New details are emerging about the fatal helicopter crash that left Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, and seven other people dead. Investigators are looking into whether inclement weather played a role in the accident.
Weather conditions were not ideal for flying at the time of the crash, and the Los Angeles Police Department grounded all of their aircraft due to the foggy conditions. The helicopter reportedly made a climbing turn, followed by a rapid dive before crashing into a hillside in a remote area of Calabasas, California. The aircraft was traveling at 184 mph and was descending at a rate of more than 4,000 feet per minute when it slammed into the ground.
The helicopter spent about 15 minutes circling around Glendale before air traffic controllers granted the pilot permission to continue flying towards Burbank. Air traffic controllers noted the low visibility, which was roughly five miles at 1,300 feet.
The pilot was flying under visual flight rules and had to navigate without using instruments. Officials did not say if the pilot radioed a distress signal before going down.
Authorities are working to recover the bodies but cautioned that it could take several days due to the harsh terrain around the crash site.
The other victims in the crash included Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and his daughter, Alyssa, another young basketball player, Payton Chester, her mother Sarah, Christina Mauser, an assistant girls basketball coach for a private school in Corona del Mar, California, and the pilot Ara Zobayan.