It’s been more than two weeks since the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and eight others on that fateful day of January 26th and it is still unbelievable now as it was then.
On Monday, Inside Edition released footage that shows the Sikorsky S-76B that crashed in Calabasas, California taking off from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA. Just before 10 a.m. PST that morning, that helicopter would lose control and slam head on into a hillside near Calabasas, CA, killing everyone on board.
The National Transportation Safety Board released an update on their investigation, stating the helicopter did not suffer engine failure and that it was just 100 feet away from clearing cloud level.
Pilot Ara Zobayan could be heard telling air traffic controllers he was bringing the aircraft to an elevation of 4,000 feet above sea level. He would only reach 2,300 feet, and instead of continuing to go up, the helicopter would drop at a high rate of speed.
“If you exit the bottom of the clouds at 4,000 feet per minute at that high speed, you’ve certainly lost control of the aircraft,” said Kipp Lau, an air safety consultant, to The Associated Press. He added that the helicopter could have escaped the clouds in another 12 seconds given Zobayan’s approximated speed.
“Once you break out of the clouds, it’s clear. Everything lines up with the body. Now you have a real horizon.”
On that flight with Kobe was his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, as well as John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and Payton Chester.