OtherGround Forums The reason Kobe's helicopter crashed, new details

6 days ago
11/18/15
Posts: 5828
Dryfly -

Seems simple I know but it may save your life.

If you get all turned around and lose your bearings, like in an avalanche situation. (or perhaps in a helicopter)

Fucking spit, then you will damn sure know which way is down, right fucking now.

 

It doesn't work like that unfortunately.

6 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 6826

This channel did a google earth recreation of the flight path a crash.

With spacial disorientation, you can have extremes like not knowing which way is up, but in helicopters the pilot's perception only has to be off by a few degrees, which quickly multiplies.

6 days ago
1/9/02
Posts: 50650
Dryfly -

Seems simple I know but it may save your life.

If you get all turned around and lose your bearings, like in an avalanche situation. (or perhaps in a helicopter)

Fucking spit, then you will damn sure know which way is down, right fucking now.

that works in an avalanche but I doubt something like that is going to detect a 10 degree titlt which could be fatal with a helicopter. the guy wasnt ever near being upside down. he was slightly tilted to the left and thought he was slightly tilted to the right or something similar most likely

5 days ago
11/18/15
Posts: 5830
gregbrady -
Dryfly -

Seems simple I know but it may save your life.

If you get all turned around and lose your bearings, like in an avalanche situation. (or perhaps in a helicopter)

Fucking spit, then you will damn sure know which way is down, right fucking now.

that works in an avalanche but I doubt something like that is going to detect a 10 degree titlt which could be fatal with a helicopter. the guy wasnt ever near being upside down. he was slightly tilted to the left and thought he was slightly tilted to the right or something similar most likely

If the aircraft is kept moving in a positive g state you can literally pour a lemonade into a cup inverted.

3 days ago
9/8/02
Posts: 24441
Cuckoldberry Finn - 
pfsjkd -
jcblass -
pfsjkd - 

jc is not an idiot. Numerous posts over the years bear this out. He's just having trouble wrapping his head around this particular situation. And that's not uncommon. Aviation is actually pretty damn safe, all things considered, so aviation safety is something that a lot of people just take for granted. But there's a LOT of shit that goes into it and it has to be taken seriously and consciously applied by literally everyone who even touches an aircraft. 

 

I think we absolutely agree this pilot should have never left the ground (or given permission to leave the ground).

 

 
However, he was right on the path of the highway in pretty good visibility before deciding to just freelance and veer off course into the fog covered canyons. He did this immeddiately after just being TOLD he was too low to guided by radar. He then, I guess, decided to mavrick his way off course, only to panic and crash into a pretty small Canyon, less than 2500 feet. 
 
So yes, I am having a tough time wrapping my head around this because the SFV has fog literally every day of the year, I live here and its rare helicopters or small airplanes crash (they are everywhere, Van Nuys airport is nothing but small aircraft).
 
Those mountains don't change the size, they are all roughly 2500 - 3000 feet high. Anyone who lives here and hikes knows this, and experienced pilots in a sophisticated aircraft should also know this. So I guess it bothers me that a guy in poor visibilty, didn't even bother to ensure his gagues had him higher than the canyon (and level).
 
Regardless, long before this pilot ever had any problems with visibility, well before he could experience "sensory overload, similar to standing on one leg with your eyes closed" he was safely over the 405 freeway, in decent visibility, asking the tower for assistance. The tower replied, in a perplexed fashion, saying something to the effect of, "ummmm your nowhere near high enough for us to even find you on radar."
 

So this pilot was documented numbskull from the second he decided to get in the helicopter all the way through the time he asked for special flight permission in horrible weather. He further illustrated questionable intelligence when he asked for radar guidence when he was well below what the radar could even pick up.an Finally, he was dumb to then freelance off course, after just being told he was too low, and decide to leave the good visibility of the highway and barrel over the canyons, without looking at his gauges, leading to a catastrophic crash. 

I don't doubt there exists a tight knit community of pilots, that group think and want to support one another, but based on what I have read, that pilot would be the very last guy I would want flying my family in a helicopter. 

If the circumstances were as dicey as many of the pilots claim, these vehicles should be dropping out of the sky at an alarming rate. The reason this particular case is so tragic is becuase it was RARE....it shouldn't have happened. Rare = not usual...if things like this were easily possible, that would make it "usual" and simple to understand. 

You're still making a LOT of incorrect assumptions that falsely lead you to the conclusion that the pilot was a 'numbskull'. The guy had 8000 hours flying. If he were half the idiot you make him out to me he would have never reached that number of flight hours. 
 

I suggest you go for a flight in a small aircraft sometime over mountainous terrain to get a better perspective. 

better yet, stick him in a sensory deprivation tank and have him take you on a guided tour.


Perhaps, but before he lost his sensory he was over the 405 asking for flight assistance. The visibility by the 405 was fine, there is no reason why he should have been in a state of confusion as he approached the 405, yet he still called into the tower asking for guidance and the tower had to tell him, "sir you are not even high enough to appear on radar."
 
I understand after that conversation took place he suddenly veered off course into the canyons and the fog and got into some trouble before crashing. But well before that took place and well before he was "deprived of his senses" he was flying safely over the 405 at an altitude too low for radar. 
 
