PILOT IN KOBE’S HELICOPTER MIGHT HAVE BEEN DISORIENTED — NTSB reports

PILOT IN KOBE’S HELICOPTER MIGHT HAVE BEEN DISORIENTED — NTSB reports

It’s been nearly five months. Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi, and seven others were tragically killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, CA, leaving the whole world in shock. It’s one of those things you’ll always have a hard time dealing with, and it still seems surreal to an extent.

Over the months, new pieces of accident-related information have been surfacing. But the thing we were all waiting for is to find out what caused the tragedy. It’s not about pointing fingers, but only about finding out the truth. 

Given the weather conditions the accident happened in, most people assumed that the crash was a cause of human error. Things said by witnesses pointed to the same conclusion, but we were still waiting for the official confirmation. 

It turns out we are very close to finding out what happened on that fatal Sunday morning. The National Transportation Safety Board issued a 1,700 pages report, shedding light on the tragedy, but not offering a conclusion of what caused the crash. It’s a compilation of factual reports, as the final report on the cause is due later.

The information that stands out the most is relating to the pilot, Ara Zobayan. The document states that the pilot of the helicopter reported the aircraft was ascending when it was heading for the ground. Autopsies released last month showed Zobayan did not have drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the crash. It seems that the only reason for his misperception was the fog.

“Calculated apparent angles at this time show that the pilot could have misperceived both pitch and roll angles. During the final descent, the pilot, responding to (air traffic control), stated that they were climbing to four thousand.”

NTSB report

The NTBS also states there were no signs of engine failure in the helicopter, and that the rotor was spinning just before it made contact with the ground, at the speed of 184 mph (296kph). The impact caused the crater and scattered debris over the size of a football field, and the fire engulfed the wreck. What is a little comforting in the whole situation, if that’s even the right word for it, is that all victims died instantly due to blunt force trauma. 

It’s the first official piece of information that points to the thing we were all thinking of – the cause of the crash is a human error induced by weather conditions. We are still waiting for a final report that will hopefully clear the air on the whole thing and offer some sort of closure on the tragic event that took place on January 26th and shocked the entire world.