Kobe Bryant killed in helicopter crash

MajorStyles

Kingfisher
renotime said:
Kobe had been flying to games for years. Given the traffic in LA, I don't blame him. Flying is far safer than driving.
I grew up in that area. Driving from Calabasas to Thousand Oaks, the sight of the event, will take 15-20 minutes on a Sunday morning - there is little to no traffic in such a scenario. So it seems like he used the helicopter transport in a situation that was not necessary.

On one hand, it's foolish to ride in such transportation for no reason. By the same token, we've all had a narrow miss in terms of transportation: i.e. minor car accident that could have been worse. As the old saying goes, "But by the grace of God there go I."

Either way, RIP. This is one of thos events that will shape the destiny of his family forever. For example, now there is a little girl, less than one-year old, that will never know her father. It's a tremendous tragedy that will continue to take its toll in years to come via the lives of the remaining family members.
 

Papaya

Crow
Gold Member
MajorStyles said:
renotime said:
Kobe had been flying to games for years. Given the traffic in LA, I don't blame him. Flying is far safer than driving.
I grew up in that area. Driving from Calabasas to Thousand Oaks, the sight of the event, will take 15-20 minutes on a Sunday morning - there is little to no traffic in such a scenario. So it seems like he used the helicopter transport in a situation that was not necessary.

On one hand, it's foolish to ride in such transportation for no reason.
His home is in Newport Coast ...55 miles from Calabasas. It would likely be a 2 hr drive in each direction.

As has been mentioned before modern flight is statistically very safe. His use of his own helicopter was not poor judgement anymore than the average guys decision to drive their car to work instead of walking because it might be statistically higher survival rate when you trip and fall than having a traffic accident.

Dirtyblueshirt said:
puckerman said:
This is a sad day for Laker Nation. It is like the day that Earvin Johnson retired.
Or the day Magic told everyone that he had AIDS. That was pretty shocking at the time.
Magic never told anyone he had AIDS. He came out as having tested HIV positive. There's a big difference
 

renotime

Ostrich
Gold Member
MajorStyles said:
renotime said:
Kobe had been flying to games for years. Given the traffic in LA, I don't blame him. Flying is far safer than driving.
I grew up in that area. Driving from Calabasas to Thousand Oaks, the sight of the event, will take 15-20 minutes on a Sunday morning - there is little to no traffic in such a scenario. So it seems like he used the helicopter transport in a situation that was not necessary.

On one hand, it's foolish to ride in such transportation for no reason. By the same token, we've all had a narrow miss in terms of transportation: i.e. minor car accident that could have been worse. As the old saying goes, "But by the grace of God there go I."

Either way, RIP. This is one of thos events that will shape the destiny of his family forever. For example, now there is a little girl, less than one-year old, that will never know her father. It's a tremendous tragedy that will continue to take its toll in years to come via the lives of the remaining family members.
The helicopter flew out of John Wayne airport in Orange County. Orange County to Calabasas is an hour and a half drive according to google maps. I haven't found anything on where they intended to land.

As far as reasons, some wealthy people just live differently. I watched a video on mobster Michael Franzese talking about his helicopter. I'm not a materialistic guy, but it sounds pretty awesome. Dude could get from Long Island to Manhattan in 18 minutes flat.

 

MajorStyles

Kingfisher
renotime said:
MajorStyles said:
renotime said:
Kobe had been flying to games for years. Given the traffic in LA, I don't blame him. Flying is far safer than driving.
I grew up in that area. Driving from Calabasas to Thousand Oaks, the sight of the event, will take 15-20 minutes on a Sunday morning - there is little to no traffic in such a scenario. So it seems like he used the helicopter transport in a situation that was not necessary.

On one hand, it's foolish to ride in such transportation for no reason. By the same token, we've all had a narrow miss in terms of transportation: i.e. minor car accident that could have been worse. As the old saying goes, "But by the grace of God there go I."

