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Kobe Bryant pilot blamed for crash: Federal investigators rule he ‘desperately wanted to please’ NBA star client

Bryant was 41 when he and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, whose family and friends called her Gigi, died in the fiery crash in Calabasas on January 26, 2020. They were in a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter and were flying to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks. Until now, the only possible explanations have been that the pilot, Ara Zobayan, was disoriented as a result of poor visibility caused by thick fog which had grounded almost all other air traffic that morning.



Kobe Bryant did not put pressure on his helicopter pilot to fly in dangerous conditions, safety officials said on Tuesday as they ruled the crash was caused by the pilot’s poor decision to fly that they say was driven by a ‘self-induced’ pressure to please his famous client.

On January 26, 2020, pilot Ara Zobayan, 50, took the NBA legend, his daughter Gianna, two of Gianna’s teammates, their coach and some of the girls’ parents up in a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter.

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