Wolficorn“, a private Los Angeles-based pilot, “took the flight radar data from Flight Radar 24 and entered it into Google Earth Studio in order to get a better idea of the flight path in the hopes it could provide a little more insight into [the Kobe Bryant tragedy].”

I was naturally intrigued to watch a decent visual simulation of the San Fernando Valley typography that Ara Zoboyan, the pilot of Bryant’s Sikorsky S-76B, was eyeballing as he steered the chopper and its eight passengers to their fate. Wolficorn stops the footage a few seconds before the simulated impact.

Comment #1 (Doug. W.): Inadvertently flying into IMC followed by loss of control due to spatial disorientation and loss of situational awareness…#1 killer for pilots. Very sad.”

Comment #2 (Neal B.): “[Zoboyan] tried to thread the needle between rising terrain and a descending fog/cloud base, and lost.”

Comment #3 (David Stewart) “[So] if that was the route then it was suicide on a cloudy day with only 2.5 km of visibility. Why didn’t they just turn back? This really sucks.”

Comment #4 (wjatube): “No mystery what happened here. This tragedy was completely avoidable. Most helicopter services were grounded that morning due to the low cloud ceiling (even the police). Get-there-itis has killed once again. All for the sake of getting from John Wayne to Thousand Oaks just 90 minutes faster.”