I Almost Died Flying Into A Mountain Near Kobe's Crash: Veteran Navy Pilot Explains The Risks
The truth is that accidentally flying into clouds happens more than anyone wants to admit. I break down the Kobe crash and my own brush with death.
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One of the most disorienting and dangerous things that can happen to a pilot during flight is inadvertently entering Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC).
While this is a known hazard and can be easily avoided by thorough preflight preparation and in-flight weather observation, it still occurs fairly regularly. Three weeks ago, it likely happened to the helicopter carrying retired NBA star Kobe Bryant and eight other people. That flight ended in tragedy with the death of all aboard.
Twenty years ago, the same thing almost happened to me in the same area.
My crew and I escaped that near catastrophe with our lives by the narrowest of margins. The reality is that it can happen to anyone, from the private pilot on a weekend recreational flight to the passenger-carrying helicopter pilot on a routine hop with a beloved sports star and his friends and family onboard to the most capable and well-trained military pilot.
Here's what we know about the Kobe flight and why it reminded me of my own brush with death.
There is a tremendous amount of confusing and even misleading information in the public domain about this tragedy and how helicopters are operated, in general.
So, before I get to...
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