Kobe Bryant: Funeral Plans and Federal Report of Helicopter Crash Could Come This Week

A preliminary report on the Jan. 26 helicopter crash that took the lives of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others is expected to come as soon as this week, the National Transportation Safety Board said Monday. Funeral details are also expected to come soon, although Los Angeles officials said nothing is finalized. Bryant spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, winning five NBA championships before retiring in 2016.

"The typical time frame is about 10 business days for the preliminary to be posted to the NTSB website," the NTSB said in a statement to USA Today.

The first report will only include "facts only," NTSB investigator Jennifer Homendy noted, and will not include a determination of the cause of the cash. That might not be released until the final report, which might not come for 18 months.

The NTSB could still include safety recommendations, like requiring terrain awareness warning systems (TWAS) and black boxes in helicopters. The FAA previously declined to require TAWS, and Bryant's death has raised questions about that.

"It is certainly possible for NTSB to reiterate previous recommendations," NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway previously told USA Today.

The FAA pointed out that TAWS and data recorders are already required for helicopter ambulances because they might be flying to unfamiliar landing zones and at night, whereas an on-demand operation is less likely to do so. The agency told USA Today that other requirements have already cut down on the number of helicopter crashes in recent years.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles officials are working hard on plans for Bryant's funeral and memorial service. Nothing is finalized, but it is possible the memorial service will not be held at the Staples Center, the "house that Kobe built," because it is too small. According to a TMZ report, the L.A. Coliseum, which holds 80,000 people, is being considered.

"There will absolutely be a memorial to mark the contributions of this incredible man and not only him, but to commemorate the loss of his daughter and all the other families that were there," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday, reports the Los Angeles Times. "We don't have that date finalized but we've been talking every day to the Lakers, and most importantly, to [Bryant's widow, Vanessa] as well. I think one message that I would say is this is not just about a man who was a basketball player, this is about a father, this is about a leader, this is about a filmmaker, this is about an artist, this is about somebody who was so much more than just how he was on the court."

Garcetti said he hoped a memorial will show how united the city is.

"We are one city that believes in each other, believes in something bigger than ourselves and we will absolutely do everything to make sure that this is done so that everybody can come to it as well," he explained.


Bryant, Gianna, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester and pilot Ara Zobayan died in the helicopter crash. Island Express Helicopters, which owned the aircraft, has suspended operations indefinitely.

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