NBA After over a year after event
Tuesday saw the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) publish their final report on the helicopter crash which killed nine people in early 2020, with Kobe Bryant the highest profile fatality.
According to the authorities, pilot Ara Zobayan was disoriented as a result of the weather and a bad reading from the flight instruments, although the NTSB has also confirmed that Zobayan violated flight regulations by entering the clouds.
“His decisions when piloting the helicopter proved to be inconsistent. In addition, the pilot didn’t take the alternative measures to achieve a successful landing, despite the fact that conditions were deteriorating on the route,” the report confirmed.
“The excessive speed when entering the cloud, the fast rate of descent and the turn to the left were incompatible with his training.
“When a pilot misperceives altitude and acceleration it is known as a somatographic illusion and can cause spatial disorientation, when an aircraft is flown and there is a lack of external visual references, the inner ear can give a false sense of orientation.”
Finally, the NTSB concluded that to prevent further helicopter crashes occurring in similar circumstances, there needs to be more presumptive alarms given to aircrafts, especially when a rapid descent is taking place.
Further training for pilots was also recommended.
“The United States Helicopter Safety Team has set goals to promote the wider use of space disorientation simulation technology,” the report continued.
“The increased use of this technology to supplement pilot training shows the potential to help pilots navigate and develop skills to detect and recover from illusions that could lead to spatial disorientation.”