Video: Kobe Bryant helicopter audio released
Audio has been released from the minutes leading up to the helicopter crash that claimed the life of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people on Sunday morning.
Conversations between the pilot of the helicopter and air traffic controllers indicate the chopper was flying under special VFR, or special visual flight rules. Those rules allow helicopters to fly in conditions where visibility is an issue, which appears to have been the case with the helicopter that crashed in Calabasas. Just before the crash, an air traffic controller could be heard telling the helicopter’s pilot that he was “still too low level for flight following,” which indicated the chopper was flying too low to be picked up by radar because of the hilly terrain in the area.
Here is the audio:
A person familiar with the early portion of an investigation into the crash told ESPN’s Paula Lavigne that the plot of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter informed air traffic controllers he was going to climb to “go above the layer” of clouds. The pilot was receiving guidance from air traffic controllers as he navigated through dense fog. Witnesses who heard the crash said it was very foggy in the area at the time.
Helicopters are allowed to fly in worse visibility than airplanes, but Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Josh Rubenstein said the department’s helicopters were grounded on Sunday morning due to the dense fog.
“The weather situation did not meet our minimum standards for flying,” Rubenstein said.
A full investigation into the cause of the crash could take a year or more, though ESPN noted that the National Transportation Safety Board typically issues a preliminary report within 10 days.
More Larry Brown Sports coverage of Kobe Bryant’s death:
Other victims of the helicopter crash:
– John Altobelli, junior college baseball coach, also died in helicopter crash
– Christina Mauser, girls’ basketball coach, among the helicopter crash victims
– Sarah Chester, daughter Payton were also killed in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash
– Ara Zobayan was the pilot in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash
Tributes to Kobe:
– UConn honors Gianna Bryant with own jersey, spot on the bench
– LeBron James promises to continue Kobe Bryant’s legacy in Instagram note
– Dallas Mavericks retire Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 jersey
– Video: Raptors, Spurs start game with amazing tribute to Kobe Bryant
– Shaq posts heartfelt tribute to Kobe Bryant
– Michael Jordan releases statement on death of ‘little brother’ Kobe Bryant
– Video: Doc Rivers breaks down crying talking about Kobe Bryant
– Phil Jackson calls Kobe Bryant ‘a chosen one’ in statement on his death
– NBA commissioner Adam Silver issues statement on death of Kobe Bryant
– Video: Dwyane Wade posts emotional message reacting to Kobe Bryant’s death
– Kendrick Perkins extends olive branch to Kevin Durant after Kobe Bryant’s death
– Video: Emotional Mike Breen sums up NBA world’s emotions about Kobe Bryant’s death
– Trae Young’s huge game was full of Kobe Bryant-related statistical coincidences
– Video: Kobe Bryant helicopter audio released
– Media errors, rumors, poor judgment run rampant in reporting of Kobe Bryant news
– NBA postpones Tuesday’s Lakers-Clippers game after Kobe Bryant’s death
– Kobe Bryant recently filed for ‘Mambacita’ trademark for daughter Gianna
– Kobe Bryant checked in on Shaq’s son Shareef morning of helicopter crash
– No, Rick Fox did not die in helicopter crash that killed Kobe, Gianna Bryant
– Lakers fans start memorial to Kobe Bryant outside Staples Center
– Kobe Bryant’s last tweet was congratulating LeBron James on passing him
– Sports world stunned over Kobe Bryant news
– Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash – dead at 41