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Kobe Bryant killed in helicopter crash

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So if you are "murking" along in a slow hover below 1000 feet and the engine fails.  What your next go to?  No speed or altitude to trade for an auto rotation.  Best not to get yourself into that mess in the first place but in a helo I would not want to get into coffin corner with no reference to the horizon at all.  It proves fatal time and time again.

 

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The S76 is a two engine helicopter so I’m guessing your concern is really about safe single engine airspeed and not the autorotation envelope.

Simply put, you need to assess the likelihood of an engine failure below safe single engine airspeed (a function of weight temp etc) with the weather conditions at the time and adjust accordingly, if you need low altitude and reduced speed to see and avoid obstacles in a place where obstacles abound…. then you do what needs doing to get the job done. Turning back, landing or filing IFR are all great options but that’s not what happened here.

BTW, lots (and I mean lots) of helicopter work is done from the hover, consider that Seaking pilots spend bags of time in a 40 foot hover with dipping sonar deployed over the North Atlantic at night; an engine failure means ditching from the hover. Cruise altitude between transitions is at 150 feet with baralt hold engaged and the only time you see a light is during takeoff and landing…. and those lights are moving.

 

Edited by Wolfhunter
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Good explanation... Thanks for the post.

Sorta looks like he attempted to get "on top"  felt he couldn't get there and decided to turn and go back "under"...or more likely  got disorientated in cloud, (why the left turn), and  lost control

No CVR or FDR so I guess the final part of the report more likely  will be "based "on the data we have.................... from NTSB

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17 hours ago, boestar said:

in a helicopter "Low and Slow:" will KILL YOU.

Tell that to the hundreds of pilots who make a living fighting fires, doing power line maintenance, hauling drilling gear and logging in a helo. They make their bones in the low and slow regime most of the time. I guess they’re all crazy and destined to die.

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17 minutes ago, J.O. said:

They make their bones in the low and slow regime most of the time. I guess they’re all crazy and destined to die.

There are a lot of places in aviation where things become the norm, but don't look so good when the investigators arrive.  As for some of the activities you noted, At least some of those are done with long lines specifically to reduce some of the risk as I recall. 

It may also help to ensure everyone is on the same page when talking about 'low and slow'.  If you're in a 212 with two engines and that massive rotor, vice an R22 with something just a bit stiffer than yarn above your head, just how slow is too slow and how low is too low can change quite a bit.

Vs

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21 hours ago, J.O. said:

Tell that to the hundreds of pilots who make a living fighting fires, doing power line maintenance, hauling drilling gear and logging in a helo. They make their bones in the low and slow regime most of the time. I guess they’re all crazy and destined to die.

look at the statistics  yes they are

 

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20 hours ago, boestar said:

yes they are

Clearly I and hundreds of other HS pilots (world wide) have dogged a bullet then.... good thing I'm retired eh?

As a tax paying citizen, how do you feel about routinely subjecting RCAF pilots to such "craziness?"

Edited by Wolfhunter
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Exactly. Flying across the ocean with only two engines must be a crazy suicide mission too. 

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ScreenShot001.jpg.4b60e3a0bac7fde55143f4b5337e7a61.jpg

As far as danger is concerned, the statistics show that the crash rate for all aircraft is 7.28 crashes for every 100,000 hours of flight time. The crash rate for helicopters alone is 9.84 per 100,000 hours.

 

The FAA says the fatal accident rate across all aviation types in the US is 0.84 per 100,000 flight hours, less than the 1.02 it reports for helicopters. But the fact that helicopters are used in risky operations, such as search and rescue missions, in war zones, and sometimes in bad weather, skews this figure

 

 

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53 minutes ago, Kip Powick said:

But the fact that helicopters are used in risky operations, such as search and rescue missions, in war zones, and sometimes in bad weather, skews this figure

 

boestar and I remain confident that as soon as we totally eliminate risky operations, SAR, war zones, bad weather and submarines, that figure will drop dramatically.

Edited by Wolfhunter

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Kobe Bryant's widow sues helicopter company after fatal crash

Wrongful death lawsuit says pilot, who was among 9 killed, should have aborted flight

Mon Feb 24, 2020 - Associated Press

Vanessa Bryant has sued the owner of the helicopter that crashed in fog and killed her husband, Kobe Bryant, and her 13-year-old daughter Gianna last month.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed in Los Angeles says the pilot was careless and negligent by flying in cloudy conditions on Jan. 26 and should have aborted the flight.

Pilot Ara Zobayan was among the nine people killed in the crash.

The lawsuit names Island Express Helicopters Inc. and also targets Zobayan's legal representative, listed only as "Doe 1" until a name can be determined.

Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit asserts that Zobayan was negligent in eight different ways, including failing to properly assess the weather, flying into conditions he wasn't cleared for and failing to control the helicopter.

The lawsuit was filed as a public memorial service for Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and all the victims, including Zobayan, was being held at the arena where Bryant played most of his career.

Calls to Island Express seeking comment were not answered, and its voice mail was full.

The company issued a statement Jan. 30 on its website saying the shock of the crash had prompted it to suspend service until it was appropriate for staff and customers.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash into a hillside in Calabasas, on the outskirts of Los Angeles County.

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