airtraffic

Author Topic: 26 Jan: Kobe Bryant fatal helicopter crash  (Read 36711 times)

Offline Carro

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« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 04:20:34 PM by Carro »



Offline justapilot

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Re: 26 Jan: Kobe Bryant fatal helicopter crash
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2020, 06:37:51 PM »
Audio of other portions of the flight, along with my notes.  Timestamps in recordings approximate - the clock on my player was jumping around.
KBUR Twr 1700Z
+10:07 N72EX calls KBUR Tower requesting Special VFR
+14:40 Twr advises continue holding for traffic
KBUR Twr 1730Z
+02:35 Cleared 2EX Special VFR along I5
+06:48 Plans to loop around VNY to 101.  Flightaware track shows altitude between 800-1400'
+07:22 Contact VNY 119.0
KVNY Twr 1730Z (Carro's post)
+05:30 Cleared along Hwy 118 W bound
+09:31 Contact SoCal 134.2  Flightaware track shows altitude around 1200', climbing to 1900' before contact lost at 17:45:23Z
KBUR Twr/Approach 1730Z
+01:46 Cleared Special VFR (same call as on Twr recording above)
+04:20 Contact VNY 119.0 (same as above)
+09:35 (callsign blocked, but presumably the helo) Approach says will lose comms soon, squawk VFR, call CMA Twr

Offline friedclutch

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Re: 26 Jan: Kobe Bryant fatal helicopter crash
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2020, 07:00:03 PM »
interesting. The flight data has been pulled from flight aware

Offline lajim

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Re: 26 Jan: Kobe Bryant fatal helicopter crash
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2020, 07:52:21 PM »
FlightRadar24 shows the helicopter proceeding west along the 101 freeway. It suddenly veers to the south and then back to the east with rapid descent. The final vertical speed is -4,864 fpm. This does not look like controlled flight into terrain. Looks like very sudden and uncontrolled descent and spiral.

Offline wiedehopf

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Re: 26 Jan: Kobe Bryant fatal helicopter crash
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2020, 08:01:21 PM »
Here is a KML file of the ADS-B coordinates transmitted by the helicopter.
The KML file has the ModeS/ADS-B altitudes corrected for an altimeter setting of 30.17 (+225ft) and converted to meters.

The forum didn't like the kml file, so i added .txt at the end, it might need to be removed to view it in some software.
You can view that KML file on google earth by adding it to a collection: http://earth.google.com/

Uncorrected altitudes in feet and ground speed in knots can be seen in the two attached pictures.

Data in the pictures and the KML file is from https://adsbexchange.com/

Offline uplink

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Re: 26 Jan: Kobe Bryant fatal helicopter crash
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2020, 01:07:29 AM »
He also asked SOCAL for flight following but was denied as he was too low for that.   Ceilings were reported at OVC1300' on NOAA history.   The SF valley floor is only 800 to 1000'.   He probably went in to IMC when he met the rising terrain westbound on 101,  attempted a 180 out while in the soup and hit.   We read reports on these outcomes in mountain passes before, eg. Donner pass, Grapevine, the Rockies, etc. where scud running the highway leads to VFR into IMC, then...your boxed in.    We'll see in a year when the report comes out, RIP.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 04:22:57 AM by uplink »

Offline Leo Chen

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Re: 26 Jan: Kobe Bryant fatal helicopter crash
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2020, 04:39:23 AM »
I've re clipped a more complete version like following.

Offline joeyb747

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Re: 26 Jan: Kobe Bryant fatal helicopter crash
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2020, 11:24:29 AM »
Audio with radar track:


Offline sacex250

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Re: 26 Jan: Kobe Bryant fatal helicopter crash
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2020, 07:35:57 PM »
Thanks for the screenshots.  It's interesting to me to see the dramatic increase in airspeed as the aircraft was in the final turn.  It leads me to wonder if the pilot had flown into IMC and become disoriented, or was desperately trying to do a descending 180 to get out of the fog/overcast. 

What I just don't understand, if you're flying a SP-IFR helicopter and you're instrument rated, and you're flying between two airports with instrument approaches (SNA and CMA) then why don't you just file IFR?

