Helicopter pilot in Bryant crash had FAA violation in 2015

Calabasas Kobe Bryant helicopter crash
Posted at 8:31 AM, Feb 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-22 11:31:46-05

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The pilot of a helicopter that crashed into a Southern California hillside, killing Kobe Bryant and eight others, was reprimanded five years ago for flying without permission into airspace while he had reduced visibility.

A Federal Aviation Administration enforcement record says Ara Zaboyan was counseled in 2015 after he strayed into Los Angeles International Airport space after being denied permission to cross because of reduced visibility.

The FAA record says Zobayan admitted and took responsibility for the error.


Zaboyan, Bryant, Bryant's daughter and six others died last month when their helicopter hit a hillside northwest of Los Angeles in cloudy weather.

The NTSB said it could take as many as 18 months to issue its full report. In the agency's initial findings, investigators say the helicopter came about 20 to 30 feet from avoiding the mountain, but descended rapidly about 2,000 feet per minute, from 2,300 feet to 1,085 feet above sea level.

In 2004, the NTSB recommended to the FAA that all helicopters be equipped with a Terrain Awareness and Warning System, but the FAA has yet to follow the recommendation, according to California Rep. Brad Sherman.