Text messages have been released that show Kobe Bryant’s pilot was warned of the weather conditions and became disoriented in the fog.
What We Know:
- Aya Zobayan was the pilot of the flight that killed nine people including Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna Bryant. The incident occurred the morning of January 26 while on their way to a basketball game. After the plane didn’t land within an hour, an executive of the company that operated the plane began a search for the aircraft using a tracking software and had another chopper join the search.
- Text records show the pilot, Ara Zobayan told the flight coordinator of the weather conditions the day before the flight. He said, “Just checked not the best day tomorrow but not as bad as it is today.” The morning of the flight, Zobayan said the morning weather was okay. As Zobayan was getting closer to Burbank, the weather and fog worsened. Zobayan told the radar controllers that he was going to “start our climb to go about the … layers”. He was actually descending 17 seconds before the end of the data. Documents say Zobayan could have misperceived both pitch and roll angles.
NTSB Opens Public Docket, Wednesday, June 17, 2020, for Investigation of Calabasas, California, Helicopter Crash; https://t.co/AzpvA6e4lN pic.twitter.com/njCCAWelkb
— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) June 17, 2020
- Vice President of Island Express Helicopters says, “The weird thing, though, is that the tracker had stopped at 9:45am, which is not normal, and we were trying to reach Ara over the radio. I kept refreshing the tracker praying that it was just broken.” The National Transportation Safety Board said there was no sign of mechanical failure.
Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant’s wife is suing the helicopter rental company, Island Express and the owner of the vehicle for negligence.