Find Station

Kobe Bryant's Pilot, Not Airport, Gets Final Call on Flying in Bad Weather

Clay Travis: “It’s interesting that Los Angeles County Police said they would not put their own helicopters up in the air based on these fog conditions… Do they ground helicopters based on weather conditions?”
Steven Grey: “No, that is up to the pilot. The pilot in command has the total say-so on that. The tower will let you fly. It’s like ‘Clay, if you want to fly your helicopter today in South Florida; the weather is bad, we got a thunderstorm and severe fog, but we will let you fly it because the pilot in command has the final say-so. It is not the tower. We’ve got a Super Bowl coming up in South Florida. We have a thing called a ‘TFR’, a temporary flight restriction. When President Trump comes to Los Angeles or anywhere in the country you get a temporary flight restriction. When a Super Bowl happens, one of the biggest event in the world, we’re going to have a controlled airspace here in South Florida, and this will be completely shut down as far as any private aircraft coming in and out of the area. That is the only time they can stop aircraft from flying. But if you want to fly in poor, or dangerous conditions, they’re going to let you do it.” (Full Interview Below)

Listen to Clay Travis speak with professional helicopter pilot Steven Grey, who piloted air traffic choppers for news affiliates in South Florida for more than a decade.

Kobe Bryant shockingly lost his life in a helicopter crash at the age of 41, in a tragic disaster that took the lives of 8 other people, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

Much speculation has been developing in regards to the cause of the crash, as there was an extremely daunting layer of fog that was causing limited visibility around Los Angeles that morning.

Despite reports of the LA County Sheriff’s Department grounding all their helicopters that morning due to the poor weather conditions, Grey says the pilots of private helicopters are not required to ground their aircrafts for bad weather conditions alone, and says there couldn’t have been a scenario of the airport’s tower grounding Bryant’s vessel before the ill-fated flight.

Check out the full interview below as Grey details what possibly occurred in the critical moments right before the crash.

Kobe Bryant's Pilot, Not Airport, Gets Final Call on Flying in Bad Weather