Kobe Bryant’s former pilot Kurt Deetz has dismissed the possibility that the helicopter crash which killed the NBA star was as a result of a technical fault.
Deetz told LA Times that the owners of the helicopter had a “very good maintenance programme” and the chopper was in “fantastic condition”. He said:
The likelihood of a catastrophic twin-engine failure on that aircraft — it just doesn’t happen.
He suggested that poor weather conditions may have caused the crash. Deetz’s reasoning is consistent with that of Justin Green, an aviation attorney in New York who flew helicopters in the Marine Corps, who said that pilots can become disoriented in low visibility, losing track of which direction is up.
Despite Sikorsky (the manufacturer of helicopters since 1977) claiming that the model has “more than 7,4 million hours of safe, successful flight”, the same model has previously been involved in fatal crashes in Canada, Turkey, Estonia and the North Sea.
The crash killed Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people. Bryant, 41, leaves behind his widow Vanessa and three daughters, Natalia (17), Bianka (3), and Capri (seven months).
More: Los Angeles Times/CBS.