Either way, RIP. This is one of thos events that will shape the destiny of his family forever. For example, now there is a little girl, less than one-year old, that will never know her father. It's a tremendous tragedy that will continue to take its toll in years to come via the lives of the remaining family members.
The helicopter flew out of John Wayne airport in Orange County. Orange County to Calabasas is an hour and a half drive according to google maps. I haven't found anything on where they intended to land.

As far as reasons, some wealthy people just live differently. I watched a video on mobster Michael Franzese talking about his helicopter. I'm not a materialistic guy, but it sounds pretty awesome. Dude could get from Long Island to Manhattan in 18 minutes flat.

I heard that the final destination was Thousand Oaks for some basketball event (I could be wrong). I imagine the helicopter started in Orange County, headed to Calabasas, and was then going to continue on to Thousand Oaks.

You're right about the uber rich; they just live differently. For example, I know that Wayne Newton has a private helicopter that he flies around Las Vegas frequently. I guess these things only become a point of discussion when tragedy occurs.
 

Paracelsus

Crow
Gold Member
Handsome Creepy Eel said:
911 said:
Sooth said:
RIP

It's a statistic. The more time you spend in a helicopter the more likely you'll get into strife.

"The U.S. helicopter accident rate in 2017 was 3.55 accidents per 100,000 flight hours, and the fatal accident rate was 0.59 per 100,000 flight hours, USHST said."

https://flightsafety.org/helicopter-accidents-up-in-u-s-down-internationally/
That stat means that if you say, commuted on a helicopter 10 hours per week, every week of the year, the expected amount of time you would need to spend in order to be in a fatal crash is over 300 years... Probably safer than sailing, or on par with riding a motorcycle or a bicycle in traffic.
I might be thinking irrationally here, but my main beef with flying (or in this case helicopters) isn't how often accidents happen, but that when they happen they're invariably fatal. According to this stat, for 1 fatal helicopter accident, there are 7 where the helicopter somehow lands safely and I'm wondering "How? Helicopters can't glide or make an improvised landing..."

I don't know what the non-fatal accident to fatal accident ratio is for cars, but I seriously doubt that it's 3.55 to 0.59 - it's more likely 13.55 to 0.59.
This right here is a perfect example of how statisticians conflate ensemble probability with time probability. Nassim Taleb sets out how computing your chances of survival on the basis that the chance of a helicopter crash is 1 in 300 years is horribly miscalculating your risks. Handsome Creepy Eel has it exactly right: it's the fact helicopter crashes are always catastrophic that makes the resort to "once in 300 years" statistic of use only as a mildly interesting math wank, on par with Sudoku. And quite the opposite to what he thinks, HCE is in fact thinking entirely rationally. It's the statisticians who are thinking thintelligently.


The difference between 100 people going to a casino and one person going to a casino 100 times, i.e. between (path dependent) and conventionally understood probability. The mistake has persisted in economics and psychology since age immemorial.

Recall from the previous chapter that to do science (and other nice things) requires survival but not the other way around?

Consider the following thought experiment.

First case, one hundred persons go to a Casino, to gamble a certain set amount each and have complimentary gin and tonic –as shown in the cartoon in Figure x. Some may lose, some may win, and we can infer at the end of the day what the “edge” is, that is, calculate the returns simply by counting the money left with the people who return. We can thus figure out if the casino is properly pricing the odds. Now assume that gambler number 28 goes bust. Will gambler number 29 be affected? No.

You can safely calculate, from your sample, that about 1% of the gamblers will go bust. And if you keep playing and playing, you will be expected have about the same ratio, 1% of gamblers over that time window.

Now compare to the second case in the thought experiment. One person, your cousin Theodorus Ibn Warqa, goes to the Casino a hundred days in a row, starting with a set amount. On day 28 cousin Theodorus Ibn Warqa is bust. Will there be day 29? No. He has hit an uncle point; there is no game no more.

No matter how good he is or how alert your cousin Theodorus Ibn Warqa can be, you can safely calculate that he has a 100% probability of eventually going bust.

