Fresh updates have been made available concerning circumstances that led to the death of NBA legend, Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna and seven others.
Naija News had reported earlier that Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash that occurred in Southern California on Sunday morning.
Bryant was among five people aboard the helicopter that crashed with no survivor. He was aged 41.
The crash in Calabasas and deaths were confirmed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department though the Sheriffs did not mention Kobe’s name.
Giving more information on the incident, Jennifer Homendy of the National Transportation Safety Board, an accident investigator, revealed that Ara Zobayan, the pilot of the helicopter, told air traffic controllers in his last radio message that he was climbing “to avoid a layer of cloud.”
According to Homendy, Zobayan had asked for and received special clearance to fly in heavy fog just minutes before Sunday’s crash and was flying at 1,400 feet (427 metres) when he went south and then west.
According to Al Jazeera, Jennifer Homendy was part of the crew of investigators that went to the crash scene on Monday to collect evidence.
She said traffic controllers had told the pilot that he was flying too low when he asked them to provide “flight following assistance.”
“About four minutes later, the pilot advised they were climbing to avoid a cloud layer,” she said.
“When ATC asked what the pilot planned to do, there was no reply. Radar data indicates the helicopter climbed to 2,300 feet (701 metres) and then began a left descending turn. Last radar contact was about 9:45 am (17:45 GMT) and is consistent with the accident location.”
Naija News understands that the weather was so foggy that the Los Angeles Police Department and the county sheriff’s department had grounded their own helicopters.