The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven others did not have a recommended warning system to alert the pilot he was too close to land. While it did not have it on the helicopter, it is not immediately clear it would have averted the crash because the pilot may have lost control as the aircraft plunged into a fog-shrouded mountain, federal investigators said Tuesday.
The Terrain Awareness and Warning System would have sounded an alarm if the aircraft was in danger of crashing.
It has been said that Pilot Ara Zobayan had been climbing out of the clouds when the aircraft shifted left and began a sudden and terrifying 366-meter descent that lasted nearly a minute.
“This is a pretty steep descent at high speed,” said Jennifer Homendy of the National Transportation Safety Board. “We know that this was a high-energy impact crash.”
The National Transportation Safety Board also stated that the aircraft was intact when it hit the ground, but the impact sent debris flying more than 150 meters.
All nine victims of the wreck were recovered by Tuesday and as of Wednesday afternoon, Bryant, Zobayan and two other passengers have been identified using fingerprints.
The NTSB made a recommendation that helicopters be equipped with TAWS after a Sikorsky S-76A carrying workers to an offshore drilling ship crashed and killed all 10 people on board in 2004 in the Gulf of Mexico near Galveston, Texas.
Zobayan had flown the day before the crash on a route with the same departure and destination, but on Sunday, he had to divert because of heavy fog.