U.S. NEWS

Kobe Bryant Crash Pilot Disoriented In Clouds, Agency Says

Pilot Ara Zobayan had nearly broken through the clouds when the helicopter banked abruptly and plunged into the hills below, killing all aboard.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Safety investigators say the pilot of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter flew through the clouds in an apparent violation of federal standards, and likely became disoriented.

Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said Tuesday that pilot Ara Zobayan was flying under visual flight rules, which means he needed to be able to see where he was going.

Zobayan piloted the aircraft to climb sharply and had nearly broken through the clouds when the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter banked abruptly and plunged into the hills below, killing all aboard.

The helicopter did not have the so-called “black box” recording devices, which were not required.