Kobe Bean Bryant was an American professional basketball player. A shooting guard, who spent his entire 20-years career with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association.
The pilot of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter flew into clouds last year in an apparent violation of federal standards, US safety investigators have said.
Kobe Bryant did not put pressure on his helicopter pilot to fly in dangerous conditions, safety officials said on Tuesday as they ruled the crash was caused by the pilot’s poor decision to fly that they say was driven by a ‘self-induced’ pressure to please his famous client.
All nine people on board were killed, including Mr Zobayan, basketball star Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. The others on board were Gianna’s teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, Alyssa’s parents, John and Keri Altobelli, Payton’s mother Sarah Chester and their coach Christina Mauser.
During the 40-minute journey, Mr Zobayan, an experienced pilot who had carried Bryant before, had gone against his training and become spatially disoriented in thick clouds.
Until now, investigators have never been able to definitively say whether Bryant put pressure on the pilot, who was working for Island Express, a private company, to continue with the flight despite the dangerous weather conditions.
There was no proof of helicopter malfunction but because the helicopter had no black box, it was largely a mystery what happened. Island Express, the private charter company that owned the aircraft, removed the black box while renovating the helicopter so they could fit more passengers.