Text Messages From Day of Helicopter Crash Offer Chilling Insight Into Kobe Bryant’s Death

Jonathan Sherman
2 Min Read

It’s been months since Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant tragically passed away in a helicopter crash, but the entire Los Angeles community is still trying to pick up the pieces.

In a recent report from Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times, text messages regarding the fateful flight offer insight into the fear and confusion that those on the ground felt before the tragic news broke.

“Just started raining lightly here,” one of Bryant’s drivers messaged from Camarillo Airport, the helicopter’s destination, at 9:33 a.m.

Minutes after the helicopter was scheduled to land, a broker employee of Island Express Helicopters Inc. grew concerned.

“Land?” the broker employee texted at 9:48 a.m., three minutes after the flight had been scheduled to arrive.

Bryant’s driver responded.

“Not yet,” the driver responded a minute later.

14 minutes later, the same broker messaged pilot Ara Zobayan.

“Ara, you okay,” the broker messaged just after 10 a.m.

The pilot never responded.

The previous day, Zobayan was aware that weather could be an issue during his midmorning flight.

“Just checked and not the best day tomorrow but it is not as bad as today,” Zobayan texted in response to questions about the weather.

It is believed that the fogginess of that fateful day played a major role in the deadly crash. Just before the crash, Zobayan told an air traffic controller that his craft was “climbing to 4,000” feet altitude. In reality, the helicopter was descending towards the ground.

The helicopter crashed at 9:45 a.m. Hopefully, the mistakes that were made leading up to that morning will be used as a lesson to keep pilots and passengers safe in the future.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.