Kobe Bryant — Pilot In Helicopter Crash Violated FAA Rules In 2015, Underwent Counseling & ‘Admitted His Error’
More is coming out about the pilot who was operating the helicopter that crashed, killing all nine passengers including Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and the pilot Ara Zobayan.
While the investigation in the Jan. 26 tragedy is still pending, a previous incident that involved Ara Zobayan has made headlines.
According to reports, Ara Zobayan was flying an AS350 helicopter in May 2015 and broke the rules after he proceeded without clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Zoboyan reportedly believed he would get the okay to travel through the airspace near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), but didn’t receive it because the weather made it more difficult to see. Still, the Zoboyan was cited after he went into the restricted space without permission. A report detailed that if he
“properly planned and reviewed current weather at LAX, he would have been able to anticipate the required action to transit…Proper coordination should have included an earlier initiation of communication to allow time for receiving a clearance.”
He later had counseling and
“admitted his error, took responsibility for his action, and was willing to take any other necessary steps toward compliance…”
The report also said he was
“cooperative and receptive to the counseling.”
As for the Jan. 26, 2020 incident, foggy conditions are said to have hindered Zoboyan’s visibility, causing the helicopter to crash near Calabasas, Calif. The passengers were heading to a travel basketball game.
Kobe Bryant previously said he relied on helicopters for transportation to. be able to spend more time with his family. He and his wife Vanessa Bryant shared four daughters: Capri Kobe Bryant (who was born last summer), Bianka Bryant, 3, Gianna Bryant, 13 and Natalia Bryant, 17.
Kobe Bryant said,
“…After-school activities and all that fun stuff, even on weekends. But then traffic started getting really, really bad, right? I was sitting in traffic and I wind up missing a school play because I was sitting in traffic. I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft, but still not compromise family time. And so that’s when I looked into helicopters… And to be able to get down and back in 15 minutes, and that’s when it started.”
“My routine was always the same. Weights early in the morning, kids to school, fly down, practice like crazy, do my extra work, media, everything I needed to do, fly back, get back in the carpool line and pick the kids up.”
“My wife was like ‘Listen, I can pick them up.’ I’m like ‘No, no, no. I wanna do that because you have road trips and times you don’t see your kids. So every chance I get to see them and spend time with them, even if it was 20 minutes in the car, I want that.”
A public memorial service for Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant will be held at L.A.’s Staple Center Monday (Feb. 24).
The father/daughter duo was laid to rest in a private ceremony earlier this month.
Continued prayers for all of the victims’ families, friends and loved ones!