The country and probably the world are mourning over the loss of one of the greatest basketball players on earth, Kobe Bryant and for some, it is still a shock for his sudden death via a helicopter crash.
This 41-year-old NBA player, now a legend, crashed in Calabasas, California.
It was a foggy morning, and visibility was so low that helicopters were grounded, according to the spokesperson of Los Angeles Police Department, Josh Rubenstein.
The copter that had nine people on board crashed into a hillside in Calabasas. There has been no official statement yet as to the cause of the crash.
Investigators are still looking into some clues despite the severe conditions the area is in now, while fans from around the world are still trying to overcome what just happened to the superstar.
Sheriff Villanueva of Los Angeles County said, “It’s a logistical nightmare in a sense because the crash site itself is not easily accessible.”
Chief Medical Examiner Jonathan Lucas said that there are now some actions on recovering the bodies, but it might take a couple of days given the terrain and the condition of the site. He said, “We’re doing everything we can to confirm identifications and give closure to the families involved.”
Bryant’s daughter, Gianna, also traveled with him. She was supposed to have a game on Sunday afternoon. The other passengers who came with them were Orange Coast College coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and daughter Alyssa, who was a teammate of Gianna.
According to Los Angeles County Fire Department Captain Tony Imbernda, “Individuals that saw the aircraft said it was coming down at a fairly significant rate of speed and impacted the ground on the hillside.”
Manufacturer of the helicopter Sikorsky expressed their condolence through their Twitter page.
“We extend our sincerest condolences to all those affected by today’s Sikorsky S-76B accident in Calabasas, California. We have been in contact with the NTSB and stand ready to provide assistance and support to the investigative authorities and our customer. Safety is our top priority; if there are any actionable findings from the investigation, we will inform our S-76 customers.”
S-76 aircraft was built in 1991 and was registered to Island Express Holding Corp.
Bryant often travels with a helicopter. He uses the aircraft to keep his body fresh.
According to Shawn Coyle, an experienced helicopter pilot, “With an aircraft like that, that’s capable of flying on airways, why they would be flying in bad weather’s got to be in question. It’s capable of flying on the same airways that an airliner flies on, obviously at a lower altitude.”
A source told ESPN that the pilot contacted air traffic controllers saying that he began to ascend to “go above the layer” of clouds present. “A few minutes before the crash, the pilot was told that he was “still too low level for flight following. Those audio clips came from air controllers and that the pilot was getting guidance from them.
At 9:40 am, the helicopter of Kobe Bryant turned again and climbed more than 2000 feet above sea level and started to descend into the hillside. The copter was flying 160 knots when it struck the ground, according to Flightradar24.