Sports Icon Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers, were killed in a helicopter crash earlier today in Calabasas, California.
According to TMZ, L.A. weather, which was extremely foggy with overcast skies Sunday morning, is believed to have been a major issue and law enforcement sources including LAPD air support was grounded because of it.
Experts claim that flight tracker data showed Kobe’s chopper appeared to first encounter weather issues as it was above the L.A. Zoo, and the aircraft circled that area at least six times at a very low altitude-around 875 feet- perhaps waiting for the fog to clear.
TMZ has obtained flight tower audio in which the pilot contacted the control tower at Burbank Airport around 9:30 AM, making them aware of the fact that they had been circling for 15 minutes or so.
At around 9:40, the aircraft encountered even more severe weather conditions– and the chopper turned south. According to experts- this was critical because they turned toward a mountainous area when the pilot suddenly and rapidly climbed from about 1200 feet up to 2000 feet.
Moments later, the helicopter flew into a mountain at 1700 feet. Flight tracker data shows they were flying at about 161 knots.