In a plane crash the NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, and seven other people died. This could have been avoided if the pilot followed the training rules. Ara Zobayan, the pilot of the Island Express charter did not stick to the rules related to bad weather flying, he lost track of the helicopter’s position concerning the horizon. He dropped left which took him into the hillside of California.
Instead of going into the clouds the pilot could have landed at a nearby airport or a parking lot that was nearby (only 12 miles away). But the pilot had decided that he had to reach the spot at all costs. On Tuesday Robert Sumwalt, the NTSB Chairman said, “Even good pilots can end up in bad situations.”
The Vice-Chair of NTSB, Bruce Landsberg said, “This pilot really wanted to get where he was going. An accident (is) just something that’s unforeseen, unpredictable, if you will. Unfortunately, this wasn’t.” Bruce Landsberg called it a crash instead of an accident.
The board has prescribed more simulator and scenario-based training in spatial disorientation. The cockpit voice recorder of the helicopter was removed which could have helped the pilot. Therefore the board’s recommendation to equip such helicopters with crash-resistant flight data, voice, and image recorders was dismissed by the investigators.
It is now the duty of the Federal Aviation Administration and helicopter charter companies to work on the recommendations to prevent future adversities. The investigators are speculating that the pilot may have felt pressure for the responsibility of a celebrity. On Tuesday the Island Express denied making any comment on the incident when contacted by the CNN team.