To me, this illustrates some issues with this pilot. I saw the flight path, I saw where he was over 405 and the 405 is routinely used for site marking because visibility is good and its a very known road...but even then this pilot was doing dumb shit. 
 
So I can grant you the fact he went over the mountains and got turned around and crashed, but I don't know how anyone can defend him calling in the tower when his altitidue was too low, in a very easy part of his flight. Even the tower was perplexed. 
3 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 43636
jcblass -
Cuckoldberry Finn - 
pfsjkd -
jcblass -
pfsjkd - 

jc is not an idiot. Numerous posts over the years bear this out. He’s just having trouble wrapping his head around this particular situation. And that’s not uncommon. Aviation is actually pretty damn safe, all things considered, so aviation safety is something that a lot of people just take for granted. But there’s a LOT of shit that goes into it and it has to be taken seriously and consciously applied by literally everyone who even touches an aircraft. 

 

I think we absolutely agree this pilot should have never left the ground (or given permission to leave the ground).

 

 
However, he was right on the path of the highway in pretty good visibility before deciding to just freelance and veer off course into the fog covered canyons. He did this immeddiately after just being TOLD he was too low to guided by radar. He then, I guess, decided to mavrick his way off course, only to panic and crash into a pretty small Canyon, less than 2500 feet. 
 
So yes, I am having a tough time wrapping my head around this because the SFV has fog literally every day of the year, I live here and its rare helicopters or small airplanes crash (they are everywhere, Van Nuys airport is nothing but small aircraft).
 
Those mountains don't change the size, they are all roughly 2500 - 3000 feet high. Anyone who lives here and hikes knows this, and experienced pilots in a sophisticated aircraft should also know this. So I guess it bothers me that a guy in poor visibilty, didn't even bother to ensure his gagues had him higher than the canyon (and level).
 
Regardless, long before this pilot ever had any problems with visibility, well before he could experience "sensory overload, similar to standing on one leg with your eyes closed" he was safely over the 405 freeway, in decent visibility, asking the tower for assistance. The tower replied, in a perplexed fashion, saying something to the effect of, "ummmm your nowhere near high enough for us to even find you on radar."
 

So this pilot was documented numbskull from the second he decided to get in the helicopter all the way through the time he asked for special flight permission in horrible weather. He further illustrated questionable intelligence when he asked for radar guidence when he was well below what the radar could even pick up.an Finally, he was dumb to then freelance off course, after just being told he was too low, and decide to leave the good visibility of the highway and barrel over the canyons, without looking at his gauges, leading to a catastrophic crash. 

I don't doubt there exists a tight knit community of pilots, that group think and want to support one another, but based on what I have read, that pilot would be the very last guy I would want flying my family in a helicopter. 

If the circumstances were as dicey as many of the pilots claim, these vehicles should be dropping out of the sky at an alarming rate. The reason this particular case is so tragic is becuase it was RARE....it shouldn't have happened. Rare = not usual...if things like this were easily possible, that would make it "usual" and simple to understand. 

You’re still making a LOT of incorrect assumptions that falsely lead you to the conclusion that the pilot was a ‘numbskull’. The guy had 8000 hours flying. If he were half the idiot you make him out to me he would have never reached that number of flight hours. 
 

I suggest you go for a flight in a small aircraft sometime over mountainous terrain to get a better perspective. 

better yet, stick him in a sensory deprivation tank and have him take you on a guided tour.


Perhaps, but before he lost his sensory he was over the 405 asking for flight assistance. The visibility by the 405 was fine, there is no reason why he should have been in a state of confusion as he approached the 405, yet he still called into the tower asking for guidance and the tower had to tell him, "sir you are not even high enough to appear on radar."
 
I understand after that conversation took place he suddenly veered off course into the canyons and the fog and got into some trouble before crashing. But well before that took place and well before he was "deprived of his senses" he was flying safely over the 405 at an altitude too low for radar. 
 
To me, this illustrates some issues with this pilot. I saw the flight path, I saw where he was over 405 and the 405 is routinely used for site marking because visibility is good and its a very known road...but even then this pilot was doing dumb shit. 
 
So I can grant you the fact he went over the mountains and got turned around and crashed, but I don't know how anyone can defend him calling in the tower when his altitidue was too low, in a very easy part of his flight. Even the tower was perplexed. 

Again, you don’t know what you’re talking about. We do t know exactly what the weather conditions over the 405. And if the visibility were already reduced, it’s easier to fly into the thick stuff with zero visibility because you can’t see it coming up. 
 

And why do you keep harping on his request for flight following?? First of all, it wasn’t the ‘tower’ he was talking to, it was So Cal Approach Control. The fact that you’re ignorant of who is actually talking tot he pilot should give you pause.
 

Secondly, he was advised by Van Nuys Tower to contact So Cal Approach for flight following. 
 

Thirdly, pilots don’t know the exact altitudes and locations where they will show up on ATC’s radars. There is really no negative connotation you can assign to him for not knowing that he was definitely too low for ATC to pick him up on radar. Just stop talking about that point because to every pilot if shows you have no idea what’s going on. 

