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NTSB Schedules Public Meeting To Determine Cause Of Helicopter Crash That Killed Kobe Bryant

CALABASAS (CBSLA) — The National Transportation Safety Board has scheduled a public meeting for Feb. 9 to determine the probable cause of the helicopter crash that killed Laker superstar Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.

The Feb. 9 virtual hearing will take place just over two weeks after the first anniversary of the crash that stunned Los Angeles and the sports world.

Kobe Bryant ntsb crash map
(credit: NTSB)

The NTSB says the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter collided with hilly terrain and was destroyed by the impact and the subsequent fire. The pilot, 50-year-old Ara Zobayan, and the eight passengers on board were all killed.

Bryant, his daughter, two of her teammates and their parents were on the way to Bryant's Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a youth basketball game. They included 56-year-old John Altobelli, the longtime coach of Orange Coast College's baseball team, his 46-year-old wife Keri and their 13-year-old daughter Alyssa; 45-year-old Sarah Chester and her 13-year-old daughter Payton; and Christina Mauser, one of Bryant's assistant coaches on the Mamba Academy team.

Documents the NTSB made public last year supported the theory that Zobayan may have become disoriented while flying through heavy fog. The pilot's last communication with air-traffic controllers before the crash was to tell them he was climbing to 4,000 feet to get above the cloud cover, according to NTSB documents. But flight data showed the helicopter was actually descending and banking to the left, leading to the fatal crash.

The meeting, which will include NTSB board members and investigative staff, will be online only and will start at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 9. A link to the webcast will be made available shortly before the meeting starts.

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