The National Transportation Safety Board revealed the likely cause of the deadly helicopter crash that took the lives of nine Southern California residents, including NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter on Tuesday.
The National Transportation Safety Board said poor visibility probably led pilot Ara Zobayan to become so disoriented in thick fog north of Los Angeles that he could not perceive up from down. The five board members also said Zobayan, who also died in the crash, ignored his training and violated federal regulations during the 40-minute flight.
Bryant’s widow blamed the pilot. She and families of other victims also faulted the companies that owned and operated the helicopter. The brother of the pilot didn’t blame Bryant but said he knew the risks of flying.
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Ara Zobayan radioed to air traffic controllers that he was climbing to 4,000 feet to get above clouds on Jan. 26 when, in fact, the helicopter was plunging toward a hillside where it crashed northwest of Los Angeles.
The coroner reports indicate all nine died of blunt trauma. There are no other causes of death listed, and all nine cases have been closed.