Edited: 3 days ago
9/8/02
Posts: 24446

Again, you don’t know what you’re talking about. We do t know exactly what the weather conditions over the 405. And if the visibility were already reduced, it’s easier to fly into the thick stuff with zero visibility because you can’t see it coming up. 
 

And why do you keep harping on his request for flight following?? First of all, it wasn’t the ‘tower’ he was talking to, it was So Cal Approach Control. The fact that you’re ignorant of who is actually talking tot he pilot should give you pause.
 

Secondly, he was advised by Van Nuys Tower to contact So Cal Approach for flight following. 
 

Thirdly, pilots don’t know the exact altitudes and locations where they will show up on ATC’s radars. There is really no negative connotation you can assign to him for not knowing that he was definitely too low for ATC to pick him up on radar. Just stop talking about that point because to every pilot if shows you have no idea what’s going on. 

 

Whatever, the article I read said the pilot was talking to a "Air Traffic Controller" I am using a generic term tower, apologies there, but you are being a bit obtuse. I never read he was talking to "Southern California Approach Control Inc, LLC located at...."  But again, whatever.

 

 
Most articles are generic and I am not a flight sim nerd, so I assumed traffic controllers were probably in a tower and not sitting in a car at burger king...My mistake. 
 
" The pilot had told an air traffic controller he was planning to climb to 4,000 feet, but logs indicate he turned left in the clouds at 2,300 feet."
 
Regardless, as pilot, if you were going to climb to 4,000 feet, how would you do that? Would you just guess? "Okay, this looks about 4000 feet, let me make a bank turn now, with canyons all around me in poor visibility?."
 
Seriously. Let's say you tell "AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER" "I am going to climb to 4,000 feet" what that process looks like, would you not look at your gauges to determine if you ever reached that altitude or do you just guess..." hmmm, this seems about right." The fact he might have lost visibility is all the more reason why YOU THINK he would look at his gauges to determine altitidue. I don't drive my car and assume my speed, I look down at my gaugue...if it were pitch black and I lost all headlights, I would def look down at my gauges. I would slow the car down and stop, using my gauges. I wouldn't just say...hmmm, don't know how fast I am going, can't see shit, might as well try and do a left hand turn right here and see how it works out.."
 
So again, If a pilot were going to climb to a specific altitude, I still don't understand how or why this pilot didn't confirm the altitude he was at before turning the craft. This is further perplexed by the fact he didn't even know the altitude for the proper following despite living in this area and having a billion hours of flight time. I keep harping on this because we have multiple instances, across varying distances of the pilot seemingly not knowing where he was at, or what altitude he was flying act, despite many accounts say the visibility by the 405 was good and the canyon area was murky. 

I drive that route daily and that's generally the case. Low clouds in the canyons, the highway is pretty clear. 

 
Edited: 3 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 43637

“So again, If a pilot were going to climb to a specific altitude, I still don't understand how or why this pilot didn't confirm the altitude he was at before turning the craft.”

For the umpteenth time, he suffered spatial disorientation, *which can be debilitating*. The experiment I told you about standing on one leg with your eyes closed? A pilot in an aircraft with no visible horizon can get that feeling X10 with their eyes wide open staring at the gauges.  Reading the gauges and applying the correct inputs requires mental processing. It’s a perishable skill that needs to be practiced. And even if you’re trained and current, the disorientation can be so bad that you may not be able to accomplish the necessary mental processing required while you feel like you’re tumbling, or in a turn that won’t stop. 

You keep asking why he didn’t do the right thing like he just threw up his hands and gave up. If the spatial disorientation were bad enough, it would have been very difficult for him to do it. And all it took was about 4-5 seconds before he passed the point of no return. 
 

“This is further perplexed by the fact he didn't even know the altitude for the proper following despite living in this area and having a billion hours of flight time.”

 

Again, this is a non-starter. It has nothing to do with what happened. You just don’t have enough knowledge about this subject to say that this shows he was good, bad, or inbetween as a pilot. Period. 

3 days ago
1/9/02
Posts: 50684

im not an expert but from reading this thread the spatial disorientation theory seems the most likely.

3 days ago
1/27/20
Posts: 52
pfsjkd -
jcblass -
Cuckoldberry Finn - 
pfsjkd -
jcblass -
pfsjkd - 

jc is not an idiot. Numerous posts over the years bear this out. He’s just having trouble wrapping his head around this particular situation. And that’s not uncommon. Aviation is actually pretty damn safe, all things considered, so aviation safety is something that a lot of people just take for granted. But there’s a LOT of shit that goes into it and it has to be taken seriously and consciously applied by literally everyone who even touches an aircraft. 

 

I think we absolutely agree this pilot should have never left the ground (or given permission to leave the ground).

 

 
However, he was right on the path of the highway in pretty good visibility before deciding to just freelance and veer off course into the fog covered canyons. He did this immeddiately after just being TOLD he was too low to guided by radar. He then, I guess, decided to mavrick his way off course, only to panic and crash into a pretty small Canyon, less than 2500 feet. 
 
So yes, I am having a tough time wrapping my head around this because the SFV has fog literally every day of the year, I live here and its rare helicopters or small airplanes crash (they are everywhere, Van Nuys airport is nothing but small aircraft).
 
