The Wolk Law Firm extends its condolences to the family of basketball great Kobe Bryant and at least one of his children who passed away today in the crash of his Sikorsky S-76 helicopter. The crash occurred in low ceilings and visibility in a hilly area near Calabasas, California.
No flight plan had been filed at least as revealed by currently available information. No flight plan was required for that flight though the weather was challenging with low ceilings and visibility.
Kobe was a Philadelphia sport’s laureate and a graduate of Lower Merion High School in a Philly suburb where Arthur Wolk resides. What is little known is that Kobe spoke a number of languages, was a prolific writer and a real intellectual.
The helicopter was nearly thirty years old and was used frequently between the Camarillo airport and the John Wayne, Orange County Airport near where his daughter was regularly involved in basketball practice.
It is unknown just what terrain avoidance equipment was on board nor what the age or condition of the engines and rotor system were. Investigation may reveal a mechanical problem that caused or contributed to the crash. Communications between the pilot and air traffic control should reveal if there was a reported mechanical problem that preceded the crash.
Helicopters are permitted to fly well below the altitudes that fixed wing aircraft fly and often fly beneath the clouds at low level. Hopefully the pilot made use of air traffic control services during the short flight.
Examination of the wreckage should quickly reveal if there was a mechanical cause but regardless, the country has lost an icon that will be sorely missed along with the others who perished with him.
It’s a really sad day today for the Bryant family and for those who grew up admiring Kobe’s great achievements.
Arthur Alan Wolk
January 26th 2020