Bryant pilot trying to clear fog before chopper crash: Preliminary findings

LOS ANGELES: The pilot in the helicopter crash that claimed the life of NBA legend Kobe Bryant told air traffic controllers he was trying to climb out of heavy fog just before the doomed chopper slammed into a hillside, preliminary findings showed on Wednesday (Jun 17).

Pilot Ara Zobayan radioed to air traffic control that he was climbing to 4,000 feet soon before the helicopter crashed near Calabasas on Jan 26.

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Los Angeles Lakers icon Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and six other people on board died in the accident.

Zobayan's doomed attempts to pilot the aircraft out of trouble were revealed in 1,700 pages of investigative documents released by the National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday.

The NTSB, which is continuing to investigate the crash, stressed the "public docket" was not a final report "nor does it contain analysis, findings, recommendations, or probable cause determinations."

"As such, no conclusions about how or why the crash occurred should be drawn from the information within the docket," the NTSB said.

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"Analysis, findings, recommendations, and probable cause determinations related to the crash will be issued by the NTSB in a final report at a later date."

A partial transcript of communications between Zobayan and air traffic control in the final moments before the crash was among the documents released on Wednesday.

"Uh, we climbing to four thousand," Zobayan says in the transcript.

"And then what ya gonna dRead More – Source