Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant died on Sunday morning traveling his way on the helicopter as it crashed upon the foggy condition at the hills of Calabasas, California that burst into flames. The professional basketball player and his 13-year old daughter, Gianna Bryant, were also on board on their way to a youth basketball academy where he coaches her team. Seven other individuals were part of the helicopter crash.
Experts have assumed that the cause of the chopper crashing to the hillside was due to bad weather conditions rather than mechanical issues.
LA Police Department spokesperson Josh Rubenstein stated that the department’s Air Support Division had decided to maintain their helicopters grounded until Sunday afternoon because of the fog.
“The weather situation did not meet our minimum standards for flying,” he said.
“LA Police Department flight minimum of requirement are 2 miles of visibility with an 800-foot cloud ceiling, he department typically flies two helicopters when conditions allow, one in the San Fernando Valley and one in the L.A. Basin.” he said.
However, a different take was called by Jennifer Homendy, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board stating, “We take a broad look at everything around an investigation, around an accident, we look at man, machine and the environment, and weather is just a small portion of that.”
Before the crash occurred, the pilot mentioned that he was aiming to fly higher to avoid a cloud layer. NTSB said there was no response from the pilot after controllers asked for more information as they responded that the helicopter was “too low level for flight following at this time” wherein the pilot had asked for “flight following”. The radar had able to read that it went above up to 2,300 feet and thus began to descend turning left.
The pilot that controlled the helicopter carrying nine passengers including basketball player Kobe Bryant was given Special Visual Flight Rules clearance to fly that morning around Burbank despite the foggy weather.
Either given the approval for the pilot to proceed in its flight, it’s the sole responsibility of the pilot in making the right decision despite the circumstance of the weather, making him the center of the whole investigation upon the crash.
“A pilot is responsible for determining whether it is safe to fly in current and expected conditions, and a pilot is also responsible for determining flight visibility,” as said by an official on the investigation.
Other passengers were identified, the pilot; Ara Zobayan, Sarah Chester and Payton Chester; mother and daughter from Orange County, Christina Mauser; basketball coach worked with Gianna Bryant, and baseball coach John Altobelli together with his wife and daughter Keri and Alyssa were also in the helicopter.