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NTSB Releases Latest Report On Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash

An image from the National Transportation Safety Board's report updating the investigation into the crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others on Jan. 26. (Courtesy of NTSB)
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The engines were still running and the rotors were still spinning when the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant crashed into a foggy hillside near Calabasas on Jan. 26, killing him, his daughter Gianna, and seven others, according to the latest update from crash investigators.

Damage to the rotor blades and to nearby trees showed signs the helicopter was still under "powered rotation at the time of impact," according to the National Transportation Safety Board update released today. "One piece of 2-inch diameter tree branch was cut cleanly in 3 locations (similar to saw cuts) about 30 feet prior to the initial impact crater," the report reads.

Other details from the report:

  • The helicopter was destroyed by "impact forces and fire."
  • The helicopter came down in a mountain bike park located in the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains.
  • The impact crater was 2 feet deep and 24 feet by 15 feet in diameter.
  • The main wreckage, much of it burned in a postcrash fire, was about 127 feet away.
  • The helicopter was not required to have a "black box" recorder and did not have one, though investigators are reviewing its flight management system, two flight control computers, and other instruments, in addition to "personal electronic devices" that were recovered.


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