The probabilities of success from the collection of people does not apply to cousin Theodorus Ibn Warqa. Let us call the first set ensemble probability, and the second one time probability (since one is concerned with a collection of people and the other with a single person through time). Now, when you read material by finance professors, finance gurus or your local bank making investment recommendations based on the long term returns of the market, beware. Even if their forecast were true (it isn’t), no person can get the returns of the market unless he has infinite pockets and no uncle points. The are conflating ensemble probability and time probability. If the investor has to eventually reduce his exposure because of losses, or because of retirement, or because he remarried his neighbor’s wife, or because he changed his mind about life, his returns will be divorced from those of the market, period.

We saw with the earlier comment by Warren Buffet that, literally, anyone who survived in the risk taking business has a version of “in order to succeed, you must first survive.” My own version has been: “never cross a river if it is on average four feet deep.” I effectively organized all my life around the point that sequence matters and the presence of ruin does not allow cost-benefit analyses; but it never hit me that the flaw in decision theory was so deep. Until came out of nowhere a paper by the physicist Ole Peters, working with the great Murray Gell-Mann. They presented a version of the difference between the ensemble and the time probabilities with a similar thought experiment as mine above, and showed that about everything in social science about probability is flawed. Deeply flawed. Very deeply flawed. For, in the quarter millennia since the formulation by the mathematician Jacob Bernoulli, and one that became standard, almost all people involved in decision theory made a severe mistake. Everyone? Not quite: every economist, but not everyone: the applied mathematicians Claude Shannon, Ed Thorp, and the physicist J.-L. Kelly of the Kelly Criterion got it right. They also got it in a very simple way. The father of insurance mathematics, the Swedish applied mathematician Harald Cramér also got the point. And, more than two decades ago, practitioners such as Mark Spitznagel and myself build our entire business careers around it. (I personally get it right in words and when I trade and decisions, and detect when ergodicity is violated, but I never explicitly got the overall mathematical structure –ergodicity is actually discussed in Fooled by Randomness). Spitznagel and I even started an entire business to help investors eliminate uncle points so they can get the returns of the market. While I retired to do some flaneuring, Mark continued at his Universa relentlessly (and successfully, while all others have failed). Mark and I have been frustrated by economists who, not getting ergodicity, keep saying that worrying about the tails is “irrational”.

Now there is a skin in the game problem in the blindness to the point. The idea I just presented is very very simple. But how come nobody for 250 years got it? Skin in the game, skin in the game.

It looks like you need a lot of intelligence to figure probabilistic things out when you don’t have skin in the game. There are things one can only get if one has some risk on the line: what I said above is, in retrospect, obvious. But to figure it out for an overeducated nonpractitioner is hard. Unless one is a genius, that is have the clarity of mind to see through the mud, or have such a profound command of probability theory to see through the nonsense. Now, certifiably, Murray Gell-Mann is a genius (and, likely, Peters). Gell-Mann is a famed physicist, with Nobel, and discovered the subatomic particles he himself called quarks. Peters said that when he presented the idea to him, “he got it instantly”. Claude Shannon, Ed Thorp, Kelly and Cramér are, no doubt, geniuses –I can vouch for this unmistakable clarity of mind combined with depth of thinking that juts out when in conversation with Thorp. These people could get it without skin in the game. But economists, psychologists and decision-theorists have no genius (unless one counts the polymath Herb Simon who did some psychology on the side) and odds are will never have one. Adding people without fundamental insights does not sum up to insight; looking for clarity in these fields is like looking for aesthetic in the attic of a highly disorganized electrician.
Summarising for poor old Kobe Bryant: per 911's "expected result", as a group, commuter helicopters used 10 hours per week only crash once every 300 years. That's a probability of failure ascribed to a group. But Bryant, being a man who used helicopters a lot, had a 100% chance of eventually having something catastrophic happening to him. And that number played out. It was the exposure to the risk itself that killed him and his own daughter. Cost-benefit analysis is, simply put, not valid where the downside risk is outright catastrophe or death, any more than your "expected return" in a game of Russian Roulette is $833,333 assuming a 1 million dollar bet.

