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US News Phones, electronic devices of those on Kobe Bryant helicopter could hold clues to crash

11:35  14 february  2020
11:35  14 february  2020 Source:   latimes.com

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— The helicopter carrying the basketball legend Kobe Bryant on Sunday morning circled over a golf course in Los Angeles’s Griffith Park, awaiting clearance from air traffic controllers to But some of those who are familiar with the type of aircraft said a mechanical breakdown was an unlikely cause.

Before his fatal crash , Kobe Bryant had spoken about frequently choosing helicopter travel over cars due to Los Angeles traffic. Investigators are looking

A still photo from NTSB video of the Kobe Bryant crash site in Calabasas, Calif. © Courtesy NTSB/Courtesy NTSB/TNS A still photo from NTSB video of the Kobe Bryant crash site in Calabasas, Calif. With no black box recorder aboard the helicopter that crashed last month in Calabasas, killing Kobe Bryant and eight others, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are turning to the travellers’ personal electronics for potential answers.

Investigators hope the passengers’ cellphones and the pilot’s iPad can help them better understand the chaotic last moments of the flight before the chopper slammed into a hillside in foggy conditions.

Experts have said the helicopter was flying low enough that the activities of the electronics were likely captured by cellphone towers.

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Medical examiner said rugged terrain complicated efforts to recover remains of nine victims killed in Sunday crash outside LA.

Kobe Bryant , a universally-loved NBA star who played for the LA Lakers, has been killed in a private helicopter crash in California. Police say nine people died in the accident that has sent shockwaves across the US. Traveling in his private helicopter , Bryant and eight others crashed over Calabasas

Ara Zobayan, the pilot of the Sikorsky S-76B, made his last communication with air traffic control as he climbed to 2,300 feet heading toward Camarillo in heavy clouds on Jan. 26. Investigators are seeking to reconstruct what led him to suddenly bank left and descend rapidly just before the crash.

The NTSB is increasingly using personal electronics to help understand aviation disasters, and collecting the devices has become part of investigative protocol.

Related: Kobe Bryant's life in photos (Variety)

Kobe Bryant holding a basketball: Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant died on Sunday in a helicopter crash. He’s his life in photos.

“We were looking for electronic devices, as we always do. We were able to recover an iPad and a cellphone,” NTSB member Jennifer Homendy said shortly after the crash. In the days that followed, investigators recovered additional personal devices and determined that the iPad belonged to Zobayan.

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The identities of all nine victims who died with Kobe Bryant aboard a downed helicopter on Sunday morning have been identified by the Los Angeles Police Department and multiple reports.Among those who lost their lives along with Bryant , 41, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna

While the nation grieves the shocking death of Kobe Bryant , his daughter Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash on Sunday, there are certainly more Although there are no clear answers as to what led to the fatal crash , reports have noted that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's and Los Angeles

It could be a while, though, before they know whether there is recoverable data on the devices, NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said.

Investigators also will examine any potential communications from those devices during the flight from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, where the helicopter took off at 9:06 a.m. The group was heading to Bryant’s Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game.

Firefighters work the scene of a helicopter crash that killed former NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant © AP Firefighters work the scene of a helicopter crash that killed former NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant When the chopper went down about 40 minutes later, everyone on board was killed: Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers legend; his 13-year-old daughter Gianna; Mamba coach Christina Mauser; player Payton Chester and her mother, Sarah Chester; player Alyssa Altobelli and her parents, John and Keri Altobelli; and Zobayan. All died of blunt force trauma, according to coroner’s reports.

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Kobe Bryant 's helicopter spotted minutes before deadly crash . Kobe Bryant 's helicopter was spotted circling over Glendale, California just minutes before its fatal crash . A person who answered the phone at the LAPD’s Air Support Division and would only give his name as Chester said the pilots

Officials gathering evidence from Kobe Bryant crash site 01:46. So, the weather conditions were not unusual for a helicopter pilot to fly in, nor were Kobe Bryant talks about coaching his daughter. Note that any choice you make here will only affect this website on this browser and device .

The helicopter had neither a cockpit voice recorder nor a flight data recorder, better known as a black box, for the NTSB to analyze. Federal Aviation Administration regulations did not require the chopper to have such recorders.

But the pilot did have an app loaded on his iPad that allows a pilot to plan a flight and check on weather, terrain, position and potential hazards in real-time from the cockpit. The ForeFlight app can provide in-flight alerts of changing conditions, and it monitors GPS, speed and other dynamics of the aircraft.