Those mountains don't change the size, they are all roughly 2500 - 3000 feet high. Anyone who lives here and hikes knows this, and experienced pilots in a sophisticated aircraft should also know this. So I guess it bothers me that a guy in poor visibilty, didn't even bother to ensure his gagues had him higher than the canyon (and level).
 
Regardless, long before this pilot ever had any problems with visibility, well before he could experience "sensory overload, similar to standing on one leg with your eyes closed" he was safely over the 405 freeway, in decent visibility, asking the tower for assistance. The tower replied, in a perplexed fashion, saying something to the effect of, "ummmm your nowhere near high enough for us to even find you on radar."
 

So this pilot was documented numbskull from the second he decided to get in the helicopter all the way through the time he asked for special flight permission in horrible weather. He further illustrated questionable intelligence when he asked for radar guidence when he was well below what the radar could even pick up.an Finally, he was dumb to then freelance off course, after just being told he was too low, and decide to leave the good visibility of the highway and barrel over the canyons, without looking at his gauges, leading to a catastrophic crash. 

I don't doubt there exists a tight knit community of pilots, that group think and want to support one another, but based on what I have read, that pilot would be the very last guy I would want flying my family in a helicopter. 

If the circumstances were as dicey as many of the pilots claim, these vehicles should be dropping out of the sky at an alarming rate. The reason this particular case is so tragic is becuase it was RARE....it shouldn't have happened. Rare = not usual...if things like this were easily possible, that would make it "usual" and simple to understand. 

You’re still making a LOT of incorrect assumptions that falsely lead you to the conclusion that the pilot was a ‘numbskull’. The guy had 8000 hours flying. If he were half the idiot you make him out to me he would have never reached that number of flight hours. 
 

I suggest you go for a flight in a small aircraft sometime over mountainous terrain to get a better perspective. 

better yet, stick him in a sensory deprivation tank and have him take you on a guided tour.


Perhaps, but before he lost his sensory he was over the 405 asking for flight assistance. The visibility by the 405 was fine, there is no reason why he should have been in a state of confusion as he approached the 405, yet he still called into the tower asking for guidance and the tower had to tell him, "sir you are not even high enough to appear on radar."
 
I understand after that conversation took place he suddenly veered off course into the canyons and the fog and got into some trouble before crashing. But well before that took place and well before he was "deprived of his senses" he was flying safely over the 405 at an altitude too low for radar. 
 
To me, this illustrates some issues with this pilot. I saw the flight path, I saw where he was over 405 and the 405 is routinely used for site marking because visibility is good and its a very known road...but even then this pilot was doing dumb shit. 
 
So I can grant you the fact he went over the mountains and got turned around and crashed, but I don't know how anyone can defend him calling in the tower when his altitidue was too low, in a very easy part of his flight. Even the tower was perplexed. 

Again, you don’t know what you’re talking about. We do t know exactly what the weather conditions over the 405. And if the visibility were already reduced, it’s easier to fly into the thick stuff with zero visibility because you can’t see it coming up. 
 

And why do you keep harping on his request for flight following?? First of all, it wasn’t the ‘tower’ he was talking to, it was So Cal Approach Control. The fact that you’re ignorant of who is actually talking tot he pilot should give you pause.
 

Secondly, he was advised by Van Nuys Tower to contact So Cal Approach for flight following. 
 

Thirdly, pilots don’t know the exact altitudes and locations where they will show up on ATC’s radars. There is really no negative connotation you can assign to him for not knowing that he was definitely too low for ATC to pick him up on radar. Just stop talking about that point because to every pilot if shows you have no idea what’s going on. 

You’re not a pilot. I must commend your troll though , because you’re really dedicated to it

3 days ago
4/11/08
Posts: 6888
pfsjkd - 

“So again, If a pilot were going to climb to a specific altitude, I still don't understand how or why this pilot didn't confirm the altitude he was at before turning the craft.”

For the umpteenth time, he suffered spatial disorientation, *which can be debilitating*. The experiment I told you about standing on one leg with your eyes closed? A pilot in an aircraft with no visible horizon can get that feeling X10 with their eyes wide open staring at the gauges.  Reading the gauges and applying the correct inputs requires mental processing. It’s a perishable skill that needs to be practiced. And even if you’re trained and current, the disorientation can be so bad that you may not be able to accomplish the necessary mental processing required while you feel like you’re tumbling, or in a turn that won’t stop. 

You keep asking why he didn’t do the right thing like he just threw up his hands and gave up. If the spatial disorientation were bad enough, it would have been very difficult for him to do it. And all it took was about 4-5 seconds before he passed the point of no return. 
 

“This is further perplexed by the fact he didn't even know the altitude for the proper following despite living in this area and having a billion hours of flight time.”

 

Again, this is a non-starter. It has nothing to do with what happened. You just don’t have enough knowledge about this subject to say that this shows he was good, bad, or inbetween as a pilot. Period. 


