- Security Investigators Revealed Possible Cause Of Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash That Killed His
- The authorities indicated that the accident could be caused by “spatial disorientation” of the pilot
- The helicopter did not have the so-called “black box” recording devices as they were not necessary in this class of aircraft.
The helicopter crash that killed sportsman Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others was likely caused by the pilot’s “spatial disorientation,” LA officials said Tuesday. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB in English).
US security investigators said the pilot of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter flew through the clouds last year in an apparent violation of federal standards and likely became disoriented just before the helicopter crashed, The Associated Press reported.
Robert Sumwalt, president of the NTSB, said Tuesday that pilot Ara Zobayan was flying under visual flight rules, which means he needed to be able to see where he was going.
Zobayan piloted the aircraft into a steep climb and had nearly pierced the clouds when the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter tipped steeply and plunged into the hills of Southern California, killing everyone on board.
The helicopter did not have so-called “black box” recording devices because they were not needed.
The disclosure during a hearing to announce probable cause or causes of the accident followed many accusations.
Vanessa, Bryant’s widow, blamed the pilot. She and the relatives of the other victims also blamed the companies that owned and operated the helicopter.
The pilot’s brother did not blame Bryant, but said he knew the risks of flying.
Helicopter companies said the fog before the helicopter hit the ground was an act of God and blamed air traffic controllers.
The federal hearing focused on the long-awaited probable cause or causes of the tragedy that sparked pain around the world for the retired basketball star, initiated several lawsuits, and pushed through state and federal legislation.
“I think the whole world is watching because it’s Kobe,” said Ed Coleman, a professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and an expert in aviation safety sciences.
Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other passengers were flying from Orange County to a youth basketball tournament at their Mamba Sports Academy in Ventura County on January 26, 2020, when the helicopter encountered thick fog in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles.
The NTSB had previously said that there were no signs of mechanical failure and that the crash was believed to have been an accident.
The NTSB is an independent federal agency that investigates transportation-related crashes, however, it does not have enforcement powers.
The NTSB offers safety recommendations to other agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration or the Coast Guard after major accidents occur.
A possible recommendation after the investigation into the accident that killed Bryant could be that helicopters have ground alert and alert systems, devices that signal when aircraft are in danger of crashing.
The helicopter Bryant was flying in did not have the system, which the NTSB has recommended as mandatory for helicopters. The FAA requires it only for air ambulances.
Federal lawmakers have sponsored the Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act to require the devices on all helicopters carrying six or more passengers.
Former NTSB president James Hall said he expects the FAA to require the systems as a result of the accident.
Filed Under: Kobe Bryant Cause Accident
“Historically, it has taken high-profile tragedies to move the regulatory needle forward,” he said.
The devices, known as TAWS, cost more than $ 35,000 per helicopter and require training and maintenance.
Helicopter Association International, which represents the helicopter industry, advised against what it called a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
President and CEO James Viola said in a statement that requiring specific equipment for the entire industry would be “ineffective” and “potentially dangerous.”
Although Zobayan was flying at a low altitude in a mountainous area, the warning system may not have prevented the accident, Coleman said.
The rough terrain could have triggered the alarm by “ringing constantly” and distracting the pilot or prompting him to lower the alarm volume or ignore it, said safety science professor Embry-Riddle.
Federal investigators said Zobayan, a seasoned pilot who often flew in Bryant, may have “misperceived” the angles at which he was descending and leaning, which can occur when pilots become disoriented in poor visibility, according to US documents. NTSB.
Filed Under: Kobe Bryant Cause Accident
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