The Los Angeles Times recently reported that Ara Zobayan, the pilot of the aircraft that was carrying Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and several other individuals, had previously received an FAA violation for flying under poor weather conditions. Now, fans are speaking out about this new report and expressing a variety of opinions over the matter.
On Friday, the LA Times reported that Zobayan received an FAA violation in 2015 for flying in a low-visibility area without approval. The pilot reportedly received counseling on proper planning, reviewing weather, and special VFR (visual flight rules) minimums following the violation in lieu of remedial training. This report comes as authorities are still trying to determine the cause of the Jan. 26 crash, which occurred after Zobayan raised concerns about the low-visibility level in the area during the flight.
The reaction to this new report has been mixed amongst fans on social media. Some have expressed their frustration over the news about Zobayan, while others believe that the pilots past should not be brought up given that he also died in the Jan. 26 crash.
"Okay but he had permission to fly this time, so let's not place the blame on someone who is not around to defend themselves," one user wrote on Facebook.
"At this point whatever they say won't bring these nine good humans back. Let them Rest In Peace," another user wrote.
"People aren't letting it go because they want to know y a 20 year licensed pilot flew in that bad weather," yet another user wrote on Facebook.
It should be noted that Zobayan, an experienced pilot with over 1,200 hours in the S-76 helicopter, the aircraft involved in the crash, was certified to fly using his instruments in conditions with low-visibility, as the New York Times reported. Although, the certification that the FAA gave to the helicopter's owner Island Express Helicopters only allows pilots to fly visually when they have at least half a mile of daytime visibility as well as an ability to see the ground from the aircraft.0comments
"Why bring this up now Kobe trusted him the Airport allowed him to fly so bring up this now is ridiculous cause at end of the day it was a tragic accident and won't bring them back by pointing fingers . Move on ridiculous," another user wrote on Facebook.
The LA Times reported that a full investigation into the circumstances that led to the crash will likely take months to complete. Zobayan, Kobe, Gianna, and six others all perished as a result of the Jan. 26 crash, which occurred in Calabasas, California. The group was reportedly on their way to a basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy at the time of the tragic incident.