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Kobe Bryant’s Helicopter Did Not Suffer Engine Failure, NTSB Report Says

The NBA star and his daughter were among those killed in the Jan. 26 crash

The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven others did not suffer from engine failure at the time of the fatal crash, according to a preliminary report released Friday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

A full report with a conclusion on the cause of the Jan. 26 crash is still months away.

The NTSB report says the helicopter was destroyed by “impact forces and fire.” Of the engines at the time of the crash, the report states, “Examination of the main and tail rotor assemblies found damage consistent with powered rotation at the time of impact … Viewable sections of the engines showed no evidence of an uncontained or catastrophic internal failure.”

The engines were recovered and will be disassembled for a detailed examination.

The report also included photos of the scene and of the weather on the day in question, including a still frame from a security video showing the helicopter flying into clouds (see below).

Kobe Bryant helicopter


The report further states that a “number of personal electronic devices were recovered from the wreckage and will be examined for any relevant data.”

The nine victims of the January crash have been identified as Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna; Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, an assistant girls basketball coach at an elementary school in Orange County, California; Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton, 13; and the pilot, Ara Zobayan.

During his 20-year career with the Lakers, Bryant won five NBA championships.