Kobe Bryant’s body and others now recovered from crash site

Kobe Bryant's body and others now recovered from crash site

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LOS ANGELES — Flying aboard a luxury helicopter with a veteran pilot at the controls, Kobe Bryant and his seven fellow passengers should have had few worries.

Their Sikorsky S-76B that would whisk them roughly 90 miles from Orange to Ventura Counties, crossing over the heart of Los Angeles, was “like the Cadillac Escalade” of choppers, recalled Kurt Deetz, a former pilot for Bryant. That model is a sleek craft with dual engines equipped with “all the bells and whistles,” Deetz said.

Yet it lacked a key safety feature: a terrain awareness and warning system, TAWS, a National Transportation Safety Board official said Tuesday. The NTSB had recommended it be required on large passenger-carrying choppers after a Texas crash in 2004, but that never happened.

The remains of the retired NBA superstar, his 13-year-old daughter and the others have now been recovered. Their relatives have been notified, Los Angeles County authorities said.

Fans Mourn the loss of NBA legend Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

NTSB investigators finished collecting evidence Tuesday, hauling wreckage out on helicopters in large white bags to be trucked away from the 600-foot debris field. While the cause is it yet to be determined, the thick, gray clouds that obscured much of the area Sunday are being scrutinized as a possible cause.

A body is carried from the scene of a helicopter crash that killed former NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant, his daughter and several others in Calabasas, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

“We are not just focusing on weather. We are going to take a broad look at everything around this accident,” said Jennifer Homendy, the NTSB board member leading the investigation.

Key questions include:

• Was pilot Ara Zobayan flying too fast, more than 150 miles per hour, and too low in moments before the crash?

• Had he become lost?

• Did the helicopter, despite all of the safety features built into it, incur a mechanical failure?

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