news 3 months ago

Kobe Bryant Helicopter Pilot Previously Violated Weather-Related Flight Rules – Report

Deadline — Bruce Haring

On the eve of the public memorial for Lakers great Kobe Bryant, new information has emerged about the helicopter pilot who manned the Jan. 26 crash that claimed nine lives.

Ara Zobayan, who flew the Bryant helicopter into a hillside last month also violated weather-related flight rules in 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration flagged Zobayan in May 2015 for ignoring an air traffic controller’s directive to avoid the Los Angeles International Airport’s airspace.

Records indicate Zobayan admitted the incident and took responsibility. The report also indicates that Zobayan frequently violated rules on weather-related flight.

The Bryant helicopter on Jan. 26 was reportedly 12 seconds and 100 feet from clearing the fog when it crashed in Calabasas. Nine people died, including Zobayan.


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