- Text messages released showed the helicopter pilot was slightly concerned about the weather on January 26
- Weather briefs from Aya Zobayan indicated he was slightly concerned about the presence of clouds
- The exact cause of the crash is yet to be established but it is believed that bad weather greatly played a role
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An investigation into the crash that killed basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others in January found that the pilot was possibly disoriented in the hours leading to the accident.
Details of the moments leading up to the crash were recently released by the National Transportation Safety Board which detailed the communication between pilot Ara Zobayan and air traffic controllers.
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According to documents shared to media, Zobayan might have possibly misperceived the pitch of the aircraft.
While the NTSB is yet to determine the actual cause of the crash which took place on January 26, documents revealed 50-year old Zobayan gave a detailed account of the weather before flying the aircraft into thick clouds moments before the crash.
The investigation further stated Zobayan expressed concern about the weather the night before the crash.
“Just checked not the best day tomorrow but it is not as bad as today," Zobayan wrote in a group text, as per the report.
On the morning of the crash, Zobayan communicated again in the group text in a weather brief.
“Morning Weather looking ok” he wrote.
According to the report, Zobayan classified the day’s flight as low risk, hence he did not necessarily need approval from company managers to fly on the day.
What is almost certain, from the report, is that the crash was not as a result of engine failure.
The report which was released on Wednesday, June 17 also detailed the moments employees working for the helicopter charter company realised something was amiss.
According to a report published on the Los Angeles Times’ one employee noted communication got cut off, at which point it was certain things were not alright.
9:55 a.m. “I kept refreshing the tracker and praying that it was just broken, I called Angel again and asked him to call Camarillo Airport. He said he would call me back,” one employee wrote.
Investigation remains open as it has not reached its natural conclusion , with the immediate cause of the crash yet to be established.
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