Helicopter flying Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna, was 20 to 30 feet from clearing hilltop before crash, NTSB says
The National Transportation Safety Board released new details Tuesday about the crash that ended the Los Angeles Lakers star’s life.
The National Transportation Safety Board announced Tuesday that the helicopter carrying the late Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others crashed into a hillside with “high energy impact,” CNN reports.
What happened: Federal investigators said the helicopter descended quickly. It was likely all in one piece before it slammed into the hill.
- NTSB’s Jennifer Homendy told CNN: “The descent rate for the helicopter was over 2,000 feet a minute, so we know that this was a high energy impact crash. This is a pretty steep descent at high speed. So it wouldn’t be a normal landing speed.”
- The crash reportedly happened at 1,085 feet above sea level.
- The helicopter missed “the top of the hill by 20 to 30 feet,” according to CNN.
- Homendy said a preliminary report will likely come out in 10 days. A final report will take 12 to 18 months.
Details: The NTSB released details Tuesday about the final transmission from the helicopter, which included the pilot asking for permission to fly. As I wrote for the Deseret News, the pilot reportedly told traffic control he planned to fly higher into foggy clouds. The helicopter made a descending left turn. No other transmission was received from the pilot.
Context: Robert Ditchey, who is a veteran airplane pilot, told USA Today that the helicopter amid dangerous conditions.
- Ditchey: “The weather is not good enough for the police to fly. Why should Kobe do it?’’