The newly retired Los Angeles Lakers superstar to be 41 as soon as he was killed a little more than one year ago.

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NTSB investigators research wreckage of the helicopter crash that eliminated Kobe Bryant, close to Calabasas, Calif., in January 2020.James Anderson / AP file
A helicopter pilot"s "spatial disorientation" play a key role in the crash that killed basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and several friends last year, commonwealth authorities stated Tuesday.

The 41-year-old Los Angeles Lakers icon, Gianna Bryant, 13, and also seven others died on a cloudy Jan. 26 morning near the southern California shore when their Sikorsky S-76B helicopter slammed into a hillside in Calabasas, stunning the sports and also basketball worlds.


The crash also killed Payton Chester, 13; sarah Chester, 45; Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Keri Altobelli, 46; man Altobelli, 56; Christina Mauser, 38; and Ara Zobayan, 50.

Zobayan to be the cook pilot because that Island express Helicopters and had 8,500 hours of flight experience and also had about 10 years experience of paris in the area wherein the handmade crashed, the nationwide Transportation safety Board said throughout a hear outlining the likely cause of the crash.


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NTSB: Helicopter pilot’s ‘spatial disorientation’ played crucial role in crash death Kobe Bryant

Feb. 9, 202102:16
The pilot most likely had actually an episode "of spatial disorientation," which NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt described as "the powerful, misleading emotion that can confuse a pilot conducting a visual flight who loses visual references, and what species of training can be efficient in countering this effect."

"We have seen this accident before, unfortunately," board member Michael Graham said. "Helicopters continue the VFR (visual trip rules) trip into meteorological conditions and also unfortunately lose control of the aircraft due to spatial disorientation."


The vault owner the the Sikorsky S-76B routinely operated it with two pilots, the chairman said.

While there to be no mandate because that Island express Helicopters to use two pilots, Sumwalt insisted that 2 sets of trained eyes could have made a difference.

During Tuesday"s hearing, Sumwalt even bucked his very own investigator who downplayed the two-pilot suggestion, saying he had actually seen many of "spatial disorientation" crashes that had actually a pair that aviators at the controls.

"I wouldn"t agree through that," said Sumwalt, who had actually been a longtime U.S. Airways pilot before joining the NTSB.


"I think 2 pilots would rise the safety level. Ns flew through two pilots for a long time and in one airline environment, you gain the redundancy the if one pilot is struggling, the other pilot would be able to sit earlier and say, "Wait a minute, you are banking 30 levels to the left and beginning a descent." "


As Zobayan encountered the marine layer that morning, the pilot appeared to go against federal guidelines by flying right into the fog, the NTSB said.

The pilot should have avoided "adverse weather" and "divert, return to base or floor the helicopter," Graham said.

"And unfortunately the pilot did not carry out that," Graham added.


A lawyer for Island refer Helicopters could not be instantly reached for talk about Tuesday.

It"s also believed Zobayan placed himself under "self-induced pressure" to complete the journey since he had actually a longtime partnership with Bryant.

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Investigators stated there"s no evidence that Bryant or anyone else in the take trip party pressured Zobayan on the Sunday morning to complete the trip quickly.