- Sep 7, 2008
That is tragic all around. Once he hit the fog it was all over. He probably panicked.Yeah. Here's a great article (Forbes again lolz), that explains it all pretty well:
Pilot Ara Zobayan, whose helicopter crashed in foggy conditions, was licensed to fly by instruments, but the company he worked for was restricted to visual operations only, meaning he likely had little real-world experience in flying through clouds.www.forbes.com
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.