Flight recorder information below. Wow!
Put a fork in the so called “pilot”. It looks like he made EVERY MISTAKE HE COULD.
Comments in parentheses names parties defendant telling who and why I’d name them as parties.
* The helicopter carrying Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, left Santa Ana in Orange County shortly after 9am
* Conditions were not suitable for flying, according to Los Angeles police who grounded their own choppers (the inevitable cause in fact of the crash)
* Pilot was flying under visual flight rules (VFR), meaning he was relying on his ability to see terrain below him (stooopid)
* Around 9.20am, the helicopter circled for about 15 minutes east of Interstate-5, near Glendale, data shows
* Air traffic controllers held up the chopper for other aircraft for 11 minutes, before clearing it through Burbank
* The pilot, who was named as Ara Zobayan, could've contacted ATC and requested to switch to instrument flight rules (IFR), which would have allowed him to navigate through the clouds (critical error)
* But when pilots fly under IFR, it can be time-consuming, especially in Southern California's busy airspace.
* Aircraft continued under VFR and around 9.40am it turned west to follow US Route 101, the Ventura Highway (it is too late now)
* Around 9.44am, the helicopter turned toward the southeast and climbed to more than 2,000 feet, in what appeared to be an attempt to put some space between helicopter and terrain
* It then descended and crashed into the hillside at about 1,400 feet, according to data from Flightradar24
* Bryant 41, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were both killed in crash along with John Altobelli, 56, his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, who played on the same basketball team as Bryant's daughter
* Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley tweeted that Christina Mauser, a girls basketball coach, also died in crash
* The NBA legend's helicopter was only 17 miles from the Mamba Sports Academy when the crash occurred
* It's unclear where pilot was going to land in Thousand Oaks, but the nearest helipad to the 100,000-square-foot facility is at Amgen headquarters which is a little over six miles away from Mamba Sports Academy
Kobe Bryant's helicopter pilot (mistake 1) was given a special clearance to fly under foggy conditions considered dangerous enough that local police agencies grounded their choppers.
Audio captured by LiveATC.net reveals that the pilot, who has been named as Ara Zobayan, requested to fly under special visual flight rules (SVFR) (sure, I can’t see but who cares?)
'Maintain special VFR at or below 2,500,' the pilot is heard confirming to the controller. (Whaaat? Oh, no.)
The conversation between the pilot and the Burbank Airport control tower shed some light on why the aircraft, which was carrying Bryant, his daughter Gianna, 13, and six others, was granted clearance in the first place.
Under an SVFR clearance, pilots are allowed to fly in weather conditions worse than those allowed for visual flight rules (VFR)(change needed here). Special VFR clearances are only issued when cloud ceilings are below 1,000 feet above ground level. Flying that low to the ground can be very disorienting and risky, and it's possible that the pilot became disoriented due to the visibility conditions when the helicopter appeared to veer off its path above US Route 101 (yes, it’s JFK Jr all over again).
Bryant's helicopter left Santa Ana in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, shortly after 9am on Sunday, a time when conditions were not suitable for flying (mistake), according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
There was an overcast at 1,300 feet and visibility of about five miles. The pilot was initially flying under VFR, meaning that he was relying on his ability to see the terrain below him. That changed when he was granted the SVFR (controller error party defendant).
Around 9.20am, the helicopter circled for about 15 minutes just east of Interstate 5, near Glendale. Air traffic controllers held up the helicopter for other aircraft for about 11 minutes, before clearing the Sikorsky S-76 to proceed north along Interstate 5 through Burbank's airspace (error, go West over Pacific Ocean).
Air traffic controllers noted poor visibility around Burbank, just to the north, and Van Nuys, to the northwest. Due to the poor visibility, the pilot could have contacted air traffic controllers and requested to switch to instrument flight rules (IFR), which would have allowed him to navigate through the clouds (BIGGEST ERROR MISSED LAST CLEAR CHANCE TO AVOID DEADLY-CRASH).
However, when pilots fly under IFR, it can take up a lot of time, especially in Southern California, which has an extremely busy airspace. Pilots flying under IFR will have to begin 20 miles or more away from the runway and are required to use special instructions in the form of diagrams called approach plates in order to land (hey, Einstein. You missed your chance to save lives. Instead, you took them).
Kobe Bryant's helicopter pilot was given clearance to fly under foggy conditions considered dangerous enough that local police agencies grounded their choppers (more defendants here)
Paul Cline, an assistant professor of aviation at the City University of New York, told New York Magazine that flying under IFR could mean you could be in a holding pattern for 'an hour'.
