Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna under 9 dead in helicopter crash; the feds are looking for causes
Kobe Bryant, 41, the legendary basketball star who has spent 20 years with the Lakers, was killed on Sunday morning when the helicopter he was traveling with crashed in fog and went up in flames in the hills above Calabasas.
His daughter Gianna, 13, was also on board, the NBA authorities confirmed.
According to Alex Villanueva, sheriff of the Los Angeles district, there were nine people on the helicopter – one pilot and eight passengers. He will not confirm who died until all of the relatives have been notified, he said. L.A. coroner officials have blocked roads leading to the site because of a lot of visitors trying to get there.
The helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76B built in 1991, took off at John Wayne Airport on Sunday at 9:06 a.m. The helicopter crossed Boyle Heights near the Dodger Stadium and circled while flying over Glendale.
The crash occurred just before 10 a.m. near Las Virgenes Road and Willow Glen Street in Calabasas. The authorities received an emergency call at 9:47 a.m., and the firefighters found that the crash in steep terrain had set fire to a 4-hectare bush fire, district fire chief Daryl Osby said. The emergency services included 56 firefighters – firefighters, a helicopter with paramedics, henchmen – and sheriff’s deputies.
“Our firefighters went to the scene of the accident with their medical equipment and tubing to extinguish the persistent fire, including the bushfire and helicopter,” said Osby during a press conference on Sunday afternoon. “The fire also contained magnesium, which is very difficult for firefighters to extinguish because magnesium reacts with oxygen and water.”
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash. The FBI also helps with the investigation, as is common practice. No incidents or accidents for the aircraft are listed in the NTSB database. The helicopter was at Fillmore’s Island Express Holding Corp., according to the California Secretary of State’s business database. registered. The manufacturer of the helicopter, Sikorsky, said in a statement on Sunday that he was involved in the investigation.
The fog was so strong on Sunday morning that the Los Angeles Police Air Support Department turned off their helicopters and did not fly until late afternoon, said department spokesman Josh Rubenstein.
“The weather situation did not meet our minimum requirements for flying,” said Rubenstein. The fog “was enough that we didn’t fly”. LAPD’s minimum flight conditions are 2 miles of visibility and 800 feet of cloud cover, he said.
The LA County Sheriff Department rated the fog similarly and had no helicopters in the air on Sunday morning, “mainly because of the weather,” said Villanueva.
Kurt Deetz, a former Island Express Helicopters pilot who flew Bryant in a helicopter, said the weather conditions in Van Nuys on Sunday morning were bad – “not good at all”.
The crash is due to bad weather rather than engine or mechanical problems. “The likelihood of a catastrophic twin engine failure on that plane – it just doesn’t happen,” he said.
Judging by a public record of the trajectory and wide debris field, Deetz said, the helicopter appears to be flying very fast at the time of the impact, about 160 miles an hour. After a 40-minute flight, Deetz added, the vehicle would have had about 800 pounds of fuel on board. “That’s enough to light a pretty big fire,” he said.
The Los Angeles County Coroner is working to recover the bodies and has not officially identified any of the victims. But Orange Coast College confirmed that baseball coach John Altobelli was among the others who died in the crash. He was a mentor and coach for 27 years, helping students receive scholarships to play at four-year colleges, and treating players like family members, the school said.
“Coach Altobelli was a giant on our campus – a beloved teacher, coach, colleague and friend. This is a huge loss for our campus community, ”said OCC President Angelica Suarez in a statement.
Altobelli’s wife, Keri Altobelli, and her 13-year-old daughter Alyssa, who played with Bryant’s daughter in the club, were also victims, according to his family. Kobe Bryant