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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 232468
Last updated: 24 October 2021
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Time:11:45 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic S76 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Sikorsky S-76B
Owner/operator:Island Express Holding Corp
Registration: N72EX
MSN: 760379
Fatalities:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Calabasas, Los Angeles County, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Santa Ana-John Wayne International Airport, CA (SNA/KSNA)
Destination airport:Camarillo Airport, CA (KCMA)
Investigating agency: NTSB
A Sikorsky S-76B helicopter, registered N72EX, impacted hilly terrain in Calabasas, Los Angeles County, California. All nine on board died. Five-time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant was among those on board.

The on-demand flight was operated by Island Express Helicopters Inc. under visual flight rules. The flight departed from John Wayne Airport-Orange County (SNA), Santa Ana, California, about 09:07 and was destined for Camarillo Airport (CMA), Camarillo, California, about 24 miles west of the accident site.
After the helicopter departed from SNA, it flew at altitudes that remained below 1,700 ft mean sea level (msl) and generally between 400 to 600 ft above ground level (agl), and the flightís progress through controlled airspace en route to CMA was uneventful. Weather conditions reported to the pilot by air traffic controllers during the flight included an overcast ceiling at 1,100 ft agl, visibility of 2.5 miles with haze, and cloud tops at 2,400 ft msl.
At 09:44:34 (about 2 minutes before the accident), while the helicopter was flying west at an altitude of about 1,370 ft msl (450 ft agl) over US Route 101 and rising terrain, the pilot announced to an air traffic control facility that he was initiating a climb to get the helicopter "above the [cloud] layers," and the helicopter immediately began climbing at a rate of about 1,500 ft per minute. About the same time, the helicopter began a gradual left turn, and its flight path generally continued to follow US 101 below. About 36 seconds later and while still climbing, the helicopter began to turn more tightly to the left, and its flight path diverged from its overflight of US 101.
The helicopter reached an altitude of about 2,370 ft msl (about 1,600 ft agl) at 09:45:15, then it began to descend rapidly in a left turn to the ground. At 09:45:17 (while the helicopter was descending), the air traffic controller asked the pilot to "say intentions," and the pilot replied that the flight was climbing to 4,000 ft msl. A witness near the accident site first heard the helicopter then saw it emerge from the bottom of the cloud layer in a left-banked descent about 1 or 2 seconds before impact.

Probable Cause:
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the pilotís decision to continue flight under visual flight rules into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in the pilotís spatial disorientation and loss of control.
Contributing to the accident was the pilotís likely self-induced pressure and the pilotís plan continuation bias, which adversely affected his decision-making, and Island Express Helicopters Inc.ís inadequate review and oversight of its safety management processes.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year
Download report: Final report


Source: NTSB



Revision history:

26-Jan-2020 19:04 Geno Added
26-Jan-2020 19:42 Captain Adam Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Source, Embed code, Plane category]
26-Jan-2020 19:53 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
26-Jan-2020 19:53 Captain Adam Updated [Aircraft type, Damage, Narrative]
26-Jan-2020 19:58 Anon. Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Source, Embed code]
26-Jan-2020 19:59 harro Updated [Operator, Source]
26-Jan-2020 20:01 Iceman 29 Updated [Operator, Source, Embed code, Photo]
26-Jan-2020 20:01 Iceman 29 Updated [Photo]
26-Jan-2020 20:02 harro Updated [Operator, Embed code]
26-Jan-2020 20:06 Iceman 29 Updated [Time, Operator, Source, Damage]
26-Jan-2020 20:14 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
26-Jan-2020 20:14 harro Updated [Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Embed code, Narrative, Photo]
26-Jan-2020 20:17 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
26-Jan-2020 20:28 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
26-Jan-2020 20:42 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
26-Jan-2020 20:57 harro Updated [Nature, Embed code, Narrative]
26-Jan-2020 21:12 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
26-Jan-2020 21:28 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
26-Jan-2020 23:40 Captain Adam Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
27-Jan-2020 00:46 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
27-Jan-2020 00:56 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
27-Jan-2020 02:33 RobertMB Updated [Location, Nature, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
27-Jan-2020 06:56 Xavier Corday Updated [Source]
27-Jan-2020 08:08 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
27-Jan-2020 11:05 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
27-Jan-2020 11:23 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Embed code, Narrative]
27-Jan-2020 18:54 bovine Updated [Source]
28-Jan-2020 09:06 Obaid Updated [Destination airport]
29-Jan-2020 20:13 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code]
29-Jan-2020 20:18 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
30-Jan-2020 13:20 Xavier Corday Updated [Source]
31-Jan-2020 18:46 Anon. Updated [Photo]
08-Feb-2020 08:27 Anon. Updated [Source]
08-Feb-2020 08:33 harro Updated [Destination airport, Embed code, Narrative]
20-Apr-2020 15:07 Anon. Updated [Embed code]
31-Aug-2020 18:55 airplanecrazy Updated [Embed code]
07-Feb-2021 09:51 Anon. Updated [Source]
10-Feb-2021 10:58 Iceman 29 Updated [Source]
11-Feb-2021 22:01 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]
11-Feb-2021 22:02 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code]
13-Feb-2021 17:38 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
14-Feb-2021 20:17 harro Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative, Category]
14-Feb-2021 20:25 harro Updated [Embed code, Photo]
14-Feb-2021 20:27 harro Updated [Embed code, Photo]
14-Feb-2021 20:29 harro Updated [Embed code, Photo]
14-Feb-2021 20:30 harro Updated [Time, Embed code]
26-Mar-2021 15:35 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Nature, Source, Embed code, Narrative, Category, Accident report]
26-Mar-2021 16:23 harro Updated [Nature, Source, Narrative, Accident report]

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