The company in the crosshairs of the NTSB’s investigation into Kobe’ Bryant’s helicopter crash, is claiming they may have saved multiple celebrities lives by canceling private helicopter flights due to bad weather — including Kylie Jenner and Kawhi Leonard.
According to documents released by the NTSB, and obtained by The Blast, the company who owned the helicopter in Kobe’s crash, Island Express, sent one of the federal investigators a list of VIP clients who were turned down for private helicopters flights after crew members and pilots decided it was unsafe to fly due to bad weather.
In an email, sent by the director of operations, the company touted how many times it had canceled on celebrities which showed the ‘safety culture’ inside the company.
“Very early in the investigation, you asked for canceled flights. The reason I bring this up as there was no mention of this in the report and I believe that it is a clear indication of the safety culture within the company,” the email began.
It continued, “These weather decisions were made by Ramp Crew-members, Pilots and management and these decisions were never questioned. Management supported every one of these decisions and the company clearly lost revenue. Attached is a report of all canceled flights giving a lot of detail.”
But, in the email body, the director continued, “Below is a list of high profile clients who requested charters, however we couldn’t meet the request due to weather.”
The list includes Kylie Jenner, Kawhi Leonard, and rapper Lil’ Dicky.
Specifically, the email states the company canceled a flight booked by Kylie Jenner on November 26th, 2019 — which was bound for Palm Springs, CA.
As we reported, Kylie spent the Thanksgiving Holiday with the entire Kardashian family at a home rented by Kris Jenner.
The trip made headlines after Kylie was spotted back together with ex-boyfriend and rapper Travis Scott after the couple had split. The duo seen inside of the Agua Caliente Casino getting cozy with one another.
Also, the company said it canceled a flight from Los Angeles to San Diego a month prior, booked by rapper Lil Dicky.
As for Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard, the company say it wouldn’t fly due to bad weather on SIX separate occasions to an from the San Diego area.
The point of the email is obvious, the director of operations wanted the NTSB to know that the company takes the safety of its passengers VERY seriously, and a celebrity like Kobe Bryant or Kylie Jenner wouldn’t change the way anything was handled.
Vanessa Bryant is suing Island Express claiming the aircraft should have never left the ground on that fateful morning due to the poor weather.
In the lawsuit, Kobe’s wife claims they were only allowed to fly under visual flight rules, and as we reported, the fog was extremely low the morning of the crash. She also says the company knew of issues with the pilot included being reprimanded in the past for similar issues.
We broke the story, Kylie Jenner rented this exact helicopter to celebrate brother Rob Kardashian’s daughter’s birthday. The ‘KUWTK’ star posted photos of them inside the chopper.
Today, the NTSB released over 1,700 documents, which included text messages between the pilot and a broker of the flight regarding the weather.
In the text messages, obtained by The Blast, Kobe’s pilot was warned about bad weather the night before — but about an hour and a half before take-off he texted the individuals on a group chat, the weather “should be ok” to fly.
The documents also included a report explaining federal investigators [believe the pilot may have been disoriented during the flight]( causing him to misjudge the angles and rapid descent of the aircraft.
The pilot radioed to air traffic control he was climbing to 4,000 ft. the get above the clouds, but in fact, he was rapidly descending, eventually slamming into a hillside in Calabasas, CA.