CALIFORNIA helicopter crash involving Kobe Bryant and eight others on Sunday has been reported to have been caused by poor weather condition.
The 12-seater Sikorsky S-76B helicopter was ferrying passengers from Orange County, Los Angeles to Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game when it crashed into a mountainside in Calabasas
The helicopter was piloted by Ara Zobayan 50, carrying Kobe Bryant 41 and other victims including his daughter Gianna 13, who was his second daughter and had shared in her father’s passion for basketball.
Alyssa Altobelli, Gianna’s teammate, and her parents John and Keri Altobelli were involved in the accident.
Christiana Mauser 38, was a basketball coach at Mamba Sports Academy, where Gianna played for the Lady Mambas Team.
Mother and daughter Sarah and Peyton Chester were the final two victims on board the aircraft.
As at the time of the incident the Los Angeles police and sheriff department had grounded their choppers because visibility and the weather condition was not suitable for flying.
Just before the crash the pilot of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter was warned he was “too low” moments before the tragic crash.
In a distressing audio footage provided by the mirror, reveals an attempt by the air traffic control and the pilot to guide the helicopter before fatally losing contact.
According to the independent report, the exact cause of the crash is still unknown.
‘’The precise cause of the deadly crash is still not known, but experts have suggested the poor visibility is more likely to be behind the sudden descent than mechanical error.’’
The report further stated that due to the rugged terrain of the crash site, it has been complicating trying to recover the bodies of the victims.
However, according to Data collected by the Independent from Flightradar24, an internet flight tracking service, showed the helicopter was travelling at 184mph and descending at more than 1,200m a minute when it crashed into the ground, killing everyone on board.
According to eye witnesses in Calabasas, who said the weather was foggy and visibility was difficult as the they could the sound of the helicopter but could not see it.
“It was very foggy so we couldn’t see anything,” Colin Storm, a local, said. “But then we heard some sputtering and then a boom.” Once the mist had cleared slightly he said he could see smoke rising from a hillside nearby.
Kurt Deetz Kobe’s former pilot explained the tragedy was likely the result of bad weather rather than a technical fault, adding that when he heard the news his “heart sank
At a press session with the National Transportation Safety Board, says among the aspects it was investigating were the pilot’s history, the maintenance records of the helicopter, and the records of its owner.