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Kobe Bryant dead: helicopter had no black box

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — “A truly terrible accident scene”. The federal investigation near Los Angeles, aimed at clarifying the circumstances of the fatal helicopter crash with the legend of the basketball Kobe Bryant, brought little elements Monday, in the aftermath of a tragedy which aroused a general emotion, relates AFP.

Given the affliction that hit the Lakers, Bryant’s lifelong club, the NBA announced the postponement of the derby, initially scheduled for Tuesday at the Staples Center, which was to oppose the Clippers, the other club in LA

“The decision was made out of respect for the Lakers, who were deeply affected by the tragic deaths of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others,” said the official, adding that the meeting would be rescheduled.
A very rare decision in the NBA, which canceled a match between the Celtics and Indiana in 2013 after the Boston Marathon bombing, and others in 1963 after the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Shortly after, the American agency responsible for transportation safety (NTSB), which is carrying out the investigation alongside the American aviation regulator, the FAA, held a press briefing to discuss the progress of research, after examining the wreckage of the helicopter that crashed on a hill northwest of Los Angeles.

Little convincing information was recorded on “a really terrible accident scene”, as qualified by Jennifer Homendy of the NTSB, who specified that “the debris was scattered over about 180 meters”.

“We are not here to determine the cause of the accident, we will not determine it on this scene”, she continued, adding that the device did not have a black box because it does not was not necessary on this type of helicopter.

“We will be there, about five days on the spot, to collect perishable evidence,” she “anticipated”, a sign of the difficulties faced by the investigators at the scene of the disaster, difficult to access in the steep hills of Calabasas.

Alex Villanueva, the Los Angeles County sheriff, said that the medical examiners were still in the process of collecting and identifying “remains” of the victims’ bodies. “It is a very difficult task, it will take time,” he said.

“The helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76B, on board of which were the nine victims, crashed shortly before 10:00 am (6:00 pm GMT) Sunday, while thick fog enveloped the region. He had taken off from Newport Beach, where Bryant resided, in the direction of the Mamba Academy, a sports center owned by the star located in Newbury Park, 135 km away.
Authorities and experts seem for the time being to favor the weather track rather than possible mechanical problems.

Los Angeles police, interviewed by AFP, said the lack of visibility was such that their own helicopters were left on the ground in the morning.

Philippe Lesourd, helicopter pilot and instructor who has been flying in California for 29 years, told AFP that the weather had probably made the pilot lose control of the aircraft, explaining that he had most probably suffered from “disorientation” “after losing sight of the ground when entering the clouds.

“The probability of a serious failure of the two engines of this machine is almost zero,” said a former pilot of the Island Express company, Kurt Deetz, who transported Kobe Bryant several times.

Besides Kobe and Gianna Bryant, the other victims are a baseball coach, John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa who played basketball in the same club as Gianna, Christina Mauser, assistant coach of the two teenage basketball team, Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter, and pilot Ara Zobayan.

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