The company that operated the helicopter that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others has filed a lawsuit against the two traffic controllers who they say are responsible for the crash.
Island Express is accusing the two air traffic controllers who were guiding the pilot to the Mamba Academy of being the cause of the crash. According to TMZ, the pilot asked the two controllers for radar guidance due seemingly to the amount of fog. According to the lawsuit, one of the controllers responded, saying, “I’m going to lose radar and comms [communications] probably pretty shortly so you can just squawk V-F-R [visual flight rules] and when you get closer go to Camarillo tower.”
The company claims that the controller denied the pilot the use of what it says was a life-saving radar, even though the radar guidance was not yet lost, TMZ reports.
According to the document, that’s when another controller switched spots with the other to relieve them. Less than two minutes later, the pilot responded over the radio, but the new controller was allegedly unaware and unhelpful. The lawsuit states that the pilot thought he was still operating on the radar because the tower operators did not report that it was being terminated. The company says it did, however, lose radar and radio contact in the fog.
But, according to the legal document, at some point during the time that the pilot was in the fog, the radio contact was reinstated. That’s when the controller allegedly tried contacting the pilot several times, which stressed the pilot even more. In conclusion, the company says it is the fault of the tower operators, who they say caused the pilot stress and direction, which led to the crash.