I’m back from Shot Show 2020 and beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada. It was another expansive show with exhibitors from all over the world, and NSSF has done an amazing job of growing the event year over year. Shot Show 2021 will be even bigger, NSSF will be expanding the exhibit into Caesars Forum which will add another 400,000 sq ft of floor space, but don’t quote me on the 400K it could be more. So, with such a level of success what should NSSF do to improve the attendee experience? Fire the schizophrenic in charge of booth numbering PLEASE!
Maybe the solution is to create clusters, for example knives, firearms, ammunition, optics, etc.
I’ve been back for almost a week but I feel like I need a therapist. Can you imagine sitting in front of a jackass who studied psychology so he or she could understand themselves and explaining Shot Show? Not me baby! Instead, I’ll opt for a good shoot the shit.
I was just getting off my flight when I heard that Kobe Bryant perished in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, CA. It was the following day when I found out his daughter had also perished along with 5 other passengers and the pilot. I can’t begin to tell you how sad I felt. Kobe was an amazing athlete and a great human being. What a tragic loss for sports and humanity. The media went into its usual sensationalism throwing comments around like the pilot was under a special VFR condition. So, I’d like to give you some background to help you understand some of the issues.
VFR (Visual Flight Rules) rules require that the pilot not takeoff unless the cloud ceiling is at least 1000 feet above ground level (AGL), ground visibility must be at least 3 statute miles. In flight, the pilot must be at least 500 feet below cloud cover or 1000 feet above cloud cover. The pilot also needs to maintain 2000 feet of horizontal distance from clouds. If those conditions can not be met you don’t even take off. When you fly VFR, you plot the flight on a map called a sectional chart and you identify checkpoints along the route to help you determine if you are on track, or to the right or left of track. You also check weather along the entirety of the route. If along the way you encounter weather, you either turn around or you request a special VFR clearance. You then ask to be vectored by approach control. Think of vectoring as someone telling you to turn left or right. This is what the pilot to control conversation would sound like
Approach control: Sikorsky S-76B maintain 3000 head 220
Sikorsky: approach, S-76B at 3000 heading 220
VFR operation requires that the pilot maintain constant ground reference, so operating under special VFR the pilot would quite likely not have a ground reference and probably did not have a clear understanding of his position and the surrounding terrain. Take a look at the Calabasas, CA topological map below. The pink is part of the city of Calabasas but the entire surrounding area is mountainous.
When the pilot asked to be tracked, control told him that he was too low. My guess is that he started to climb saw terrain in front of him and pulled up hard which put the rotor into an aerodynamic stall; detecting the stall, he drives the nose down crashing into the side of the mountain at a 2000 ft. per minute rate of descent. My understanding is that he was following the highway up to Calabasas. What the hell was this guy doing flying that craft? Unbelievable!
SIG SAUER’s Range Day:
This year I attended SIG SAUER’s Range Day, it was a great event conducted by very professional folks. I’ve put a short video together below…
I have to get caught up from Shot Show, but you all have a great weekend. If weather permits try to get some range time in. Be safe and spend some quality time with your buds and family. Schedule your own shoot the shit!