FLYING WHILE UNDIAGNOSED: the likely cause of the crash that killed Kobe and eight others.
Everyone is still in shock and grief over the sudden tragedy that took the life of a famous athlete and his daughter along with seven other equally important souls. A helicopter carrying these people crashed into the mountainside after taking off in somewhat less than ideal conditions. The pilot was an experienced one who even taught skills to other pilots of how to fly in conditions that the LA county police force had grounded all of its flights for the day for just this situation. The decision to fly was made by the one who paid for the flight, the pilot and the air traffic controllers at the John Wayne Airport where the flight originated. Either way the pilot is the one who flew the helicopter and he is the one who felt that the conditions were such that he could handle without any difficulty. Kobe Bryant could also have contributed to his decision. The decision to fly proved to be fatal apparently and there is much speculation, both expert and not, as to why this happened. Let’s evaluate the evidence that we recently obtained that has been released regarding the last few minutes leading up to the crash.
Some say the pilot became blinded by the dense fog in the area and could not see the ground that he was approaching while trying to obtaim clearance to fly by instruments. Some say he was circling in this area awating for clearance to proceed further in the destination. Something happened in this time frame that caused this terrible tragedy. The most likely possibilities are poor visibility, mechanical failure in a thirty year old copter, pilot error or lastly pilot medical emergency or cardiac arrest.
It appears, ladies and gentleman, that after the recent evidence was presented, this pilot did indeed suffer a serious cardiac event causing the crash.
It has been revealed that the helicopter was flying at around 2500 ft and fell to 1,000 feet in a matter of seconds and made a hard turn to the left into the mountainside. The most likely scenario for this is that the pilot had a sudden cardiac arrest and the copter then plunged 1500 feet to the deaths of all aboard.
The analysis of his phenotype showed that he had undiagnosed long QT syndrome that caused the cardiac event. No information has been released regarding his prior medical conditions but it is safe to assume that his license was dependent on passing a physical exam. Unfortunately, not all exams are adequate to uncover this condition, especially if it is intermittent in nature. It would be interesting to know if he ever had a case of syncope or dizziness. Often the EKG is not helpful or is even normal leaving other problems like inner ear disorders as diagnoses instead. It therefore becomes important to evaluate all cases of syncope or near syncope as being potentially cardiac in nature so that this condition can be treated and the pilot prevented from flying. Another very important lesson to be gained from this tragedy is that helicopter pilots should not be solo pilots like it is with the airlines. Alternately, some rigid screening should be done for all pilots by cardiologists expert in cardiac electrophysiology for hidden defects in the heart that cause these events to occur. At this current time, phenotype analysis is the best method of uncovering these disorders. Those who refuse to listen are complicit therefore in human tragedies.
I am sorry for those who lost their lives and mean no harm in trying to give some insight into the cause of the accident. My apologies to helicopter pilots too, for I will no longer take a joy ride in one until there are two pilots inside or there is more strict examinations done to detect these conditions. I am hereby declaring my services available to all pertinent entities to help save lives.
Helicopter flights are by report 85 times more likely to have fatal accidents than automobiles. All you rich athletes need to take heed and humble yourself and drive your kids to basketball games and save helicopters for emergency and serious police or military maneuvers.
Here is an excerpt of a report written on BET regarding the final minutes:
“The AP reports that after holding up the helicopter for another aircraft, air traffic controllers cleared the Sikorsky S-76 to proceed north along Interstate 5 through Burbank before turning west to follow U.S. Route 101, the Ventura Highway.
Shortly after 9:40 am, it turned again and climbed to more than 2000 feet, the AP reports. According to data from Flightradar24, it then descended and crashed into the hillside at about 1400 feet.
Data showed it descended at a rate of more than 4000 feet per minute and when it struck the ground in Calabasas, the helicopter was flying at about 160 knots (184 mph), the AP reports. “