The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released a report of more than 1,700 pages regarding the January helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others.
NBC 4 in Los Angeles said that the NTSB report, which was released on Wednesday, June 17th. According to the report, the evidence indicates that the pilot of the twin-engine helicopter likely became disoriented in the thick fog that day.
In the last few minutes of the flight before the helicopter crashed, investigators found that despite telling the air traffic control tower that he was climbing to 4000 feet, the aircraft was actually descending and rolling over.
Officials believe that the pilot suffered from spatial disorientation. This phenomenon occurs when visibility is low, and a pilot’s sense of motion and direction becomes confused. Investigators believe that the pilot, Ara Zabayan, “misperceived the angles” which he was banking and ascending, stating:
“Calculated apparent angles at this time show that the pilot could have misperceived both pitch and roll angles.”
The flight path of the helicopter before the crash further indicated that Zabayan had been disoriented st the time.
The NTSB also found no indication of mechanical failure that would have also been a factor in the crash.
The report docket, which contains more than 1, 7000 pages, does not give a conclusion on what caused the crash. The investigation is ongoing, with a final report expected to be released later this year.