The helicopter that carried Kobe Bryant and 8 others before crashing on a hillside did not have a black box on board, investigators say
- The helicopter that crashed while carrying Kobe Bryant and eight others on Sunday did not have a flight recorder known as a black box, officials from the National Transportation Safety Board announced on Monday afternoon.
- The recording device was not required for the aircraft.
- The NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy said the helicopter circled for 12 minutes while awaiting clearance from air-traffic controllers.
- Then the helicopter climbed to about 2,300 feet to avoid a cloud layer and shortly after started a descending left turn.
- Homendy called the crash scene "pretty devastating" and said survival would have been unlikely.
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The helicopter that crashed while carrying Kobe Bryant and eight others on Sunday did not have a recording device known as a black box, which was not required for the aircraft, officials from the National Transportation Safety Board announced on Monday afternoon.
No one survived the crash in Calabasas, California, roughly 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The local coroner was still gathering the remains of the victims on Monday.
On Monday, the NTSB held a briefing and gave updated information about its investigation. Officials with the agency said drones were mapping out the area of the wreckage. The FBI is assisting with evidence collection, the transportation officials said.
The NTSB said the disposition of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter at the time of the crash was not yet clear. Pieces of the helicopter were scattered around the hillside near the main impact point. The debris field spans as wide as about 600 feet.
The NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy called the crash scene "pretty devastating" and said survival would have been unlikely. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
The NTSB is investigating the role weather may have played and has called on members of the public to send in photos of the weather in the area to assess flying conditions on the day of the crash.
"Initial information shows the helicopter was flying under visual flight rules from John Wayne Airport to just southeast of Burbank Airport," Homendy said about the helicopter's flight path.
Homendy said the helicopter circled for 12 minutes while awaiting clearance from air-traffic controllers. Then the helicopter climbed to about 2,300 feet to avoid a cloud layer and shortly after started a descending left turn.
The last radar contact with the helicopter was at about 9:45 a.m., consistent with the crash location.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the department was protecting the area surrounding the crash to prevent trespassing.
Bryant was a fixture on the Los Angeles Lakers for his entire 20-year career. He was the fourth all-time scorer in the NBA — having been passed by LeBron James on Saturday — and won five NBA championships.
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