Kobe Bryant Helicopter Audio Released
Audio from Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash was released on Monday.
A helicopter accident claimed the lives of Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others on Sunday morning.
The dialogue that took place between the pilot and air traffic controllers suggest the helicopter was flying under special visual flight rules (VFR).
Adjusted visual flight rules are applied to permit helicopters to fly in situations where visibility is not good.
Prior to this crash, the air traffic controller is heard saying that the pilot was “still too low level for flight following.” That means the flight was flying too low to be picked up by radar.
In an interview ESPN’s Paula Lavigne, someone familiar with the investigation of the crash said that the pilot informed controllers he was going to “go above the layer” of clouds he saw.
In the process, the pilot got guidance from air traffic control as he flew through the dense fog.
Witnesses in the area have repeatedly said it was extremely foggy at the time of the crash.
— Jena Janovy (@JenaJ34) January 27, 2020
While helicopters are typically permitted to fly in conditions that are worse than ones allowed for airplane travel, the LAPD grounded its own helicopters at the time due to poor visibility.
LAPD spokesperson Josh Rubenstein confirmed this on Sunday evening.
“The weather situation did not meet our minimum standards for flying,” Rubenstein said.
A preliminary report on the cause of the crash is expected at some point within the next 10 days.
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