The newly retired Los Angeles Lakers superstar to be 41 once he was eliminated a little more than one year ago.

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NTSB investigators research wreckage the the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, near Calabasas, Calif., in January 2020.James Anderson / AP file
A helicopter pilot"s "spatial disorientation" played a vital role in the crash that killed basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and several friends last year, commonwealth authorities stated Tuesday.

The 41-year-old Los Angeles Lakers icon, Gianna Bryant, 13, and seven others passed away on a cloudy Jan. 26 morning close to the southern California coastline when your Sikorsky S-76B helicopter slammed into a hillside in Calabasas, stunning the sports and basketball worlds.

The crash also killed Payton Chester, 13; buy it Chester, 45; Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Keri Altobelli, 46; john Altobelli, 56; Christina Mauser, 38; and also Ara Zobayan, 50.

Zobayan to be the cook pilot for Island to express Helicopters and also had 8,500 hours of trip experience and had around 10 years endure of paris in the area wherein the craft crashed, the nationwide Transportation security Board said throughout a hear outlining the likely reason of the crash.


NTSB: Helicopter pilot’s ‘spatial disorientation’ played an essential role in crash killing Kobe Bryant

Feb. 9, 202102:16
The pilot many likely had actually an illustration "of spatial disorientation," i m sorry NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt defined as "the powerful, misleading emotion that deserve to confuse a pilot conducting a visual trip who loses visual references, and what species of training have the right to be efficient in against this effect."

"We have seen this accident before, unfortunately," plank member Michael Graham said. "Helicopters proceed the VFR (visual trip rules) flight into meteorological conditions and unfortunately lose control of the aircraft as result of spatial disorientation."

The ahead owner the the Sikorsky S-76B frequently operated it v two pilots, the chairman said.

While there was no mandate for Island to express Helicopters to use 2 pilots, Sumwalt insisted that 2 sets of trained eyes might have do a difference.

During Tuesday"s hearing, Sumwalt even bucked his own investigator that downplayed the two-pilot suggestion, speak he had seen plenty of "spatial disorientation" crashes that had actually a pair of aviators in ~ the controls.

"I wouldn"t agree with that," stated Sumwalt, who had actually been a longtime U.S. Airways pilot before joining the NTSB.

"I think two pilots would increase the safety level. Ns flew through two pilots for a long time and also in one airline environment, you acquire the redundancy that if one pilot is struggling, the other pilot would be able to sit back and say, "Wait a minute, you are banking 30 degrees to the left and starting a descent." "

As Zobayan encountered the naval layer the morning, the pilot showed up to go versus federal accuse by flying into the fog, the NTSB said.

The pilot should have actually avoided "adverse weather" and "divert, return to base or land the helicopter," Graham said.

"And unfortunately the pilot go not do that," Graham added.

A lawyer because that Island express Helicopters could not be instantly reached for comment on Tuesday.

It"s also believed Zobayan put himself under "self-induced pressure" to finish the journey because he had actually a longtime connection with Bryant.

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Investigators said there"s no evidence that Bryant or anyone rather in the take trip party pressured Zobayan on the Sunday morning to complete the pilgrimage quickly.