Home » News » Helicopter pilot in Kobe accident had committed violation before

Helicopter pilot in Kobe accident had committed violation before

  • The helicopter pilot in whose accident Kobe Bryant died had committed an air rape in 2015.
  • According to records, Ara Zobayan had already flown over an unauthorized area with low visibility.
  • The record does not indicate whether Zobayan was carrying passengers at that time, but the fact was documented.

The pilot of a helicopter that crashed on a hillside in southern California, killing Kobe Bryant and eight others, he was reprimanded five years ago for flying without permission in the airspace while visibility had been reduced, according to an application record of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Ara Zobayan was advised by an FAA investigator after he violated the agency’s rules by crossing into occupied airspace near the Los Angeles International Airport on May 11, 2015, according to the record, which Los Angeles Times first reported.

The record does not indicate if Zobayan was carrying passengers at that time.

Zobayan, 50, died on January 26 when his helicopter sank at high speed on a hillside in Calabasas, northwest of Los Angeles. Zobayan had been trying to climb over a layer of clouds when the aircraft leaned to the left and sank 366 meters (1,200 feet) at high speed.

It has been speculated that the pilot was disoriented in the foggy weather. The accident is still under investigation.

The accident also killed Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, along with six others. The victims will be honored at a public memorial on February 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

At that time, Zaboyan was chief pilot of the Island Express Helicopters Inc. charter service. He was flying to the same company during the 2015 incident.

According to the FAA report, the Zobayan helicopter was near the Hawthorne, California airport, and was headed north when it asked permission from the LAX tower to cross its airspace.

Zobayan was told that the weather conditions did not meet the minimum for pilots who used visual flight rules, that is, fly by sight. Zaboyan was asked if he could maintain the “VFR conditions.”

Zaboyan responded that he could “maintain a special VFR,” which means he asked permission to fly by sight with less than optimal visibility.

When the air traffic control denied the request and told him to stay away from the area, Zobayan responded that he could “keep VRF”, but during the conversation, the helicopter entered the airspace, according to the record.

Leave a Comment