The federal investigation of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others began to unfold on Monday, with experts questioning why the pilot flew in foggy conditions and the chopper’s maintenance history.
The 41-year-old NBA legend died in a helicopter crash under foggy conditions in Calabasas, California. Visibility was so low Sunday morning that Los Angeles police had grounded its helicopters, spokesman Josh Rubenstein said. The helicopter crashed into a hillside, killing all nine people on board — including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. The official cause of the crash has not been determined.
Sunday morning visibility was so poor that both the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office and Police Department grounded their choppers. It’s unclear if weather played a role in the crash.T he helicopter took off from John Wayne Airport at 9:06 a.m. Sunday, visibility on the ground was only about 3 or 4 miles and the lowest overcast cloud layer was only 1,000 to 1,500 feet above ground level, according to weather.com meteorologist Brian Donegan.
The sheriff’s department also grounded helicopters on Sunday morning, “basically because of the weather,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said, according to the Times.
Findings by investigators could become relevant evidence in potential litigation relating to the crash. To that point, while feelings of shock, grief and remembrance are rightfully the focus at this time, a desire to understand why the crash occurred—and whether anyone broke the law—will increasingly attract attention in the days and weeks ahead. A crash doesn’t happen without a reason or reasons.