Kobe Bryant — Helicopter Didn’t Suffer Engine Failure Before Crash

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant — Helicopter Didn’t Suffer Engine Failure Before Crash

Engine failure has been ruled out as the cause of the fatal helicopter crash that killed NBA great Kobe Bryant and eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant.

The cause of the crash is still a mystery, but investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board now know that it wasn’t an engine failure, according to NPR. 

Officials looking into the helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76, determined that the rotors were on and operating properly at the moment the vehicle crashed in Calabasas, Calif. on Jan. 26. Sadly, there were no survivors.

A report from the NTSB  reads,

“Viewable sections of the engines showed no evidence of an uncontained or catastrophic internal failure.”

The helicopter left John Wayne Airport and headed north to a youth basketball tournament. Unfortunately, the weather took a turn for the worst shortly after takeoff.

The pilot, Ara Zobayan, requested a “special VFR clearance” from flight controllers, so he could keep flying in the weather conditions.

Ara Zobayan

New information from the report says that Island Express Helicopters could only fly under certain visual flight rules (VFR). Ara Zoboyan had permission to fly in the clouds with a guiding tool but couldn’t because of the Island Express Helicopters regulations.

Zoboyan had completed training in May where he

“received satisfactory grades for these maneuvers.”

Snapshots from bystanders confirm the weather was extremely foggy. The report also confirms reports that the pilot headed for the clouds and could no longer steer the aircraft properly.

It could take a year for the investigation to be complete.

Continued prayers for everyone impacted by this tragedy.


Authored by: Char Patterson