The pilot violated the rules of flight by flying into the clouds where he became disoriented and lost control of the helicopter, the National Transportation Safety Board said

The helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight other people in Southern California last year was most likely caused by the pilot’s decision to fly in clouds in violation of federal regulations, blind him to those around him, and take control about losing the helicopter when he became disoriented, investigators said on Tuesday

Mr Bryant, the retired Los Angeles Lakers basketball star, was born on Jan. Killed January 26, 2020 when the helicopter burst onto a mist-shrouded hill near Calabasas, California, flames erupted everyone on board died, including the pilot Mr. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna, two teenagers who were on her basketball team, some of the children’s parents, and an assistant coach

The National Transportation Safety Board released 13 results Tuesday after a year-long investigation, concluding that pilot Ara Zobayan became disoriented and made a “bad decision” to fly at excessive speed in inclement weather, Mr. Zobayans Decisions were likely influenced by his “self-induced pressure” to complete the trip, according to the board, who also objected to a lack of scrutiny and oversight by its charter company Island Express Helicopters

Robert L. Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said Mr. Zobayan was working under rules that prohibited him from flying in the clouds, but he still tried to “hit” the clouds after encountering poor visibility Mr. Zobayan became so disoriented that investigators found that when he indicated to air traffic controllers that he was attempting to climb, he actually turned left and began a rapid descent

The close relationship between Mr. Bryant and Mr. Zobayan, who had flown the basketball star and his kids many times, may have made the pilot more eager to end the flight, investigators said, but they found no evidence that Mr. Bryant, the charter company, or someone else had forced Mr. Zobayan to be a skilled pilot who would not be pressured to fly dangerous routes, colleagues have said.Nevertheless, investigators found that he was in the minutes and hours before the crash had made several mistakes

“This weather did not sneak up on the pilot,” Bill English, the lead investigator on the case, told board members, noting that the pilot had the “very easy alternative” of deciding the weather to was bad to go ahead and landing at an airport just minutes away

Once disoriented, the pilot apparently did not refer to his instruments, did not understand them or did not trust them, the investigators said. The helicopter did not have a “black box” that recorded data, images and audio data from the cockpit and that Investigation could and did not have to help

The five members of the safety committee spent several hours at the livestream meeting asking questions to investigators who had spent the past year inspecting the wrecked helicopter, interviewing members of the charter company, and thinking about what will stop future fatal accidents The board said there were 184 fatal aircraft accidents involving a disoriented pilot between 2010 and 2019, including 20 helicopter crashes
Board members recommended Island Express to install flight data monitoring equipment in its helicopters, saying that a panel of experts should be convened to evaluate simulation equipment that can be used to train pilots about spatial disorientation.The agency also reiterated several recommendations it had previously addressed to the Federal Aviation Administration, which had not been implemented

The National Transportation Safety Board said shortly after the crash that there was no clear indication of significant engine damage, suggesting the theory that Mr. Zobayan was disoriented in the thick fog. He had texted the night before the crash that the prognosis seemed “not the best”, but after he woke up that morning he wrote that it looked “okay”, as the agency announced last summer

Mr Zobayan had requested special permission to fly through areas of limited visibility. He was a widely recognized pilot who had more than 1Had spent 200 hours in the S-76 helicopter and was certified to fly its instruments in low visibility conditions, however, the certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration to Island Express Helicopters only allowed their pilots to fly visually, meaning they had at least one Have half a mile visibility during the day and need to see the ground

Seconds before his crash, according to the preliminary report from the Safety Committee, Mr. Zobayan told an air traffic controller that he tried to get on 4Climbing 000 feet to get above the clouds, but the helicopter actually fell. The helicopter crashed at 9:45 am, approximately 39 minutes after taking off from John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana

Mr Bryant, who won five NBONE championships and two Olympic gold medals have enjoyed training Gianna in recent years, who went from Gigi and the second oldest from Mr. Bryant’s four daughters with his wife Vanessa their helicopter flew to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, northwest of Los Angeles, which was with Mr. Bryant’s nickname when he worked with the academy in 2018 Gianna’s team, the Mr. Bryant was helping out with the training and was scheduled to compete in a basketball tournament called the Mamba Cup that day

Kobe Bryant

World news – USA – Investigators error pilot in the crash of Kobe Bryant because of flying in clouds

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/09/us/kobe-helicopter-crash-investigation.html