“We know that the helicopter was at 2300 feet when it lost communications,” NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy said from the press conference in Calabasas, Calif. crash location on January 28.
“The descent rate was over 2000 feet a minute. We know this was a high energy impact crash,” she said.
“They missed clearing the mountain by 20 or 30 feet,” she explained. “It wouldn’t be a normal landing speed.”
Homendy revealed the details of the final moments for the Lakers legend and the eight other people on the helicopter. “Descent to impact was probably about a minute.”
She revealed that their investigation “located all significant components" of the crash debris and said the “helicopter was in one piece when it impacted the terrain.”
The NTSB board member explained that before the press conference they held a 3 pm. conference call with family members of the victims but refused to reveal who was on the call and what was discussed other than saying they informed them what they would tell the public.
Homendy said the on-site investigation was completed and detailed the next steps of the process.
“In 10 days we are going to issue a preliminary report. It is going to contain factual information. In 12 to 18 months we will issue a final report that will include findings and safety recommendations that we hope will be implemented by recipients. The goal is to prevent this type of accident in the future.”
Scroll through the gallery for photos and more details about Kobe Bryant’s fiery helicopter crash.
“A recovery crew was loading the wreckage in large white tarp bags which were airlifted from the scene and loaded on a truck and moved to a secure scene,” Homendy said about the wreckage debris.
“We have turned the site over officially to local authorities,” Homendy said on January 28. “We are done with the site. We are working on interviews with air traffic control and with the operator. Interviews are ongoing.”
Bryant’s helicopter was in one piece when it crashed into the mountain side, Homendy said. It burst into flames and started a brush fire in the Calabasas mountains.
“We were able to recover an iPad and a cell phone,” she said of the extensive search from the crash site. “We do not know if that is the pilot’s cell phone. We are going to send them back to our lab.”
Found On Scene
Also located at the crash scene were “maintenance records in the wreckage. We are not going to discuss them. We found them. We documented them.”
NTSB board member Homendy said they worked with drones to document the scene and had drones duplicate the “end path of the flight.”
“Over the span of two days, personnel from the department’s Special Operations Response Team (SORT) located and recovered the nine bodies from the extensive crash site,” the coroner’s office said.
Smoke billowed out of Bryant's plane after the crash on January 26, 2020.
s of Tuesday, Kobe’s remains had been identified but not his daughter Gianna’s. “Through the use of fingerprints, investigators identified three men and one woman who were on the aircraft,” Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner announced.
“Investigators are still working on identifying the five remaining decedents,” the coroner’s office said on Tuesday.