"You just don’t have enough knowledge about this subject to say that this shows he was good, bad, or inbetween as a pilot. Period. "

Well, he crashed a helicopter in a completely avoidable situation, so I'm going to go with "bad pilot"
3 days ago
11/18/15
Posts: 5852
hermanitor -
pfsjkd - 

“So again, If a pilot were going to climb to a specific altitude, I still don't understand how or why this pilot didn't confirm the altitude he was at before turning the craft.”

For the umpteenth time, he suffered spatial disorientation, *which can be debilitating*. The experiment I told you about standing on one leg with your eyes closed? A pilot in an aircraft with no visible horizon can get that feeling X10 with their eyes wide open staring at the gauges.  Reading the gauges and applying the correct inputs requires mental processing. It’s a perishable skill that needs to be practiced. And even if you’re trained and current, the disorientation can be so bad that you may not be able to accomplish the necessary mental processing required while you feel like you’re tumbling, or in a turn that won’t stop. 

You keep asking why he didn’t do the right thing like he just threw up his hands and gave up. If the spatial disorientation were bad enough, it would have been very difficult for him to do it. And all it took was about 4-5 seconds before he passed the point of no return. 
 

“This is further perplexed by the fact he didn't even know the altitude for the proper following despite living in this area and having a billion hours of flight time.”

 

Again, this is a non-starter. It has nothing to do with what happened. You just don’t have enough knowledge about this subject to say that this shows he was good, bad, or inbetween as a pilot. Period. 


"You just don’t have enough knowledge about this subject to say that this shows he was good, bad, or inbetween as a pilot. Period. "

Well, he crashed a helicopter in a completely avoidable situation, so I'm going to go with "bad pilot"

which is fine but it is an unqualified opinion.

Edited: 3 days ago
11/9/10
Posts: 69402

Spatial disorientation in flight is very real and very deadly. Controlled flight into terrain happens a lot more than people realize. And it has killed many very experienced pilots. 
 

If it was loss of control or mechanical failure the pilot would have called in an emergency. 

3 days ago
11/9/10
Posts: 69403
pfsjkd -
HillboFrateTrane -
pfsjkd -

jc is not an idiot. Numerous posts over the years bear this out. He's just having trouble wrapping his head around this particular situation. And that's not uncommon. Aviation is actually pretty damn safe, all things considered, so aviation safety is something that a lot of people just take for granted. But there's a LOT of shit that goes into it and it has to be taken seriously and consciously applied by literally everyone who even touches an aircraft. 

Small aircraft scares me because of the human element. How many people die because someone is having a bad day, Is hungover, Got cheated on, had insomnia etc.? A stroke or even a fainting spell. Commercial planes have layers of redundancies and can pretty much land themselves.  

General aviation and small commercial aviation does have a significantly higher mishap rate than air carriers but it's still not that bad. I think you still have a much higher chance of dying in a car crash than in a small aircraft. 

Aviation in whole is safer than any other form of transportation. 

3 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 43639
Seven Late Hammerfists -
pfsjkd -
jcblass -
Cuckoldberry Finn - 
pfsjkd -
jcblass -
pfsjkd - 

jc is not an idiot. Numerous posts over the years bear this out. He’s just having trouble wrapping his head around this particular situation. And that’s not uncommon. Aviation is actually pretty damn safe, all things considered, so aviation safety is something that a lot of people just take for granted. But there’s a LOT of shit that goes into it and it has to be taken seriously and consciously applied by literally everyone who even touches an aircraft. 

 

I think we absolutely agree this pilot should have never left the ground (or given permission to leave the ground).

 

 
However, he was right on the path of the highway in pretty good visibility before deciding to just freelance and veer off course into the fog covered canyons. He did this immeddiately after just being TOLD he was too low to guided by radar. He then, I guess, decided to mavrick his way off course, only to panic and crash into a pretty small Canyon, less than 2500 feet. 
 
So yes, I am having a tough time wrapping my head around this because the SFV has fog literally every day of the year, I live here and its rare helicopters or small airplanes crash (they are everywhere, Van Nuys airport is nothing but small aircraft).
 
Those mountains don't change the size, they are all roughly 2500 - 3000 feet high. Anyone who lives here and hikes knows this, and experienced pilots in a sophisticated aircraft should also know this. So I guess it bothers me that a guy in poor visibilty, didn't even bother to ensure his gagues had him higher than the canyon (and level).
 
Regardless, long before this pilot ever had any problems with visibility, well before he could experience "sensory overload, similar to standing on one leg with your eyes closed" he was safely over the 405 freeway, in decent visibility, asking the tower for assistance. The tower replied, in a perplexed fashion, saying something to the effect of, "ummmm your nowhere near high enough for us to even find you on radar."
 

So this pilot was documented numbskull from the second he decided to get in the helicopter all the way through the time he asked for special flight permission in horrible weather. He further illustrated questionable intelligence when he asked for radar guidence when he was well below what the radar could even pick up.an Finally, he was dumb to then freelance off course, after just being told he was too low, and decide to leave the good visibility of the highway and barrel over the canyons, without looking at his gauges, leading to a catastrophic crash. 

I don't doubt there exists a tight knit community of pilots, that group think and want to support one another, but based on what I have read, that pilot would be the very last guy I would want flying my family in a helicopter. 

