It has been over a year since the tragic helicopter crash that took Kobe Bryant’s life. The crash also killed his daughter and seven other people aboard the aircraft. Earlier today, investigators released further information about the pilot and the conditions surrounding the fatal crash.
The information came out during a probable cause hearing earlier today. According to the Associated Press, the hearing was full of finger-pointing. Kobe Bryant’s widow blames the pilot and helicopter companies for the crash. At the same time, the companies blame air traffic controllers. It seems that no one wants to accept the blame for this tragic accident.
However, investigators pointed out some things about Kobe Bryant’s pilot. Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board said that the pilot went against regulations. The pilot, Ara Zobayan, was flying under visual flight rules, which meant that he had to be able to see where he was going. However, he flew directly into the clouds. This was a violation of federal standards. Zobayan then tried to fly above the clouds. Investigators say he probably became disoriented at this point. This disorientation led to the helicopter crash that instantly killed Kobe Bryant and everyone else aboard the chopper.
Investigators also said that pilot error was likely to blame. Instead of climbing straight up over the clouds, Kobe Bryant’s pilot banked to the left. He was unable to see the terrain below him. So, when he banked he put his passengers at risk.
Details May Assist in Kobe Bryant’s Widow’s Lawsuit
Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, sued the company that operates the helicopters as well as their parent company. In her suit, she alleged that the companies did not properly train Ara Zobayan. She says if he had been properly trained he would have aborted the flight. Instead, he tried to fly through poor conditions which resulted in the tragedy. These findings may add to the validity of her claims.