascend because they disappeared from the radar due to the mountains. The ascension is when the incident occurred. It could be mechanical failure, lack of fuel, pilot error, or a combination of everything. The terrain is so treacherous they haven’t even recovered the bodies yet.
 

Gill Man

Inaugural SAN DIEGO Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN
Staff member
Moderator
Sep 1, 2017
20,430
9,183
340
Except there were witnesses who heard sputtering and a pop before it plunged. Not sure if they visually witnessed the plunge but they heard something mechanically amiss. They were not allowed into the flight pattern and were directed to hold their position, then were told they needed to ascend because they disappeared from the radar due to the mountains. The ascension is when the incident occurred. It could be mechanical failure, lack of fuel, pilot error, or a combination of everything. The terrain is so treacherous they haven’t even recovered the bodies yet.
NTSB statement on interview tonite was the copter lacked key safety items like some terrain warning system. That chopper co. is gonna be sued bigtime no doubt. He was flying too low and didn't know the terrain well enough to know he needed to be at higher altitude.....the fog messed him up sounds like. He's supposed to be trained to fly in weather ........that or he never should have risked the foggy conditions in the first place.....the sheriffs copters were grounded although those are smaller craft. It's looking way more like pilot error than mechanical to me. The radar folks called to him that he was too low for them to follow so me must have missed that or things were already too late by then. Could have sputtered just from the corrective maneuver.....caught dead air for the props and maybe that's what they heard. Won't have any definitive statement for probably a year.
 

Fender57

BoltTalker
Sep 7, 2008
12,253
8,686
350
NTSB statement on interview tonite was the copter lacked key safety items like some terrain warning system. That chopper co. is gonna be sued bigtime no doubt. He was flying too low and didn't know the terrain well enough to know he needed to be at higher altitude.....the fog messed him up sounds like. He's supposed to be trained to fly in weather ........that or he never should have risked the foggy conditions in the first place.....the sheriffs copters were grounded although those are smaller craft. It's looking way more like pilot error than mechanical to me. The radar folks called to him that he was too low for them to follow so me must have missed that or things were already too late by then. Could have sputtered just from the corrective maneuver.....caught dead air for the props and maybe that's what they heard. Won't have any definitive statement for probably a year.
Yeah, it’s looking like pilot error unfortunately. Lot of speculation that the fog disoriented him. Sad sad sad.
 

DFWBoltFan

Where am I?
Apr 19, 2011
6,613
917
340
Yeah, it’s looking like pilot error unfortunately. Lot of speculation that the fog disoriented him. Sad sad sad.
I read that a helicopter pilots worst fear is fog and they can often end up flying upside down due to virtigo and not trusting their instruments.

Believe that is what happened to JFK Jr, not certified on instruments, flying at night and nose dived the plane into the ocean.
 

Gill Man

Inaugural SAN DIEGO Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN
Staff member
Moderator
Sep 1, 2017
20,430
9,183
340
Yeah, it’s looking like pilot error unfortunately. Lot of speculation that the fog disoriented him. Sad sad sad.
I read that a helicopter pilots worst fear is fog and they can often end up flying upside down due to virtigo and not trusting their instruments.

Believe that is what happened to JFK Jr, not certified on instruments, flying at night and nose dived the plane into the ocean.
this guy was supposed to be very experienced. Someone told me , and I'm not sure if it's even reliable, that none of these copters are equipped with the terrain warning system the NTSB advised way back around 2005 should be required and the FAA did not enforce it so they aren't on the copters like Sikorsky etc. Stupid. After this bet the FAA gets it's act together especially on the larger copters like this one. Either way the pilot should have not chanced it......he probably way underestimated the fog and way overestimated his own ability to handle it if it got as thick as most say it was. Apparently missed clearing that summit by about 30ft. Question is why he didn't ascend way up to get above it. I think you may be right DFW , he got disoriented because he was apparently descending or going level and at a pretty high rate of speed. Yup....sad and tragic and preventable. Sometimes you get a high profile passenger wanting to get to an event and you take chances....sounds like that's what the pilot may have done.....put the schedule of that game above safety. Bet that is the ultimate conclusion.
 

DFWBoltFan

Where am I?
Apr 19, 2011
6,613
917
340
this guy was supposed to be very experienced. Someone told me , and I'm not sure if it's even reliable, that none of these copters are equipped with the terrain warning system the NTSB advised way back around 2005 should be required and the FAA did not enforce it so they aren't on the copters like Sikorsky etc. Stupid. After this bet the FAA gets it's act together especially on the larger copters like this one. Either way the pilot should have not chanced it......he probably way underestimated the fog and way overestimated his own ability to handle it if it got as thick as most say it was. Apparently missed clearing that summit by about 30ft. Question is why he didn't ascend way up to get above it. I think you may be right DFW , he got disoriented because he was apparently descending or going level and at a pretty high rate of speed. Yup....sad and tragic and preventable. Sometimes you get a high profile passenger wanting to get to an event and you take chances....sounds like that's what the pilot may have done.....put the schedule of that game above safety. Bet that is the ultimate conclusion.
Mid 90’s we were visiting family in Phoenix for Thanksgiving and I got to go on a night patrol on Phoenix Sheriff”s helicopter with one of the pilots who was married to one of my cousins at the time. A call came through about a robbery and when we were over the scene, the pilots did a series of tight banking maneuvers pulling some serious G’s.

As a guy who loves roller coasters and doing adventurous shit, I’m not afraid to admit my stomach was in my throat for a few minutes - it was INTENSE, but I was loving it. My 15 year old nephew who came along for the ride, not so much, lol.

He had his eyes closed half the time, and when we leveled off he kept saying “we’re falling!! We”re falling!!”. I said, “open your eyes buddy”, and when he did figured out we were flying perfectly level and straight.

The mind can play tricks on you, even for experienced pilots. That’s why they always say “trust your instruments”. Reporting he did a rapid ascent, followed by a bank turn and dive.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gill Man

Gill Man

Inaugural SAN DIEGO Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN
Staff member
Moderator
Sep 1, 2017
20,430
9,183
340
So latest is that the charter company for the helicopter was not licensed to fly in bad weather. Ruh roh. Lawsuits on the way.
 

Gill Man

Inaugural SAN DIEGO Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN
Staff member
Moderator
Sep 1, 2017
20,430
9,183
340
But wasn’t that guy Kobe’s normal pilot?
Yeah. Here's a great article (Forbes again lolz), that explains it all pretty well:

So basically the guy got caught in an unusual situation for SoCal and the lack of communication with air control between Van Nuys and Camarillo did him in. There was no update on how bad it was in Camarillo and heading that way. He was descending rapidly to get UNDER the fog and hit the mountain. If it had the terrain warning system he likely would have made it at least thru that part of the escape from the fog. Not sure how they didn't get a full report on the weather to the end of the route.....that should have been available and an update available by time he got to LA....WTF. He probably never would have headed into fog if he'd known how bad it was.

Seems odd that Kobe didn't arrange to have his helicopter piloted by an elite charter with a top notch pilot fully qualified to operate in weather. He had plenty of dough...no need to skimp. They discuss how it costs these charter companies to maintain instrument ratings and licensing. Geez. Just spend the extra dough to get the very best, even if it's in So Cal where mostly the weather is tame. Fog can happen unexpectedly along the coast....maybe that's what happened.
 
Last edited:
  • Sad
Reactions: Fender57