If the circumstances were as dicey as many of the pilots claim, these vehicles should be dropping out of the sky at an alarming rate. The reason this particular case is so tragic is becuase it was RARE....it shouldn't have happened. Rare = not usual...if things like this were easily possible, that would make it "usual" and simple to understand. 

You’re still making a LOT of incorrect assumptions that falsely lead you to the conclusion that the pilot was a ‘numbskull’. The guy had 8000 hours flying. If he were half the idiot you make him out to me he would have never reached that number of flight hours. 
 

I suggest you go for a flight in a small aircraft sometime over mountainous terrain to get a better perspective. 

better yet, stick him in a sensory deprivation tank and have him take you on a guided tour.


Perhaps, but before he lost his sensory he was over the 405 asking for flight assistance. The visibility by the 405 was fine, there is no reason why he should have been in a state of confusion as he approached the 405, yet he still called into the tower asking for guidance and the tower had to tell him, "sir you are not even high enough to appear on radar."
 
I understand after that conversation took place he suddenly veered off course into the canyons and the fog and got into some trouble before crashing. But well before that took place and well before he was "deprived of his senses" he was flying safely over the 405 at an altitude too low for radar. 
 
To me, this illustrates some issues with this pilot. I saw the flight path, I saw where he was over 405 and the 405 is routinely used for site marking because visibility is good and its a very known road...but even then this pilot was doing dumb shit. 
 
So I can grant you the fact he went over the mountains and got turned around and crashed, but I don't know how anyone can defend him calling in the tower when his altitidue was too low, in a very easy part of his flight. Even the tower was perplexed. 

Again, you don’t know what you’re talking about. We do t know exactly what the weather conditions over the 405. And if the visibility were already reduced, it’s easier to fly into the thick stuff with zero visibility because you can’t see it coming up. 
 

And why do you keep harping on his request for flight following?? First of all, it wasn’t the ‘tower’ he was talking to, it was So Cal Approach Control. The fact that you’re ignorant of who is actually talking tot he pilot should give you pause.
 

Secondly, he was advised by Van Nuys Tower to contact So Cal Approach for flight following. 
 

Thirdly, pilots don’t know the exact altitudes and locations where they will show up on ATC’s radars. There is really no negative connotation you can assign to him for not knowing that he was definitely too low for ATC to pick him up on radar. Just stop talking about that point because to every pilot if shows you have no idea what’s going on. 

You’re not a pilot. I must commend your troll though , because you’re really dedicated to it

Fuck off, troll. 

Edited: 3 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 43640
hermanitor -
pfsjkd - 

“So again, If a pilot were going to climb to a specific altitude, I still don't understand how or why this pilot didn't confirm the altitude he was at before turning the craft.”

For the umpteenth time, he suffered spatial disorientation, *which can be debilitating*. The experiment I told you about standing on one leg with your eyes closed? A pilot in an aircraft with no visible horizon can get that feeling X10 with their eyes wide open staring at the gauges.  Reading the gauges and applying the correct inputs requires mental processing. It’s a perishable skill that needs to be practiced. And even if you’re trained and current, the disorientation can be so bad that you may not be able to accomplish the necessary mental processing required while you feel like you’re tumbling, or in a turn that won’t stop. 

You keep asking why he didn’t do the right thing like he just threw up his hands and gave up. If the spatial disorientation were bad enough, it would have been very difficult for him to do it. And all it took was about 4-5 seconds before he passed the point of no return. 
 

“This is further perplexed by the fact he didn't even know the altitude for the proper following despite living in this area and having a billion hours of flight time.”

 

Again, this is a non-starter. It has nothing to do with what happened. You just don’t have enough knowledge about this subject to say that this shows he was good, bad, or inbetween as a pilot. Period. 


"You just don’t have enough knowledge about this subject to say that this shows he was good, bad, or inbetween as a pilot. Period. "

Well, he crashed a helicopter in a completely avoidable situation, so I'm going to go with "bad pilot"

Did he make a mistake? Yes. Does it necessarily mean he was a bad pilot? No. Is every one who has a car accident a bad driver? Perfection in any activity is impossible. 

3 days ago
6/30/07
Posts: 59489

Air EMS annually trades the dubious distinction of being "the most dangerous job in America" with crabbing and logging.

 

Still safer than driving to work.

Edited: 3 days ago
9/8/02
Posts: 24447

I admit I am being overly trollish with my posts just because of how defensive the aviation geeks are being towards this pilot. The helicopter should have never left the ground, period. So from the opening minutes of this event, the pilot was using bad judgement. I am simply arguing that since we have solid evidence he used bad judgement once, it is likely (or at least arguable) he continued to use bad judgement at other critical moments too, not looking at gauges, unclear about his altitiude, suddenly and with out warning, drifting off over the canyons...

You all make it seem like getting in a helicopter is the hardest thing in the world, and this would happen to anyone. I am simply pointing out if thus were the case, helicopters would be falling out of the sky left and right, especially in the SFV where fog is a literal daily part of life, not to mention, its known to be worse off in the canyon areas and NOT the 405, which is why every expert says, "we follow the 405 because visibility is good, its a predictable path, and everyone knows it." This pilot veered off that path and tried to shoot over the canyons, in bad conditions, and I guess, lost his mind and forgot to ensure he was at 4k feet before making a critical next move. 

