Kobe Bryant helicopter crash hearing to reveal cause of deadly plunge two weeks after anniversary
KOBE Bryant's helicopter crash hearing will reveal the cause of the deadly plunge two weeks after the tragedy's anniversary.
The chopper carrying NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others went down on January 26, 2020, in the California city of Calabasas.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced earlier this month that a hearing would be held on February 9, according to Reuters.
The upcoming hearing will determine the probable cause of the horrific helicopter crash that killed all nine on board, including pilot Ara Zobayan.
In June 2020, approximately five months after the fatal crash, federal investigators said pilot Zobayan was likely disoriented by fog.
Pilot Zobayan told air traffic controllers that the helicopter was climbing its way out of a cloud cover – even though, in reality, the helicopter was rapidly hurtling to the ground, federal investigators said.
The chopper ultimately crashed into a hillside.
According to the findings, which total approximately 1,700 pages, the NTSB wrote that pilots who cannot see their surrounding sky or landscape can suffer from "spatial disorientation."
"Without outside references or attention to the helicopters attitude display, the actual pitch and bank angles have the potential to be misperceived," the NTSB stated.
The exact cause of the crash has not yet been revealed, however, limited visibility was an important factor in the investigation, according to Reuters.
Vanessa Bryant, the wife of 18-time NBA all-star Bryant and mother of Gianna, sued the helicopter company, Island Express, in the wake of the crash, claiming that it was reckless to fly in such weather conditions.
All nine people aboard the helicopter were killed: Bryant and his daughter Gianna; Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, who was affiliated with Gianna's team; Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton; and Zobayan himself.
Gianna, Alyssa, and Payton were teammates on their way to a tournament.
Also in 2020, the NTSB ruled out "catastrophic mechanical failure" as a cause of the crash.
At the time of the ruling, evidence showed the helicopter had increased its speed, made a sharp left turn, and then began falling, even though Zobayan had just radioed that he was climbing to 4,000 feet in order to get above the dense cloud layer.
“Calculated apparent angles at this time show that the pilot could have misperceived both pitch and roll angles,” one report stated, according to The Associated Press.
Vanessa recently said she sometimes "doesn't feel like being alive" as the anniversary approaches of her husband's death.
In an Instagram Story posted to her 13.9million followers, the 38-year-old wrote: "Let me be real – Grief is a messed up cluster of emotions.
"One day you're in the moment laughing and the next day you don't feel like being alive.
"I want to say this for people struggling with grief and heartbreaking loss.
Find your reason to live. I know it's hard.
"I look at my daughters and I try to push through that feeling for them.
"Death is guaranteed but living the rest of the day isn't. Find your reason."
Bryant and Vanessa met in 1999 on the set of a music video while she was working as a model.
They became engaged after six months and got married in 2001.
Aside from Gianna, their daughters are Natalia, now 17, Bianka, now four, and Capri, now one.
Meanwhile, Vanessa shared heartwarming photos for her daughter Natalia's 18th birthday ahead of the one year anniversary of the tragic plane crash.
Bryant's public memorial service was held on February 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
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