NTSB Preliminary Report – N72EX – Kobe Bryant

On January 26, 2020, at 0945 Pacific standard time (PST), a Sikorsky SK76B helicopter, N72EX, collided with hilly terrain near the city of Calabasas, California. The pilot and eight passengers were fatally injured, and the helicopter was destroyed by impact forces and fire. The helicopter was operated by Island Express Helicopters Inc. under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 as an on-demand passenger visual flight rules (VFR) flight from John Wayne-Orange County Airport, (KSNA), Santa Ana, California, to Camarillo Airport, (KCMA), Camarillo, California.
The NTSB launched a go-team consisting of an investigator-in-charge from the Major Investigations division and specialists in operations, human performance, airworthiness, powerplants, aerial imagery, air traffic control (ATC), meteorology, maintenance records, and site control.
Parties to the investigation include the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Island Express Helicopters, Sikorsky, and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is participating in the investigation as an accredited representative, as is Pratt and Whitney Canada as a technical advisor. The investigative team was also assisted on scene by numerous other federal, state and local law enforcement and public safety agencies.
The wreckage was located in the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains, in a mountain bike park. The impact site was on an approximate 34⁰ slope. The impact crater was 24 feet-by-15 feet in diameter and 2 feet deep.

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