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NTSB to Announce Probable Cause of Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash on February 9

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2021

The retired jerseys of late Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant hangs above the arena prior to an NBA game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in Los Angeles. Bryant, the 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, died in a helicopter crash Sunday. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will announce the probable cause of the January 2020 helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others next week. 

Per TMZ Sports, the NTSB will hold a virtual board meeting to discuss its findings Feb. 9. The event will be live-streamed to the public. 

The NTSB said in an initial report last February that there were no signs of engine failure, but any final conclusions were "likely many months away."

Per Chris Woodyard of USA Today, NTSB documents released in June noted the pilot, Ara Zobayan, may "have become disoriented" due to a thick layer of fog in the area at the time of the crash. 

Zobayan told air traffic controllers he was going to climb to 4,000 feet, but the helicopter was descending when it crashed. 

The Los Angeles County coroner's autopsy released in May noted that Zobayan had no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time. 

Vanessa Bryant, as well as surviving family members of the other passengers on the helicopter, have filed wrongful death lawsuits against Zobayan’s estate, Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp.

The crash occurred on Jan. 26, 2020 in Calabasas, California when the helicopter, which was en route to a basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy, collided with a hilly terrain. All nine people on board, including Kobe and Gianna Bryant, were killed. 

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