I know this presses on a lot of egos, because the aviation community wants to support each other and defend the safety and professionalism of those in the industry, but in my opinion this guy was a putz. He was a putz long before anyone can argue, "he lost all senses and had no idea where he was at." We have ample evidence he knew where he was at, he was taking a routine flight pattern over the 405 and veered off it for some unknown reason.

According to the animation he just drove the helicopter right into the ground. I doubt they recovered much of the body, but we don't know his state of mind, any medications he was taking, how late he was up the night before, what alochol he might have drank. 

When Princess Diana was killed in a crash, everyone knew the driver was a dumb shit. Even though the reality of "camera people" chasing him made driving much harder on him, he was a fucking moron who used bad judgement (despite also having a lot of experience).

Experienced people fuck up every single day. This is probably one such example, that's all. 

Edited: 3 days ago
11/18/15
Posts: 5853

you are entitled to your opinion, no matter how ignorant it is.

but thank you.  I now know in the future I can entirely disregard your opinions about things aviation knowing full well I'm not missing any worthwhile contributions

 

3 days ago
9/8/02
Posts: 24449
Cuckoldberry Finn - 

you are entitled to your opinion, no matter how ignorant it is.

but thank you.  I now know in the future I can entirely disregard your opinions about things aviation knowing full well I'm not missing any worthwhile contributions

 


It really isn't ignorant, it is well supported by the facts. The pilot used bad judgement from the opening moments, by even agreeing to take the family up knowing the weather conditions. There is nothing you can offer that defeats that statement. Because of that, it is then at least arguable that the pilot continued to exercise bad judgement at other critical moments. Again, I don't find this ignorant. 

Now I will leave you be to go back to playing Flight Simulator 1000 in your cool "aviation man cave." 

3 days ago
9/3/19
Posts: 50

the pilot fucked up plain and simple, if it wasnt an equipment or gauge failure theres only one other thing it can be. He chose a risky flightpath to applease a high value client when he should have told them to get fucked his saftey comes first

3 days ago
9/8/02
Posts: 24451
Haulinbass - 

the pilot fucked up plain and simple, if it wasnt an equipment or gauge failure theres only one other thing it can be. He chose a risky flightpath to applease a high value client when he should have told them to get fucked his saftey comes first


Largely agree that's what happened here. 

3 days ago
11/18/15
Posts: 5854
jcblass -
Cuckoldberry Finn - 

you are entitled to your opinion, no matter how ignorant it is.

but thank you.  I now know in the future I can entirely disregard your opinions about things aviation knowing full well I'm not missing any worthwhile contributions

 


It really isn't ignorant, it is well supported by the facts. The pilot used bad judgement from the opening moments, by even agreeing to take the family up knowing the weather conditions. There is nothing you can offer that defeats that statement. Because of that, it is then at least arguable that the pilot continued to exercise bad judgement at other critical moments. Again, I don't find this ignorant. 

Now I will leave you be to go back to playing Flight Simulator 1000 in your cool "aviation man cave." 

it really is ignorant t because you are disregarding facts offered by subject matter experts and forming a conclusion based on a poor understanding of the operational realities of aviation

 

for the record I am a pilot who is insured on complex aircraft with seaplane and multi engine ratings, trained in aerobatics, upset recovery and unusual attitudes.

I am also a rated technician under three sanctioning bodies including easa, faa and transport canada.  I have worked on aircraft in 30 countries mostly third world

I currently own an airline operating sixteen aircraft

I sit on risk review panels for the insurance agencies, take part in regulatory advisory panels and i am a certified quality assurance manager.  I also consult professionally with other airlines developing safety management systems and conduct compliance audits for three regional airlines.

 

I dont have time for an aviation man cave or flight simulator because all of my time is spent living aviation

 

3 days ago
9/8/02
Posts: 24454
Cuckoldberry Finn - 
jcblass -
Cuckoldberry Finn - 

you are entitled to your opinion, no matter how ignorant it is.

but thank you.  I now know in the future I can entirely disregard your opinions about things aviation knowing full well I'm not missing any worthwhile contributions

 


It really isn't ignorant, it is well supported by the facts. The pilot used bad judgement from the opening moments, by even agreeing to take the family up knowing the weather conditions. There is nothing you can offer that defeats that statement. Because of that, it is then at least arguable that the pilot continued to exercise bad judgement at other critical moments. Again, I don't find this ignorant. 

Now I will leave you be to go back to playing Flight Simulator 1000 in your cool "aviation man cave." 

it really is ignorant t because you are disregarding facts offered by subject matter experts and forming a conclusion based on a poor understanding of the operational realities of aviation

 

for the record I am a pilot who is insured on complex aircraft with seaplane and multi engine ratings, trained in aerobatics, upset recovery and unusual attitudes.

I am also a rated technician under three sanctioning bodies including easa, faa and transport canada.  I have worked on aircraft in 30 countries mostly third world

I currently own an airline operating sixteen aircraft

I sit on risk review panels for the insurance agencies, take part in regulatory advisory panels and i am a certified quality assurance manager.  I also consult professionally with other airlines developing safety management systems and conduct compliance audits for three regional airlines.