To put the fallacy another way: nobody ever points out the total number of hours cigarettes are smoked across the planet without causing cancer or death as a demonstration of the safety of cigarettes. The point is that we cannot establish at what point a death-causing lung cancer first erupts into life, nor after what cigarette, so the rational person doesn't smoke.
 

Leonard D Neubache

Owl
Gold Member
Statistics are not personal reality. Everyone who's ridden a motorcycle for any period of time knows this inherently. The death and accident ratios do not account for people acting like fucking idiots which if avoided makes the statistics invalid for you personally. It doesn't reduce the risk to zero but it reduces it by a lot.

Meanwhile, HCE, the oddly low death-per-accident rate for helicopters is explained by the definition for "accident" which can include things as relatively benign as trying to take off in high winds and getting tipped on the spot before you're even five feet off the ground. Over-correcting backward and destroying the tail rotor before dropping back on the spot also seems to be a common theme.


RIP, and may the survivors find the strength to go on.
 

Eusebius

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Based on the statistics given above, of those who rack up 10 hours in a heli per week, over 20 years of that behavior 1 in 3 will have an accident and 1 in 20 a fatal one. Bit rich for my blood.
 

Donfitz007

Kingfisher
Man Idc about statistics, Kobe was the reason I played basketball from age 4-19. Watching his videos, highlight, etc before every game helped me become a D1 basketball player with a full-ride scholarship. He was by far my favorite player (although I was short and modeled my game after Chris Paul) Kobe reminded me of Batman Working hard, Constantly learning, Having the courage to do the impossible. even after my basketball career was over I watched this video and my schemes of self-mastery started, My desire of getting rich, and everything started because of this video!
I wanted more out of life and started to love Kobe for his off the court wisdom, his desire for knowledge, his love for life.

I think im taking this so hard because at this point now I have failed Kobe, I know all these things, studied every aspect that made him great and still lacked the willpower and determination to change my life. Yes Im way better than I was 4-5 years ago, but I could have been so much better.

I know I'm rambling, but This was a great loss for me.
 

Lace em up

Woodpecker
Sooth said:
RIP

It's a statistic. The more time you spend in a helicopter the more likely you'll get into strife.

"The U.S. helicopter accident rate in 2017 was 3.55 accidents per 100,000 flight hours, and the fatal accident rate was 0.59 per 100,000 flight hours, USHST said."

https://flightsafety.org/helicopter-accidents-up-in-u-s-down-internationally/
I think you need to find out how many hours an experienced pilot flying a Sikorsky S-76 flies before a fatal crash. Huge difference in quality with different helicopters.

EDIT: (Sikorsky S-76) 7,400,000 hours of flight. 4 fatal crashes (including this crash). 1,850,000 hours per fatal crash. Or 3,558 years per crash, flying 10 hrs a week.

Prayers for everyone impacted by this tragedy.
 

MajorStyles

Kingfisher
I see a correlation bertween this incident and the death of Lou Gehrig. Both were superstars that died at roughly the same age: Gehrig at 37 and Bryant at 41. Perhaps even Roberto Clemente who died at 38. It's as if their playing careers were their final work(s) on earth.
 

Thomas More

Hummingbird
Handsome Creepy Eel said:
911 said:
Sooth said:
RIP

It's a statistic. The more time you spend in a helicopter the more likely you'll get into strife.

"The U.S. helicopter accident rate in 2017 was 3.55 accidents per 100,000 flight hours, and the fatal accident rate was 0.59 per 100,000 flight hours, USHST said."

https://flightsafety.org/helicopter-accidents-up-in-u-s-down-internationally/
That stat means that if you say, commuted on a helicopter 10 hours per week, every week of the year, the expected amount of time you would need to spend in order to be in a fatal crash is over 300 years... Probably safer than sailing, or on par with riding a motorcycle or a bicycle in traffic.
I might be thinking irrationally here, but my main beef with flying (or in this case helicopters) isn't how often accidents happen, but that when they happen they're invariably fatal. According to this stat, for 1 fatal helicopter accident, there are 7 where the helicopter somehow lands safely and I'm wondering "How? Helicopters can't glide or make an improvised landing..."

