Investigators have been working hard to determine what caused Kobe Bryant’s personal helicopter to crash on January 26th, claiming the life of Kobe, as well as his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others on board.
On Friday, investigators officially ruled out engine failure as the cause of the crash. However, a witness who saw the crash reported seeing the area “surrounded by mist,” when the chopper began to travel fast, descending and starting to roll to the left.
“It started to roll to the left such that he caught a glimpse of its belly,” the report says. “He observed it for 1 to 2 seconds, before it impacted terrain about 50 feet below his position,” the report recounted the witness’s statement.
The aircraft was discovered to have two engines that burned in the aftermath, giving no indication that they burned mid-air.
“Viewable sections of the engines showed no evidence of an uncontained or catastrophic internal failure,” the investigative update reported.
The fateful flight took off from John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, headed to Camarillo Airport in Ventura County, where all on board were headed to Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy. Air traffic controllers report that pilot Ara Zobayan told them “he was climbing above cloud layers” before the aircraft crashed moments later.