Kobe Bryant’s shocking death has left millions trying to cope.
For some, questions turn to the technical: How? How did Bryant’s helicopter crash?
“Hold outside Burbank, I have an aircraft,” the recording revealed the tower employee advising Bryant’s helicopter during the communication.
“He’s been holding for about 15 minutes,” a flight tower employee said about Bryant’s helicopter around 9:30 a.m.
The pilot, Ara Zobayan, was told he was flying too close to the ground.
Per audio from before the crash, Zobayan said: “OK, we’ll continue holding.”
As the flight towers try to assist in the helicopter landing, they are cautioned about the “overcast” weather and their low flight level, meaning they were dangerously close to the ground.
“You’re still too low level for flight following at this time,” the flight toward warned the pilot on the audio.
Bryant’s helicopter was reportedly traveling north along the 118 freeway, turned west and followed the 101 freeway. After hitting heavy fog around 9:40 a.m., the helicopter turned south and made a steep climb from 1200 feet to 2000 feet.
Moments later they reportedly flew into the mountain at 1700 feet and the vehicle was traveling at 161 knots.
There’s still more to learn, including whether the helicopter had mechanical issues. Perhaps, we’ll never get that answer. If we do, it won’t change anything.
Still, it feels natural to search for greater understanding of this inexplicable tragedy.