U.S. safety investigators said that the pilot, Ara Zobayan of basketball star Kobe Bryant’s helicopter flew through clouds in an apparent violation of federal standards.
Becoming disoriented was most likely just before the helicopter crashed, killing Bryant and eight others. Pilot Ara Zobayan was flying under visual flight rules, in order to see where he was going.
Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said that the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter banked abruptly and plunged into the Southern California hills below, killing all aboard.
Pilot Ara Zobayan told air traffic controllers that his helicopter was climbing out of heavy clouds when in fact it was descending immediately before crashing down in the hills near the town of Calabasas, California the agency said in June.
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