 

I dont have time for an aviation man cave or flight simulator because all of my time is spent living aviation

 


So you're also emotionally invested in this...got it. 

3 days ago
1/27/20
Posts: 53
pfsjkd -
Seven Late Hammerfists -
pfsjkd -
jcblass -
Cuckoldberry Finn - 
pfsjkd -
jcblass -
pfsjkd - 

jc is not an idiot. Numerous posts over the years bear this out. He’s just having trouble wrapping his head around this particular situation. And that’s not uncommon. Aviation is actually pretty damn safe, all things considered, so aviation safety is something that a lot of people just take for granted. But there’s a LOT of shit that goes into it and it has to be taken seriously and consciously applied by literally everyone who even touches an aircraft. 

 

I think we absolutely agree this pilot should have never left the ground (or given permission to leave the ground).

 

 
However, he was right on the path of the highway in pretty good visibility before deciding to just freelance and veer off course into the fog covered canyons. He did this immeddiately after just being TOLD he was too low to guided by radar. He then, I guess, decided to mavrick his way off course, only to panic and crash into a pretty small Canyon, less than 2500 feet. 
 
So yes, I am having a tough time wrapping my head around this because the SFV has fog literally every day of the year, I live here and its rare helicopters or small airplanes crash (they are everywhere, Van Nuys airport is nothing but small aircraft).
 
Those mountains don't change the size, they are all roughly 2500 - 3000 feet high. Anyone who lives here and hikes knows this, and experienced pilots in a sophisticated aircraft should also know this. So I guess it bothers me that a guy in poor visibilty, didn't even bother to ensure his gagues had him higher than the canyon (and level).
 
Regardless, long before this pilot ever had any problems with visibility, well before he could experience "sensory overload, similar to standing on one leg with your eyes closed" he was safely over the 405 freeway, in decent visibility, asking the tower for assistance. The tower replied, in a perplexed fashion, saying something to the effect of, "ummmm your nowhere near high enough for us to even find you on radar."
 

So this pilot was documented numbskull from the second he decided to get in the helicopter all the way through the time he asked for special flight permission in horrible weather. He further illustrated questionable intelligence when he asked for radar guidence when he was well below what the radar could even pick up.an Finally, he was dumb to then freelance off course, after just being told he was too low, and decide to leave the good visibility of the highway and barrel over the canyons, without looking at his gauges, leading to a catastrophic crash. 

I don't doubt there exists a tight knit community of pilots, that group think and want to support one another, but based on what I have read, that pilot would be the very last guy I would want flying my family in a helicopter. 

If the circumstances were as dicey as many of the pilots claim, these vehicles should be dropping out of the sky at an alarming rate. The reason this particular case is so tragic is becuase it was RARE....it shouldn't have happened. Rare = not usual...if things like this were easily possible, that would make it "usual" and simple to understand. 

You’re still making a LOT of incorrect assumptions that falsely lead you to the conclusion that the pilot was a ‘numbskull’. The guy had 8000 hours flying. If he were half the idiot you make him out to me he would have never reached that number of flight hours. 
 

I suggest you go for a flight in a small aircraft sometime over mountainous terrain to get a better perspective. 

better yet, stick him in a sensory deprivation tank and have him take you on a guided tour.


Perhaps, but before he lost his sensory he was over the 405 asking for flight assistance. The visibility by the 405 was fine, there is no reason why he should have been in a state of confusion as he approached the 405, yet he still called into the tower asking for guidance and the tower had to tell him, "sir you are not even high enough to appear on radar."
 
I understand after that conversation took place he suddenly veered off course into the canyons and the fog and got into some trouble before crashing. But well before that took place and well before he was "deprived of his senses" he was flying safely over the 405 at an altitude too low for radar. 
 
To me, this illustrates some issues with this pilot. I saw the flight path, I saw where he was over 405 and the 405 is routinely used for site marking because visibility is good and its a very known road...but even then this pilot was doing dumb shit. 
 
So I can grant you the fact he went over the mountains and got turned around and crashed, but I don't know how anyone can defend him calling in the tower when his altitidue was too low, in a very easy part of his flight. Even the tower was perplexed. 

Again, you don’t know what you’re talking about. We do t know exactly what the weather conditions over the 405. And if the visibility were already reduced, it’s easier to fly into the thick stuff with zero visibility because you can’t see it coming up. 
 

And why do you keep harping on his request for flight following?? First of all, it wasn’t the ‘tower’ he was talking to, it was So Cal Approach Control. The fact that you’re ignorant of who is actually talking tot he pilot should give you pause.
 

Secondly, he was advised by Van Nuys Tower to contact So Cal Approach for flight following. 
 

Thirdly, pilots don’t know the exact altitudes and locations where they will show up on ATC’s radars. There is really no negative connotation you can assign to him for not knowing that he was definitely too low for ATC to pick him up on radar. Just stop talking about that point because to every pilot if shows you have no idea what’s going on. 

You’re not a pilot. I must commend your troll though , because you’re really dedicated to it

Fuck off, troll. 

You’re a poisonous little reptile . Stop following me around and swearing at me you venomous snake