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Helicopter in Kobe Bryant crash lacked certificate to fly in fog

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 31, 2020 - Duration: 01:32s

Helicopter in Kobe Bryant crash lacked certificate to fly in fog

The company whose helicopter crashed and killed basketball star Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others on Sunday was not certified to fly in foggy conditions requiring pilots to use only cockpit instruments.

Lisa Bernhard has more.

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Helicopter in Kobe Bryant crash lacked certificate to fly in fog

The charter company whose helicopter crashed and killed basketball star Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others did not have the proper certification to allow the pilot to fly on instruments.

Flight instruments are cockpit tools that let a pilot measure such things as altitude and speed when visibility is low – as was the case on Sunday, when Bryant’s helicopter crashed amid heavy clouds and fog.

Island Express Helicopters, which owned the Sikorsky S-76B, was only certified to operate under what’s called visual flight rules - which mean pilots must be able to clearly see outside the aircraft in daylight.

The helicopter was equipped for instrument flying and the pilot was licensed to use them.

But due to the lack of company certification, he was required to fly only when he could navigate visually.

The twin-engine helicopter slammed into a hillside in Calabasas, California on Sunday.

Air traffic controllers had given the pilot “special visual flight rules,” or clearance to fly in the less-than-optimal weather around the Burbank airport.

Fog was so thick at the time of the crash that police grounded their own helicopters.

In a statement, Island Express Helicopters said it was suspending all services, adding, “the shock of the accident affected all staff.” Bryant’s former team, the Los Angeles Lakers, will return to the court Friday night for the first time since his death, with a tribute planned to honor one of their greatest-ever players.

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Related news from verified sources

The company whose helicopter crashed and killed basketball star Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others on Sunday was not certified to fly in foggy conditions...
on January 31, 2020 • Reuters

The charter company whose helicopter crashed and killed basketball star Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others on Sunday was not certified to fly in...
on January 31, 2020 • Reuters

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