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Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash Details Will Be Released Soon By The NTSB, According To Report

Gettyimages | David McNew
By Clark Sparky

While many of the details as to why the helicopter Kobe Bryant and eight others were riding aboard crashed, some aspects are still unclear. The National Transportation Safety Board has been investigating all the circumstances of the accident and gathering information about what went wrong that led to the tragedy.

According the Los Angeles Times, the board is now very close to releasing all of its findings.

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Gettyimages | Rob Carr

While we wait for the official report, the Times details some of what we already know:

The pilot, Ara Zobayan, requested special visual flight rules, or VFR, which allow pilots to fly in controlled airspace when ceilings are less than 1,000 feet or when visibility is less than three miles. As weather conditions deteriorated on the trip to Ventura County, the pilot requested “flight following,” a process in which controllers are in regular contact with an aircraft and can help navigate.

In recorded radio communications, the air traffic control tower is heard telling the pilot the chopper is too low for flight following. Radar data indicate Zobayan, who had been a licensed commercial helicopter pilot for 19 years, guided the copter to 2,300 feet and then began a left turn.

They also listed what information is still unclear:

Officials have not indicated any cause for the crash itself. Investigators said last week they were examining possibilities that included weather, mechanical issues and pilot actions.

It appears the pilot had lost contact with air traffic control at the very end, according to radio recordings reviewed by The Times, but it’s unclear why.

Though the last moments of the flight are captured on flight trackers, the reason the pilot made the fateful series of moves is unclear.

Gettyimages | Christian Petersen

The NTSB previously talked about some of the details they already know about the final fateful moments of the flight.

"The debris field is pretty extensive," Jennifer Homendy of the National Transportation Safety Board said. "A piece of the tail is down the hill, The fuselage is on the other side of that hill. And then the main rotor is about 100 yards (91 meters) beyond that.

"The pilot advised they were climbing to avoid a cloud layer," Homendy added. "When ATC asked what the pilot planned to do, there was no reply. Radar data indicates the helicopter climbed to 2,300 feet (701 meters) and then began a left descending turn. Last radar contact was around 9:45 a.m."

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