Related: Athletes around the world honour Kobe Bryant (USA Today)

a stadium full of people: The San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs stand on the 24-yard lines and observe a moment of silence to honor former NBA player Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, prior to Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium on Feb. 2, 2020.

It’s unclear whether Zobayan was using the iPad because of the level of destruction during the crash, the NTSB said.

Gary Lackey, a former FAA inspector who for years has inspected choppers at Island Express, the operator of the helicopter that went down, said it’s not uncommon to see iPads with ForeFlight mounted for use by pilots. Veteran aviators say the devices can provide insight into a flight but also can prove to be a distraction.

Information from electronic devices gathered by NTSB investigators has previously helped investigators better understand why aircraft crashed. Cellphone records were crucial in determining the cause of a fatal crash of a Bell helicopter in New Mexico in September 2017, the agency said.

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US basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the helicopter 's manifest indicated that nine people were on board Media captionSite where basketball legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash .

Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas Sunday morning TMZ Sports has confirmed. Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his Kobe has famously used a helicopter to travel for years -- dating back to when he played for the Lakers. He was known for commuting from Newport

The helicopter was flying over open ranch land when it went down. The NTSB determined there was no mechanical failure or malfunction, but the pilot’s cellphone, which was recovered and reviewed, showed he had called a car rental agency during the flight.

When interviewed, the car rental clerk said she could tell the pilot was in a helicopter and that he seemed “busy or distracted.” They were talking about a future rental when the phone disconnected mid-sentence, she said.

Related: Celebrity reactions to Kobe Bryant's death (WW)

Kobe Bryant holding a sign posing for the camera: Kobe Bryant tragically passed away in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on Jan. 26, 2020, according to TMZ . He was just 41 years old and leaves behind his wife Vanessa and their four daughters, Gianna, Natalia, Bianca and Capri, who was born in June 2019. Click through to see how Hollywood is mourning the basketball legend.

“Based on available information, the pilot was likely using his cellphone during the low-altitude flight and became distracted, which resulted in the controlled flight into terrain,” the NTSB determined last year.

Similarly, the likely cause of the fatal crash of a single-engine Cessna airplane near Watkins, Colo., in May 2014 was revealed by a GoPro camera recovered from the wreckage. While the crash itself was not captured, the video revealed the pilot and various passengers had been taking selfies with their phones during a night flight, sometimes using a flash.

The NTSB concluded that the pilot probably became disoriented and “it is likely that the cellphone use during the accident flight distracted the pilot and contributed to the development of spatial disorientation and subsequent lack of control.”

Kobe Bryant's Helicopter Did Not Suffer Engine Failure Before Fatal Crash That Killed 9: NTSB

  Kobe Bryant's Helicopter Did Not Suffer Engine Failure Before Fatal Crash That Killed 9: NTSB The NTSB released its first report about the crash that killed the NBA legend, his daughter, and seven othersIn a preliminary report published on Friday, the NTSB said damage to the aircraft and to the surrounding area indicated the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter did not undergo engine failure before it slammed into a hillside in Calabasas, California, killing Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, as well as seven other members of a close-knit community: John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan.

Legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant has died in a California helicopter crash , reports said Sunday. The crash occurred around 10 a.m. local time amid foggy conditions in the hills overlooking Calabasas, with the Sikorsky S-76 chopper sparking a brush fire on impact that hampered initial rescue efforts

On January 26, 2020, a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, around 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles, en route from John Wayne Airport to Camarillo Airport.

In addition to personal electronics, investigators also are likely trying to extract data from the helicopter’s flight management system.

Doug Solbrekken, a veteran pilot of Sikorsky helicopters with two decades flying as well as training pilots, said he suspects the system won’t yield much more than what officials already know from local radar.

“There is still a slim chance that a passenger’s mobile phone or iPad could have been recording at the time of the crash,” he said. “Some pilots also use GoPro-type cameras suction-cupped to the windows, either pointing outside or back into the cockpit or cabin during flight.”

The FAA in 2014 banned airline pilots from using personal electronic devices, citing them as a distraction.

But general aviation pilots are allowed to use devices such as tablets with programs like ForeFlight. With pilots who are approved to fly passengers and cargo, the FAA can authorize operators to use electronic devices that can assist pilots.

The U.S. Department of Transportation in 2014 examined the safety of electronic flight devices and personal electronics used in the cockpit. Pilots complained of trouble scrolling and zooming with sometimes incorrect data and said the devices can be a distraction and sometimes lead to misinterpreted or erroneous aircraft performance parameters.

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