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I've auto-rotated in a helicopter. It's pretty amazing how far they can glide, but yeah, you'd better have a good spot picked out and a good way to glide there...and even better if it's not far away.

But that has nothing to do with the crash we're discussing. Definitely CFIT.
 

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That being said I would never take a helicopter tour or use one as a fancy taxi. I flew with pilots that I had known for years and with aircraft that were maintained at the highest level. That provides a measure of reassurance.
Like I wrote, I'm not a helicopter guy. I do however completely agree with your sentiment. A few of the guys I flew with asked me why I didn't use some of my VA benefits to get my pilots license or go to a rotorwing school. My response mirrors what you said almost exactly.

I flew on KC-10s with some truly great pilots and with the best maintainers in the world taking care of my aircraft. Still, there were days when we cancelled flights for maintenance. I've flown into combat airspace with aircraft that were not completely capable of performing the mission we were flying there to do.

There is no way in hell, I'd get into an airplane (or helicopter for that matter) maintained who knows how well, who knows when it was last inspected and who knows the qualifications of the maintainers taking care of it.

GA accidents are plentiful not just because there are more GA aircraft out there, but also because of how well they're maintained and/or piloted.

As for auto-rotation, I know what it is, and understand the principles behind it....but you're not going to auto-rotate for more than a few miles. Certainly not for 75 miles....sean
 

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It is Kobe, I know his name and he played basketball. Perhaps he was philanthropic. I hear about that and it may be true. But to me, his value is at least equal to the next lost life that we find in the obituaries and don't post a thread about.

I am sorry for the hear ache that his family and friends are feeling. Occurrences like this are crushing to those close.
 

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I spent my last 8 years of active duty flying as crew member on a KC-10A. I went to alot of training on CRM and safety. I've endured hours upon hours of CRM drills in the SIM cockpit. I have nearly 5000 hours of flying time.

I also earned an Aeronautical Science degree, with an Aviation Safety minor. I've spent hours upon hours researching and presenting back ground facts of aircraft accidents. Studied NTSB accident reports on crashes going all the way back to some of the first commercial aircraft accidents...all in pursuit of my degree. I'm a fixed wing guy but I can read and also, read between the lines.

The most recent article I read on this particular accident states the helicopter did not have a GPWS installed. That's ground proximity warning system. It is required on all fixed wing commercial aircraft capable of transporting more than 6 passengers. The NTSB recommended the FAA also require it for helicopters but it would seem, the FAA only mandated it for air ambulance aircraft.

The NTSB will likely find that was a contributing factor. The fog and lack of visibility will also be a contributing factor. The pilot had 19 years of experience flying commercial helicopters. Experience will not likely be a considered a factor.

The pilot was flying"S-VFR " as stated in an earlier post and requested "flight following" ATC guidance due to the weather and visibility. Tower controllers told the pilot he was too low for "flight following" navigation assistance.

From the same article, it stated that the helicopter was at 2300 feet but descended rapidly and to the left to avoid a cloud bank when it struck the terrain. In other words, controlled flight into terrain was the result of the contributing factors mentioned above. And that's likely what the NTSB accident report will state.
You might know the answer to my question...

I was a clerk, sitting in a National Guard Orderly Room doing some work, and a couple of our pilots were sitting around the coffee pot talking. One was a traditional Guardsman (Captain), a couple were full time helicopter maintenance Warrant Officers, and one was an old Nam pilot who was flying Gulfstreams full time for a big corporation. The Gulfstream pilot made a statement I always remembered...He said "I always file an IFR plan, because you never know...if you file VFR and then run into weather, you can't change to IFR legally while in flight."

Now I don't know if this would be practical in the case of a local helicopter flight, but you would think a pilot with 19 years experience might know what he would run into in that area.

Should he have filed an IFR plan ???
 

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I am in the middle of an article about this very subject. The short answer is no.
Let me qualify that by elaborating. The pilot had an instrument rating and the helicopter had the equipment for him to operate IFR. The company operating certificate however, limited flight operations with passengers to minimum 3 miles visibility and VFR.

Filing an IFR flight plan would have been prudent, but given the company’s operating certificate; also illegal. Further, the aircraft lacked a GPWS so its proximity to terrain in dense fog would not have been immediately evident to the pilot.

He would have had to pay close attention to his radio altimeter to know his AGL. In dense fog there is always the possibility, even with instruments for spacial disorientation to affect a pilot. Even one with decades of experience.

The controlled flight into terrain may have been avoided with a GPW system on board. I do not know if there was an ETCAS installed but if not, that could have been a contributing factor. Electronic Terrain and Collision Avoidance systems are mandatory on commercially operated passenger aircraft. Apparently not on helicopters though.

Ultimately, even with the proper operating certificate, filing an IFR flight plan would not have had an effect on the outcome if the pilot did nothing else differently. So my answer would still be no.....sean
 

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Not trying to be controversial here but he was just a wealthy sportsman.

Who were the other people on the aircraft other than the Bryants, is there death any less tragic.

FYI
Ara Zobayan
Alyssa Altobelli
Keri Altobelli
John Altobelli
Christina Mauser
Payton Chester
Sarah Chester

Some real heros for me were the US firefighters that died in a C130 crash in Australia, doing something dangerous to protect something they didn't own in a country far from their homes and families.

There names are
Captain Ian McBeth,
First officer Paul Hudson
Flight engineer Rick DeMorgan Jr

They weren't famous for moving a ball fall of air from one place to another in a big room while people watched !


Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
 

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Yeah, and Knute Rockne was just a football coach who died in a plane crash. But because he was considered the greatest football coach in the history of college football his death caused a president to declare a national tragedy.


The event also brought about the establishment of the Air Safety Board which, while short lived; led to the creation of the NTSB.

I am not minimizing the loss of others in aircraft accidents, including this one. Lets get real for one second though. This crash has highlighted shortcomings in both commercial passenger carrying helicopter requirements as well as deficiencies in the type operating certificates of an entire section of the aviation industry. That would likely not have happened if none of the victims was famous. Regardless of what they were famous for.....which honestly, is no different than the crash that killed Knute Rockne.....sean
 
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