Kobe Bryant Autopsy Report Twitter Death – NTSB investigators are investigating the 2020 month of January. debris from the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant near Calabasas, California. James Anderson/AP File
A helicopter pilot’s “disorientation” played a key role in the crash that killed basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and several friends last year, federal authorities said Tuesday.
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The 41-year-old Los Angeles Lakers icon, 13-year-old Gianna Bryant and seven others died on January 26. in cloudy weather off the coast of Southern California when their Sikorsky S-76B helicopter crashed into a mountain in Calabasas. a world of wonders.
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Also killed in the crash were 13-year-old Peyton Chester; Sarah Chester, 45; Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Kerry Altobelli, 46; John Altobelli, 56; Christina Mouser, 38; and Ara Zobayan, 50.
Zobayan was the lead pilot of the Island Express helicopter and had 8,500 flight hours and nearly 10 years of experience flying the plane that crashed, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a hearing that described the probable cause of the crash. .
The pilot likely experienced an episode of “spatial disorientation,” which NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt described as “an intense, disorienting sensation that can confuse a pilot in visual flight and cause loss of visual communication, and training can be effective in combating this effect.”
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen these accidents before,” said board member Michael Graham. “The helicopters continued to fly VFR (visual flight rules) in meteorological conditions and unfortunately lost control of the aircraft due to spatial confusion.”
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While the Island Express helicopter isn’t mandated to use two pilots, Sumwalt says two sets of trained eyes can make a difference.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Sumwalt even reprimanded his own investigator, who rejected the two-pilot proposal, saying he had seen too many “spatial confusion” crashes with a pair of pilots at the controls.
“I wouldn’t agree with that,” said Sumwalt, who was a longtime US Airways pilot before joining the NTSB.
“I think two pilots will increase the level of safety. I’ve been flying with two pilots for a long time, and in an airline environment you get the redundancy so that if one pilot is struggling, the other pilot can sit and sit down. Say, ‘Wait a minute, you’re left.’” Leaning 30 degrees to the side and starting to descend.”
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When Zobayan encountered sea level that morning, the pilot appeared to have violated federal guidelines by flying into fog, the NTSB said.
The pilot had to avoid “inconvenient weather” and “divert, return to base or land by helicopter,” Graham said.
Zobayan is also believed to have been under “self-inflicted pressure” to complete the trip due to his longstanding relationship with Bryant.
Investigators said there was no evidence that Bryant or anyone else in the tour group pressured Zobayan to end the trip early that Sunday morning. USA TODAY Sports is marking the first anniversary of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others with a six-day series of stories, photos and videos looking at the Lakers legend and the aftermath of his death.
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When 2020 January 26 morning a helicopter crashed into a California mountain, killing Kobe Bryant and eight others on board, the initial reaction around the world was shock.
How did this seemingly routine trip to a youth basketball game end in tragedy? How did Bryant’s helicopter, which had been in use for years, suddenly crash?
Firefighters work at the scene of a helicopter crash in California that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others. Mark J. Terrill, The Associated Press.
Almost a year later, information about the accident – from the pilot’s experience, from the weather conditions, from the helicopter’s safety measures – is known. And the final decision on what caused the accident is just a few weeks away.
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The National Transportation Safety Board will issue its final report on the incident on Feb. 9, including a suspected cause and further safety recommendations.
Meanwhile, the board has released 1,852 pages of physical evidence gathered during the investigation, including interview transcripts, emails emails, text messages, photos, weather reports and videos from area cameras.
“Accident investigations are really like putting together a puzzle,” said Anthony Brickhouse, a former NTSB investigator who is now an associate professor of aviation safety at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
“(It’s) a really delicate process. It’s not something that happens overnight. It takes a lot of digging, a lot of research.”
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As investigators complete their final report, here’s what we know about the crash based on documents released by the NTSB so far.
On the morning of the accident at 8:39 a.m. pilot Ara Zobayan sent a text message to the small group coordinating Bryant’s trip, including his driver, a concierge and a helicopter company representative.
Thirty minutes later, the helicopter took off from the John Wayne-Orange County Airport to Camarilla, California, where the passengers would be taken to a youth basketball game in nearby Thousand Oaks. Bryant was joined on the flight by his 13-year-old daughter Gianna; John and Kerry Altobelli and their daughter, Alyssa; Sarah Chester and her daughter Peyton; and Christina Mouser, assistant coach.
The helicopter flew north for about 15 minutes before slowing and circling near Glendale to make way for air traffic at a nearby airport. It then flew 400 to 600 feet above the ground on a highway into the mountains near Calabasas.
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A few minutes later, a shift began at Southern California TRACON, which provides air traffic control services to regional airports. And the helicopter flew into an increasingly mountainous area where visibility was poor that morning.
When the new air traffic controller contacted Zobayan, the pilot reported that he was climbing above the clouds at 4,000 feet. Instead, the helicopter did not rise more than 1,600 feet above the ground and crashed into a hillside before leaving the shore and descending rapidly.
“This combination of low-level terrain and relatively high altitude, (it’s) a common and really deadly combination,” said Jack Kress, a former U.S. Marine helicopter pilot who is now with the Department of Aviation Safety and Security. Program at the University of Southern California. trainer
During and after his NBA career, Bryant regularly traveled by helicopter to avoid heavy Los Angeles traffic. He flies regularly with Island Express Helicopters with 13 trips in 2019.
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In fact, the helicopter that crashed, a Sikorsky S-76B, is the same machine that carried Bryant to his last game against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2016.
Kress said the Sikorsky S-76 is generally well-regarded among pilots and has a strong safety record over decades. He noted that it had been Queen Elizabeth II’s “helicopter of choice” since 2009.
A Sikorsky S-76B helicopter is shown, the model that crashed in 2020. On January 26, Kobe Bryant and others were killed. Matt Hartman, AP
“They don’t just fall out of the sky,” pilot Kurt Dietz, who previously flew in the same helicopter with Bryant, told CNN last year.
As part of its investigation, the NTSB examined the helicopter itself, including maintenance records and physical evidence found at the crash site. A preliminary report last year said the engines were found near the wreckage and “showed no signs of uncontrolled or catastrophic internal failure.”
“I didn’t see anything in the data that I reviewed to suggest that there was anything physically wrong with the helicopter that could have caused the crash,” said Brickhouse, who reviewed the NTSB’s public crash document.
However, the helicopter was missing two important components. It did not have a flight recorder, known as a “black box,” which could have provided additional data to investigators. It also lacked the Terrain Awareness and Warning System, known as TAWS, which notifies pilots when they are getting dangerously close to the ground.
A witness told the NTSB that he was about to meet a friend for a hike at a nearby trailhead when he saw the helicopter disappear into the clouds that covered the treetops.
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Another witness contacted the investigators and informed that in the area near the disaster “there was probably fog coming from the coast”.
“We could hear the helicopter flying normally, but we couldn’t really see it because it was very foggy and low cloud,” a third witness said in an email. “I was wondering (sic) why the helicopter was flying so low in such bad weather.
The weather on the morning of the crash became an important element of the NTSB’s investigation. His meteorological report spans 394 pages and includes satellite images, surface observations, photographs, maps and various other information.
To measure visibility at the time of the crash, the researchers even compared camera footage from the area behind home plate at three youth baseball fields.
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“The combination of low strata and relatively high-growing terrain (is) a common and, frankly, deadly combination.”
The weather was also a topic of conversation with Bryant’s travel coordination team before takeoff. Pilot Jobayan inquired about it in a text message at night
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