I don't know what the non-fatal accident to fatal accident ratio is for cars, but I seriously doubt that it's 3.55 to 0.59 - it's more likely 13.55 to 0.59.
Actually, helicopters can glide to a landing. Helicopter pilots are trained to do this.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autorotation
 

renotime

Ostrich
Gold Member
Leonard D Neubache said:
Statistics are not personal reality. Everyone who's ridden a motorcycle for any period of time knows this inherently. The death and accident ratios do not account for people acting like fucking idiots which if avoided makes the statistics invalid for you personally. It doesn't reduce the risk to zero but it reduces it by a lot.

Meanwhile, HCE, the oddly low death-per-accident rate for helicopters is explained by the definition for "accident" which can include things as relatively benign as trying to take off in high winds and getting tipped on the spot before you're even five feet off the ground. Over-correcting backward and destroying the tail rotor before dropping back on the spot also seems to be a common theme.


RIP, and may the survivors find the strength to go on.
You can't avoid some bitch coming into your lane though. I had a teacher whose cousin died on his bike because some idiot teenage girl pulled out in front of him. Granted, this is anecdotal evidence, Sure, you can train up and put all kinds of hours on the bike, but the world is full of careless and incompetent drivers.

My state is very high on the list of bad drivers and it totally shows. People drive like morons here. I used to have to commute an hour and a half everyday. Everyone drives in the passing lane bumper to bumper without actually passing anyone. It's incredibly unsafe. Somehow I've beaten the odds.

And what are you doing riding a motorcycle around, anyways? Don't you think that manual transmissions are dangerous? :laugh:
 
911 said:
Looks like the chopper was out of control, coming in too fast and sideways over that building:


Funny how life works, if he were a bit less successful, he would probably still be around and not hopping on rooftops in his chopper... RIP.
Which makes me wonder if that how life works.
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
Paracelsus said:
.....

Summarising for poor old Kobe Bryant: per 911's "expected result", as a group, commuter helicopters used 10 hours per week only crash once every 300 years. That's a probability of failure ascribed to a group. But Bryant, being a man who used helicopters a lot, had a 100% chance of eventually having something catastrophic happening to him. And that number played out. It was the exposure to the risk itself that killed him and his own daughter. Cost-benefit analysis is, simply put, not valid where the downside risk is outright catastrophe or death, any more than your "expected return" in a game of Russian Roulette is $833,333 assuming a 1 million dollar bet.

To put the fallacy another way: nobody ever points out the total number of hours cigarettes are smoked across the planet without causing cancer or death as a demonstration of the safety of cigarettes. The point is that we cannot establish at what point a death-causing lung cancer first erupts into life, nor after what cigarette, so the rational person doesn't smoke.

No, I think my statement was correct, a fatal crash rate of 0.59 per 100,000 flight hours translates into an expected value for an average length of time between fatal crashes of ~170,000 flight hours.

The key feature of this distribution is that it is close to memoryless (Poisson distribution), meaning that the risk of crashing does not increase the longer you fly, it is still the same risk every day, like rolling the same dice every time you ride the chopper, (assuming it's properly maintained) contrary to the cigarette/lung cancer case where the risk is cumulative, the more you smoke, the greater the damage.

So to simplify, according to the stat above, your odds of dying on a given 30min helicopter ride is about 1 in 500,000, which seems pretty safe. Of course there are a lot of other variables here (pilot, weather, plane, visibility,,,) but we're simplifying and just going with the basic macro statistic.
 

Captainstabbin

Hummingbird
I wonder what the safety rates will be when sky taxis become a reality. Most drone designs don't look like they can handle winds well.

Here's a great article about the relative statistics of common transportation. Kobe, especially in LA traffic, was far safer in a helicopter under most conditions.

