Jenner said she had rented the helicopter for Dream, her niece, for her third birthday party in November.
This was the helicopter that crashed on Sunday, which killed basketball star Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, 13, and seven other people.
Along with a picture of Kobe and Gianna, Jenner posted an Instagram Story, writing: “rest in peace..and prayers to these families. i still can’t believe this.”
“At loss for words right now. Praying for this beautiful family,” Jenner wrote.
“That was the helicopter i would fly on from time to time with that pilot, Ara,” Jenner said.
Jenner was referring to Ara Zobayan, who was piloting the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter the day it crashed in Calabasas, California.
Zobayan was being remembered as a “cool, calm guy.”
“We need to wait for [authorities] to complete an investigation. There may be lessons to be learned,” pilot Jared Yochim, who spoke to CNN.
Yochim said he recognized Zobayan’s voice on the flight’s recordings.
Zobayan was up to date on his certifications, according to CNN, who referenced the FAA’s pilot certification database. He got his commercial pilot’s license about 12 years ago. CNN said he is “a certified flight instructor for instrument instruction for helicopter pilots.”
He was also up to date with medical exams that are required by the FAA.
“There’s a reason that people wanted to fly with him,” Yochim said.
Kylie Jenner Frequently Flew In Kobe's Helicopter, Rented for Dream https://t.co/h3ooAWHScc
— TMZ (@TMZ) January 28, 2020
Pilot Kurt Deetz worked with Zobayan at Island Express. Deetz said he recognized the pilot’s voice when he heard the recording from the Air Traffic Control tower. Deetz called Zobayan outspoken with a big personality.
Zobayan’s neighbor, Angie LaPorte, said she heard about his death through local landscapers.
“He was kind of a mild-mannered guy. Always pleasant but never super talkative,” LaPorte said.
Kylie Jenner remembers Ara Zobayan, the pilot killed in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash:
“That was the helicopter i would fly on from time to time with that pilot, Ara. he was such a nice man.” pic.twitter.com/bmojauHLhR
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) January 28, 2020
A tragic accident like this can have reverberations through the community it affects.
The Instagram page for Mazdack Rassi, which links to the website Angry Americans with Paul Rieckhoff, posted a musical celebration of Bryant’s life.
Rieckhoff is a veterans’ advocate, while Mazdack Rassi is a creative entrepreneur and co-founder of Milk Studios.
“We build Temples – It’s not a studio or a makeup line. It’s not a space or a place to work. It’s always been a bout a community of people who create change. Tonight we got together to sing, create love and remember those we lost. #kobe #gigi #sundayservice #kanyewest #chancetherapper.”