Poking My Nose

…into an arena where my experience is limited and dated. But I’m gonna do it, anyway. My experience is this: I hold a private pilot license; although I haven’t had the opportunity to fly for some years: I’m non-current.  However, I do have several hundred hours in fighter aircraft simulators, accumulated when I worked as Test Director for the world class manufacturer of military aircraft simulators—which hours include extensive time flying in instrument conditions, albeit without the buffeting of real-world winds and wind gusts.

The helicopter that crashed in California killing all nine of its occupants, including the pilot, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, his daughter’s basketball coach, and those five additional unfortunates, didn’t have a warning system in its instrument suite that might have helped the pilot recognize his physical situation.  That system is a Terrain Awareness And Warning System, which could have greatly raised the pilot’s understanding of his location relative to the terrain, not just below him, but around him, as well.

It’s no big deal that the pilot didn’t have TAWS on his helicopter.  However, I would have expected that an experienced pilot would have known better than to fly in that terrain/weather without it.

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