12 and 1/2 months after the 1.26.20 Kobe Bryant helicopter crash, which killed nine people including Bryant, his daughter and the pilot, the National Transportation Safety Board has rocked the world by coming to the same conclusions that any half-informed person would’ve arrived at a day or two after the tragedy.
Once again for emphasis — (a) way too foggy for flying above the Calabassas hills that day, (b) pilot Ara Zobayan was swallowed by spatial disorientation, (c) any competent, half-prudent pilot would have gotten the hell out of there but Bryant, a Type-A personality, was almost certainly generating intense “get there” vibes and so Zobayan pushed into the fog…hard left and a rapid decent at a speed of 160 knots…wham. A reckless journey.
No one is allowed to say that the crash was half Bryant’s fault and half Zobayan’s fault, but when you factor in the “get there” pressure how can you say it was all on Zobayan? Two-thirds pilot, one-third Bryant? 60-40?
Posted on 1.28.20: “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.”