NTSB to hold hearing in February to determine cause of Kobe Bryant helicopter crash

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In this Jan. 27, 2020, file photo, provided by the National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB investigators Adam Huray, right, and Carol Hogan examine wreckage as part of the NTSB's investigation of a helicopter crash near Calabasas. (James Anderson/National Transportation Safety Board via AP, File)

In this Jan. 27, 2020, file photo, provided by the National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB investigators Adam Huray, right, and Carol Hogan examine wreckage as part of the NTSB’s investigation of a helicopter crash near Calabasas. (James Anderson/National Transportation Safety Board via AP, File)

The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a hearing on Feb. 9 to determine the cause of the helicopter crash a year ago that killed Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others when it struck a fog-covered hillside in Calabasas.

The NTSB, in a preliminary report, ruled out engine and mechanical failure on the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter. But it has yet to provide a probable cause for the Jan. 26, 2020 crash.

More than 1,700 pages of investigative documents that examine all aspects of the crash of the chopper, however, strengthened a widely held view among helicopter experts that pilot Ara Zobayan may have become disoriented while he navigated through foggy conditions on the Sunday morning flight from Orange County to Camarillo.

Zobayan told air traffic control they were “climbing” to 4,000 feet, when in reality the aircraft was descending. The NTSB’s aircraft performance study said the helicopter banked left and away from the 101 Freeway while communicating with the controller. According to the study, the pilot “could have misperceived both pitch and roll angles,” according to the NTSB documents.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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