Transportation mode..........................Death index
Airlines............................................1
Intercity rail (Amtrak)........................20.0
Scheduled charter flights....................34.3
Mass transit (rail and bus)..................49.8
Non-scheduled charter flights..............59.5
Non-scheduled helicopter flights..........63.0
General aviation (like private planes)...271.7
Driving or riding in a car/SUV..............453.6

Chart data compiled and analyzed from NTSB, U.S. DOT via Diio Mi, NHTSA.

https://thepointsguy.com/news/are-helicopters-safe-how-they-stack-up-against-planes-cars-and-trains/
 

Paracelsus

Crow
Gold Member
911 said:
No, I think my statement was correct, a fatal crash rate of 0.59 per 100,000 flight hours translates into an expected value for an average length of time between fatal crashes of ~170,000 flight hours.
And as I said, this form of probability is for present purposes - especially Kobe's purposes - mathematical wank that has as much usefulness as a Sudoku puzzle in the real world.

Saying the odds of a crash are 1 in 500,000 says nothing about whether any particular helicopter ride is safe or not. You've rightly said that one helicopter ride doesn't affect any other, which by definition means it doesn't matter how many rides you take, the risk of dying in each helicopter ride is equal. And you are exposed to that same, fatal, ruinous risk every time you get in a helicopter.

Saying you "expect" a fatal crash once every 170,000 flight hours and therefore that getting into a helicopter is pretty safe is ridiculous because you have no way of telling the helicopter that this is hour 169,999 rather than 170,000. The same risk arises each time, every time, and every ride is just as possibly death for you as not.

If you get the chamber with a bullet in it on your first roll, you will not be able to stop the bullet's course by saying probability dictates that you should have got one of the other five chambers.

As said, and as Taleb said: you are confusing time probability and ensemble probability. A cost-benefit analysis cannot be run where outright ruin is in play, and safety sure as hell is not dictated by the number of helicopters that haven't yet dropped out of the sky.
 

Leonard D Neubache

Owl
Gold Member
renotime said:
Leonard D Neubache said:
Statistics are not personal reality. Everyone who's ridden a motorcycle for any period of time knows this inherently. The death and accident ratios do not account for people acting like fucking idiots which if avoided makes the statistics invalid for you personally. It doesn't reduce the risk to zero but it reduces it by a lot.

Meanwhile, HCE, the oddly low death-per-accident rate for helicopters is explained by the definition for "accident" which can include things as relatively benign as trying to take off in high winds and getting tipped on the spot before you're even five feet off the ground. Over-correcting backward and destroying the tail rotor before dropping back on the spot also seems to be a common theme.


RIP, and may the survivors find the strength to go on.
You can't avoid some bitch coming into your lane though. I had a teacher whose cousin died on his bike because some idiot teenage girl pulled out in front of him. Granted, this is anecdotal evidence, Sure, you can train up and put all kinds of hours on the bike, but the world is full of careless and incompetent drivers.

My state is very high on the list of bad drivers and it totally shows. People drive like morons here. I used to have to commute an hour and a half everyday. Everyone drives in the passing lane bumper to bumper without actually passing anyone. It's incredibly unsafe. Somehow I've beaten the odds.

And what are you doing riding a motorcycle around, anyways? Don't you think that manual transmissions are dangerous? :laugh:
No, I gave that stuff up many years ago and I agree that it's currently too dangerous in metro areas mostly due to the advent of smartphones and such. The point remains though that you can't equate overall statistical odds with personal statistical odds when one person is riding safely while another is being a jackass. Neither carries zero risk but one has much less risk than the other.

Where it relates to helicopters you couldn't for example reconcile the odds of a crop-duster having the same risk per hour ratio as a tourist charter pilot.

Likewise not all helicopters are created equal nor are their maintenance regimens/pre-flight-check regimens.

Kobe had an expensive helicopter and the money to maintain it, nor was he likely doing anything unnecessarily dangerous, so his accident is the equivalent of the biker who does everything right but still gets taken out by the idiot running the red light. That's ruling out sabotage of course, which is always a possibility where big money is concerned.
 
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