Kobe Bryant’s helicopter “disappeared into the clouds” before crashing into a hillside, and investigators have released new photos showing the moments before and after the impact.
In the screenshot from a video, above, you can see Kobe’s helicopter in the moments before it entered the dense fog. According to the NTSB’s initial report, released today, this picture is a “still frame from a security video obtained from a road maintenance yard adjacent to Moreau Road and Highway 101 depicting the helicopter proceeding westward along the highway and disappearing into the clouds.”
The NTSB also shared a photograph taken by an advanced fire alert system, powered by Edison, of just how bad and at what level the fog was in the area.
“An ALERTWildfire camera image taken at 0944 PST looking southeast toward the city of Van Nuys, as publicized on the National Weather Service (NWS) Los Angeles Twitter account, depicted the top of the cloud layer to the east of the accident site. The NWS analyzed the top of the cloud layer to be about 2,400 feet above mean sea level near the terrain in the foreground of the image.
In another new photo, released by the NTSB, you can see how the hillside looked at the time of the accident, “Videos and photos taken by the public in the area of the accident also depict fog and low clouds obscuring the hilltops,” the report stated.
One witness provided photos of the huge explosion and fire that started after impact, which also shows the poor weather in the area. The NTSB says the “image which was given to investigators, taken by a witness on the mountain bike trail about 0950. The witness stated that the area was surrounded by mist. He said he began to hear the sound of a helicopter, which he described as appropriate for a helicopter flying while in a powered condition.
He perceived the sound getting louder and saw a blue and white helicopter emerge from the clouds passing from left to right directly to his left.
They continued, “He judged it to be moving fast, traveling on a forward and descending trajectory. It started to roll to the left such that he caught a glimpse of its belly. He observed it for 1 to 2 seconds before it impacted terrain.”
Lastly, an image was shared by the NTSB of the flight route and specifics surrounding the terrain and hillside against a map using google earth.
— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) February 7, 2020