Speed Reads

Kobe Bryant Crash

Pilot of Kobe Bryant's helicopter likely violated federal standards before crash, U.S. safety investigators determine

In a Tuesday hearing, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board said that Ara Zobayan, the pilot of Kobe Bryant's helicopter, likely violated federal aviation standards before the aircraft crashed into a Southern California hillside in January 2020, killing all nine people on board, including Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

Per The Associated Press, Robert Sumwalt, chair of the NTSB, said during the hearing that Zobayan was flying under visual flight rules, which meant he needed to be able to see where he was going. The helicopter was flying through heavy clouds before the crash, likely resulting in Zobayan becoming disoriented.

Bryant's widow, Vanessa, has sued both Zobayan's estate and the companies that owned and operated the helicopter for alleged negligence.

The NTSB will next likely make nonbinding recommendations to agencies like the Federal Aviation Administration or the Coast Guard to prevent future crashes, AP reports. Some experts have speculated the incident could lead to the requirement of Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems, which signal when aircraft are in danger of crashing, on board helicopters. Bryant's helicopter was not equipped with the system. Read more at The Associated Press.