Kobe Bryant Crash Helicopter Company Suing 2 Air Traffic Controllers

August 25, 2020

Island Express, the helicopter company that tragically crashed with Kobe Bryant and 8 others on board is suing two air traffic controllers they claim were responsible for the crash.

Island Express alleges the pilot asked the air traffic controllers for guidance due to heavy fog, but the controllers denied the pilot use of what could have been life-saving radar, according to TMZ. Even though radar guidance had not yet been lost.

"I'm going to lose radar and comms [communications] probably pretty shortly so you can just squawk V-F-R [visual flight rules] and when you get closer go to Camarillo tower," one pilot said to another according to the lawsuit.

According to the suit, in less than two minutes the pilot radioed in, but the lawsuit alleges the pilot was "unhelpful and uninformed," according to TMZ.

Additionally, the suit claims that at some point one of the controllers called back, it's assumed because of the fog, which caused the pilot stress, and ultimately the crash.

The lawsuit alleges that the pilot believed he was operating under radar because the control tower had not notified him that it had been turned off.

Autopsy reports were released by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's office earlier this summer regarding the victims in the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others.

The causes of the deaths of Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the seven others were blunt trauma. The other victims, in addition to Bryant, his daughter, and Zobayan, were Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton and Christina Mauser.

Bryant and the eight others died Jan. 26 when their helicopter crashed in heavy fog in Calabasas. They were on their way to a tournament.

Two Los Angeles City Council members are expected today to introduce a motion calling for a stretch of Figueroa Street downtown to be renamed in honor of late Laker legend Kobe Bryant.

"This is a gift to the city of Los Angeles and to all the Kobe Bryant fans around the world," City Councilman Curren Price said Monday. "L.A. streets will rise in honor of the `King of L.A."'

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