Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Kobe Bryant Crash Update: No Engine Failure According to Initial NTSB Report

Kobe helicopter crash scene (ntsb)
Carol Hogan, left, and Adam Huray, investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board, examine wreckage on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, at the site of the helicopter crash that killed former NBA star player Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people on Sunday near Calabasas, California. James Anderson / National Transportation Safety Board

UPdate …

*Wreckage from the helicopter that crashed last month and killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others did not show any evidence of outward engine failure, the National Transportation Safety Board/NTSB said Friday.

The NTSB is investigating the accident, including any role heavy fog played, and a final report isn’t expected for at least a year.

The helicopter’s instrument panel was destroyed in the crash and most of the devices were displaced, according to the NTSB’s investigative update that was released Friday. The flight controls were broken and suffered fire damage.

Investigators believe that since a tree branch at the crash site was cut, it appears the engines were working and rotors turning at the time of impact.

Earlier we reported

*The National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report on the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven other people is soon due for release and it comes a week after the tragedy.

“The typical time frame is about 10 business days for the preliminary to be posted to the NTSB website,” the NTSB said in a statement.

NTSB investigator Jennifer Homendy noted that the report will include “facts only” and not a final determination into the cause of the crash, per USA Today

Further details about the crash may not come until the final report, which could take over a year to release, she said.

In the meantime, federal investigators are trying to unravel the mystery surrounding the crash. 

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What we know so far is, according to officials, the chopper slammed into a hillside amid extreme foggy conditions after departing the John Wayne Airport in Orange County at 9:06 a.m. on Jan. 26.

As reported by msn.com, “even if the pilot had been able to fly above the hilltop, he would have faced new hazards, officials said,” the outlet writes.

“There are actually other higher hills surrounding it,” said Bill English, a lead investigator.

Bryant and his group were in route to a basketball tournament at his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks. He was scheduled to coach his 13-year-old daughter Gianna’s team in a game.

Accompanying the Bryants were players, parents and coaches; John Altobelli, 56, baseball coach at Orange Coast College; his wife, Keri, 46; their daughter Alyssa, 13; Christina Mauser, 38, an assistant basketball coach at the Mamba Sports Academy; Sarah Chester, 45; her daughter Payton, 13.

To better understand the flight, the Los Angeles Times “used commercial aircraft tracking data from Flightradar24.com to reconstruct the helicopter’s perilous plummet,” according to the publication. 

“We know that this was a high-energy impact crash, and the helicopter was in a descending left bank,” Homendy said.

Here’s more from msn.com:

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW

— Officials have not indicated any cause for the crash itself. Investigators said last week they were examining possibilities that included weather, mechanical issues and pilot actions.

— It appears the pilot had lost contact with air traffic control at the very end, according to radio recordings reviewed by The Times, but it’s unclear why.

— Though the last moments of the flight are captured on flight trackers, the reason the pilot made the fateful series of moves is unclear.

— The NTSB has said the chopper was not equipped with a terrain alarm system that could have warned the pilot he was approaching a hillside. 

Read more here.

 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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