Report: Kobe Bryant pilot may have been disoriented in fog

National

FILE – This undated file photo provided by Group 3 Aviation shows helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan standing outside a helicopter, at a location not provided. Zobayan violated federal flight rules in 2015 when he flew into busy airspace near Los Angeles International Airport despite being ordered not to by air traffic control, according to records from the Federal Aviation Administration obtained by the Los Angeles Times. (Group 3 Aviation via AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Federal investigators say the pilot of the helicopter that crashed in thick fog, killing Kobe Bryant and seven other passengers, reported he was climbing when he actually was descending.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday that Ara Zobayan’s last transmission said he was climbing to 4,000 feet to get above clouds. But he actually was in a rapid descent into a hillside northwest of Los Angeles.

The report confirms initial findings that the helicopter was functioning and does not offer a conclusion of what caused the Jan. 26 crash that killed all nine aboard.    

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