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Kobe Bryant Crash Investigation: Helicopter Showed No Signs Of Engine Failure

Kobe Bryant Crash Investigation Engine

The National Transportation Safety Board is getting some answers in its investigation into the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others, but these answers are only raising more questions…

According to the agency’s preliminary report, which was released Friday, officials found no evidence of engine failure in the January 26 accident that rocked the world. 

These findings are puzzling, considering the details about the aircraft’s flight and rapid descent in the report. The NTSB states that after the 1991 Sikorsky S-76B aircraft gained altitude over the 101 freeway near Calabasas, California, it started a left turn but then descended at 183 mph while still making the turn.

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The deets were seemingly corroborated by a witness in the mountain bike park, where the wreckage was found, who reported hearing a normal sounding helicopter before seeing the aircraft “emerge from the clouds” and moving in a forward but descending trajectory.

The report states: 

“It started to roll to the left such that he caught a glimpse of its belly. He observed it for 1 to 2 seconds, before it impacted terrain.”

While combing through the wreckage, officials found the engines from the chopper in a burned area. The report notes that although parts of the engines were destroyed, the remains that could be seen showed that the main and tail rotors were rotating and there was “no evidence of an uncontained or catastrophic internal failure.” 

However, there was evidence that the rotor blades hit trees before hitting hilly terrain near Calabasas, California.

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As we reported, weather conditions were poor the morning of the crash. The fog was so heavy in the area that the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department grounded its fleet of choppers. 

But NTSB’s Jennifer Homendy, who’s leading the investigation into the crash, previously said comparing authorities’ decision to the decision made by Bryant’s pilot is “an apples to oranges comparison,” explaining:

“We have to look at this specific crash and this specific helicopter.”

The new report comes a day after a memorial service for the NBA legend and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who also died in the crash, was announced.

The public service will be held on the morning of February 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where Kobe played for the LA Lakers.

We just hope any of this can eventually bring Vanessa and the girls closure…

[Image via Brian To/WENN/NTSB/YouTube.]

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Feb 07, 2020 16:28pm PDT

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