Kobe Bryant helicopter crash: Investigators say pilot violated federal regulations, possibly disoriented

On Tuesday, federal security investigators determined the probable cause of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people on January 26, 2020. The reason for this was that the pilot violated federal aviation standards. Ara Zobayan flew in thick fog and probably disoriented, leading to a fatal accident, said Robert Sumwalt, president of the National Road Safety Council, at a hearing to uncover the cause of the accident. According to him, Zobayan flew according to “visual flight rules”, meaning it was necessary to see where he was going during his flight.

Kobe, Gianna and other passengers traveled from Orange County to Ventura County for a youth basketball tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy when the helicopter collided with dense fog, making visibility difficult. The pilot tried to fly over the fog and cloud layer, and when he almost broke through, the plane suddenly crashed and crashed down into the Calabasas hills, killing everyone on board immediately.

In addition to investigating the cause of the accident, the panel is expected to make recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure that such accidents do not recur. One recommendation is to equip helicopters with a warning system that alerts the pilot if the aircraft crashes. The Kobe flying helicopter was not equipped with this system as it is only a requirement for air ambulances.

However, after Bryant’s death, many have voiced loudly that warning systems should be made mandatory for all aircraft carrying six or more passengers. Support was also given to lawmakers who supported the Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act, which would adopt new safety standards for helicopters.

Bryant’s death sparked shocks in the sports world, and even a year later, even though it did, many still find it difficult to cope with the death of a sports icon.