Kobe Bryant Made Decision to Move Helicopter Flight Earlier Than Expected, Investigation Documents Report

More information on Kobe Bryant's helicopter crash was released this week. According to Bryant's personal assistant Cate Brady, the Los Angeles Lakers legend scheduled his flight from 9:45 a.m. to 9 a.m. the night before the crash that killed him, his daughter Gianna and seven other people. They were all heading to a basketball tournament for his daughter's team, and he wanted to catch an earlier basketball game.

"That particular day, for Sunday, I actually changed the time the night before, probably around 6:00 or 7:00 p.m., because Bryant had decided he wanted to go to watch another team play before his game," Brady said who was Bryant's assistant since May 2019, via the Daily Mail. "So it was supposed to be a 9:45 departure, but the night before, we changed it to a 9:00 a.m. departure." Federal investigators believe the pilot was disoriented by the thick fog, which cleared up as the morning developed. The helicopter crash occurred a little before 10 a.m. There was fog at the time, but it cleared 45 minutes later.

The interview with Brady took place on Feb. 19, just weeks after the crash. One of the questions asked to her was if Bryant ever put the helicopter company under pressure to fly under severe weather conditions. "I don't want to answer that question because it's never occurred," Brady stated. "If there was an issue, I have been Kobe's assistant for long enough to volunteer to drive him. But we've never had that happen, so I don't know the exact answer to that."

The reason investigators believe the pilot, Ara Zobayan, was disoriented before the crash was the fact he told air traffic control he was ascending to 4,000 feet when he was descending to the ground. "Calculated apparent angles at this time show that the pilot could have misperceived both pitch and roll angles," one report stated. "During the final descent, the pilot, responding to [air traffic control], stated that they were climbing to four thousand." The National Transportation Safety Board has not reported the cause of the accident, but that could come in the final report, which has not been released. In the meantime, Bryant's widow, Vanessa, has filed a lawsuit against the pilot, helicopter company, and owner of the helicopter. She is also urging Congress to pass a helicopter safety bill named after Bryant and Gianna.