The helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant was caused by the pilot's poor decisions.
According to the final report of the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the helicopter crash that killed basketball player Kobe Bryant, of his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and six other people, on January 26, 2020, was caused by the pilot's poor decisions.
Shortly after the pilot announced that he would climb 1.200 meters to lift the helicopter above the thick fog, the N76EX-registered Sikorsky S-72B helicopter entered a left turn and plunged into a hilly area near Calabasas. Los Angeles (California).
Experts also indicate the pilot's choice not to submit an emergency flight plan and not to land at the nearest airport to wait for the weather to change. This could have been caused by "Self-induced pressure from the pilot to meet the travel needs of the customer". The investigation did not find any damage to the helicopter.
Despite his experience (over 8.500 flight hours, including 1.250 with the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter), the pilot's decision to continue "To fly in unfavorable weather conditions, which led to its spatial disorientation and loss of control of the helicopter, led to this fatal accident. ”
Vanessa Bryant, the player's widow, had filed a complaint following the crash against Island Express, the helicopter operator, for allowing the flight to take place despite the fog. However, the NTSB concluded that, despite the unfavorable weather conditions, the visibility was good enough to allow the pilot to fly, while maintaining contact with the ground.