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Kobe Bryant’s helicopter pilot violated federal standards by flying through clouds

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It has just been a year since global sports fraternity was horrified by the tragic death of Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers icon, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gigi, lost their lives in a helicopter crash, but latest investigations reveals there’s more to the story.

Around 10 am in the morning of 26th January 2020, a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter carrying Kobe, Gigi and seven other passengers had crashed in the hills of Calabasas. The chopper had caught fire immediately, with no one able to escape.

The announcement of the cause of the crash was done after a hearing held by federal safety officials on Tuesday.

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ALSO READ: Remembering Kobe, a year after the NBA legend left this world

The pilot of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter failed to climb through the dense fog and crashed into the hills

Kobe
26th January marks one of the darkest day in global sports with the sad passing of Kobe and Gigi last year. (Image Courtesy: USA TODAY)

While the world still mourns Kobe and his little girl’s passing to this day, there has been a new twist in the tale, as the latest claims suggest that the pilot, Ara Zobayan, had violated flying standards and as a result was disoriented just before the crash as the heli crashed onto the hill.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chairman Robert Sumwalt asserted that Zobayan was flying through the thick fog that surrounded the Southern California hills. While Zobayan almost made it through the climb and into favorable weather conditions, the helicopter suddenly banked and went straight into the hills down below, killing everyone on board.

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Although the chopper did not have any “black box” recording devices, the NTSB confirmed that there were no mechanical failure. However, it also did not carry any Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems, which is compulsory to avert dangerous conditions.

While Vanessa Bryant and the relatives of those that died in the crash accused the pilot and the helicopter companies for the crash, the companies had claimed that the occurrence of foggy weather was an ‘act of God’.

“I think the whole world is watching because it’s Kobe,” Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University professor and aircraft safety science expert Ed Coleman said regarding the matter at hand.

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