'You’re just one of many waiting in line, and it doesn’t matter if you’re Kobe Bryant,' Cline added. 'A ton of rules come into play, and people don’t always want to fly that way [under IFR]. It takes away their ability to do whatever they want to do,' Cline said. 'The trade-off is you get to live.' (Thank God for those who STAY IN SCHOOL).
The aircraft continued under VFR and around 9.40am it turned west to follow US Route 101, the Ventura Highway. At about 9.44am, the helicopter turned again, toward the southeast, and climbed to more than 2,000 feet, in what appeared to be an attempt to put some space between the helicopter and the high terrain (stage is fully set. One look at that “pilot”, I’d never have him in my employ. I know what he was.)
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IFR AND VFR FLYING
Under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) pilots must always be able to see things out of their windows, which includes the ground, other aircraft and obstacles.
Pilots flying under VFR must fly on the outside of clouds and are prohibited from flying into clouds.
Flying under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) is extremely more challenging than VFR flying. Unlike VFR, pilots are allowed to fly into clouds where there is zero visibility.
One of the most illustrative differences between the two set of flight rules is the landing procedures.
Under VFR, pilots will fly toward the runway at an angle before executing a rectangular pattern near the runway and heading down for the landing.
Under IFR, pilots will have to begin 20 miles or more away from the runway and are required to use special instructions in the form of diagrams called approach plates.
The approach plates tell pilots where an aircraft will need to change its direction, what altitude it should be flying at, all while having zero visibility.
IFR pilots will usually only be able to see out of their windows toward the end of the instrument approach, which is when they will be able to see the runway.
In air traffic control audio which was recorded shortly before the crash, the pilot of the former Lakers star's helicopter is told by a controller that 'you're still too low level' to be tracked by radar.
This did not appear to be a sign of distress, because the helicopter was actually ascending at the time and the controller was referring to the technical difficulty with reading data rather than warning of an imminent crash (this is where the products liability comes in. Helicopter is defendant for this poor design).
Justin Green, an aviation attorney in New York who flew helicopters in the Marine Corps, said pilots can become disoriented in low visibility, losing track of which direction is up.
Green said a pilot flying an S-76 would be instrument-rated, meaning that person could fly the helicopter without relying on visual cues from outside (duh)
Helicopter pilot Phillipe Lesourd told The Sun after listening to the audio that other aircraft appeared to be having problems which was 'not a good sign'.
'When you ask for a special VFR [visual flight rules], which they did, only one aircraft is allowed in the airspace,' he said.
'You can hear the controller saying that it had an "ad go around," that means an aircraft already cancelled its landing because of low visibility.'
It then descended and crashed into the hillside at about 1,400 feet, according to data from Flightradar24.
When it struck the ground, the helicopter was flying at about 184mph and descending at a rate of more than 4,000 feet per minute, the data showed.
The chopper went down in Calabasas, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Bryant's chopper was only 17 miles from the Mamba Sports Academy when the crash occurred.
There was only one pilot on board, which an aviation source said it was unusual for the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter Kobe was in (huge error).
It's unclear where the pilot was going to land in Thousand Oaks, but the nearest helipad to the 100,000-square-foot facility is at Amgen headquarters which is a little over six miles away from Mamba Sports Academy.
Bryant's sports academy in Thousand Oaks was holding a basketball tournament on Sunday.
When the helicopter plunged into a steep hillside on Sunday, its impact scattered debris over an area the size of a football field and killed all aboard.
Among those killed in the crash were John Altobelli, 56, longtime head coach of Southern California's Orange Coast College baseball team; his wife, Keri; and daughter, Alyssa, who played on the same basketball team as Bryant's daughter, said Altobelli's brother, Tony, who is the sports information director at the school.
Another young player, Payton Chester, was also killed in the crash along with her mother Sarah Chester.
Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley tweeted that the dead also included Christina Mauser, a girls basketball coach at a nearby private elementary school.
Her husband, Matt Mauser, founded the Tijuana Dogs, a popular Orange County band. In a Facebook post he said: 'My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash.'
The Los Angeles County medical examiner, Dr Jonathan Lucas, said the rugged terrain complicated efforts to recover the remains. He estimated it would take at least a couple of days to complete that task before identifications can be made (just check w Harvey. He is happy to help).