On Sunday, Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were traveling by helicopter to a basketball game, when it crashed in Calabasas, California. The group were going to a youth basketball game at Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, CA.
It’s been confirmed that the other victims were Bryant’s daughter, Gianna Bryant, Sarah Chester, her daughter, Payton, John Altobelli, Kerri Altobelli, their daughter, Alyssa Altobelli, and Christina Mauser, who was an assistant girls’ basketball coach for a private school. The pilot, Ara Zobayan, also passed away.
So many people are devastated by this terrible loss of lives. Kobe was a true hero to many people. He was such an inspiration! We mourn those poor souls and send our condolences to their families.
We might want to analyze why and how this happened:
- The helicopter was not equipped with a Terrain Awareness Warning System. This could have alerted the pilot that he was flying too close to the mountain.
- There was crash of the Sikorsky S-76 in Galveston, Texas, in 2004, that killed 10 people. This crash prompted the FAA to recommend to “all existing and new U.S. registered turbine-powered roto-craft certified for six or more passenger seats be equipped with a Terrain Awareness Warning System.” However, this FAA regulation was not mandated.
- It was densely foggy out. During the flight, the pilot radioed the air traffic tower at Burbank Airport, to request permission to fly under special visual flight rules.
- Some experts raised questions as to whether the helicopter should have even been flying. Weather conditions on Sunday morning caused the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to ground its fleet of choppers.
- It was ruled to be a high-impact crash. The helicopter hit the mountain at about 1,085 feet. They know this because someone in the surrounding neighborhood turned in an audio of the helicopter, as it made a rapid descent and crashed into the mountainside.
- There was no “black box” in the helicopter and the investigation could be hindered by that.
- Part of the investigation will be evaluating the pilot’s judgment about flying in foggy conditions.
- The pilot asked for air traffic controllers to provide “flight following” assistance, but was told the craft was too low.
- In his final message, the pilot told air traffic controllers that he was climbing to avoid a layer of cloud. The last radar contact was about 9:45 am.
- Aviation experts say the accident might have been caused by the pilot becoming disoriented in the fog.
- A crash doesn’t just happen. There has to be a cause.
Investigations are ongoing. Those are the facts that they’ll need to analyze.
Will the families of the Kobe Bryant plane crash sue for Wrongful Death? We shall see. Are they eligible to file a claim? If one of them were a member of my family – I would file a claim in their memory.