Offline hfinkel

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Re: 26 Jan: Kobe Bryant fatal helicopter crash
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2020, 04:07:55 PM »
What I just don't understand, if you're flying a SP-IFR helicopter and you're instrument rated, and you're flying between two airports with instrument approaches (SNA and CMA) then why don't you just file IFR?

Exactly what we will always wonder.  Esp since he was holding over Glendale for nearly 15 minutes for SVFR.
Are pop-up IFR clearances not possible in SoCal ?

SVFR just doesn't make any sense.  :?

Offline lajim

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Re: 26 Jan: Kobe Bryant fatal helicopter crash
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2020, 11:16:52 AM »
According to media reports, the charter company that owned the helicopter was not certified for IFR. This involves additional costs (insurance, record keeping, training, etc.) that the local charter companies don't want to incur for their helicopters given the relative infrequency of IFR conditions. 

Offline farufon

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Re: 26 Jan: Kobe Bryant fatal helicopter crash
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2020, 11:36:01 AM »
Can I ask a question please?

The archive files are different lengths.   So we can't assume it's always ending at the half-hour in order append the timestamp in a timeline.   So when you get these time stamps, do you assume the stamp of the file is the start, and whatever length it is, either overlaps or is short of the next half-hour archive file?

Offline farufon

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Re: 26 Jan: Kobe Bryant fatal helicopter crash
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2020, 11:37:14 AM »
Can I ask a question please?

The archive files are different lengths.   So we can't assume it's always ending at the half-hour in order append the timestamp in a timeline.   So when you get these time stamps, do you assume the stamp of the file is the start, and whatever length it is, either overlaps or is short of the next half-hour archive file?

Offline scondas

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Re: 26 Jan: Kobe Bryant fatal helicopter crash
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2020, 01:02:05 PM »
The FAA sent me a DVD of audio from SoCal Arrival on 134.2 that I obtained by submitting a Freedom of Information Act request, and I have time aligned it with my crash reconstruction of N72EX.

Here is my video:



Here is my take of the transcript

Pilot:      [17:40:06] SoCal, Helicopter 7 2 Echo X-Ray with you transitioning in VFR conditions at one thousand five hundred to Camarillo.
Controller1:   [17:40:17] Helicopter 7 2 Echo X-Ray SaCal Approach, Roger.  You just going to stay down low at that, for all the way to Camarillo?
Pilot:      [17:40:23] Yes sir, low altitude, 2 Echo X-Ray.
Controller1:   [17:40:26] 2 Echo X-Ray, Roger.  I'm going to lose RADAR an, uh, comms with you probably pretty shortly, so you’re going to squawk VFR and, uh, when you get closer, go to Camarillo tower.
Pilot:      [17:40:37] Ok, we squawk VFR, 2 Echo X-Ray

Controller1/2:   [17:42:58]  [Crosstalk, Probable shift change] [17:43:17] 

At 17:44:30 The helicopter starts the final ascent.   

Pilot:       [17.44.34] SoCal for Helicopter 2 Echo X-ray, we gotta go ahead and start our climb to go above the layers and we can stay with you.
Controller2:   [17:44:43] 2 Echo X-ray, where are ya?
Pilot:      [17:44:46] Uh, Southwest of Van Nuys, 2 Echo X-Ray
Controller2:   [17:44:53] 2 Echo X-ray, IDENT
Pilot:      [17:44:55] IDENT
Controller2:   [17:45:00] 2 Echo X-ray, yeah, you’re following 1200 code.  Uh, are you requesting flight following?
Pilot:      [17:45:04] Yes sir, 2 Echo X-ray

The final left turn and descent start around 17:45:10

Controller2:   [17:45:17] 2 Echo X-ray, [inaudible], say intentions?
At 17:45:20 the helicopter is descending at more than 1000 fpm according to ADS-B.  It is not climbing.
Pilot:      [17:45:20] Um climbing to 4000, 2 Echo X-ray [17:45:23]
At 17:45:23 the helicopter is descending at more than 2000 fpm according to ADS-B.  It is not climbing.  It seems the pilot thought they were climbing when in fact they were descending.

Controller2:   [17:45:24] And then what are you going to do when you get to altitude?

Crash is approximately 17:45:38

Controller2: [17:46:02] 2 Echo X-ray, you’re still too low-level for a flight following at this time.
Controller2: [17:46:26] 2 Echo X-ray, SoCal.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 05:21:29 PM by scondas »