Text Messages Surface that Piece Together Kobe Bryant's Helicopter Crash

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US-HEALTH-VIRUS

A few months after Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others lost their lives in a tragic helicopter crash, text messages that followed the incident have been revealed. Nathan Fenno from the Los Angeles Times has obtained several text messages that laid out a timetable leading up to the crash. Around 45 minutes before the crash, the broker who arranged Bryant's flight, sent a text saying "Wheels up". The flight left at 9:06 AM ET and crashed at around 9:45 AM ET in Calabasas, California. 

Ara Zobayan was flying Bryant, Gianna and the six others to a game at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks. At 9:33 AM, a few minutes before the crash, one of Bryant's drivers at the Camarillo Airport, sent a text which read "Just started raining lightly here". The same group had flown to the same destination a day before the crash and Zobayan had taken the route around 10 times in 2019. For every flight, the broker, charter company and drivers communicated via text. 

At 9:33 AM, a few minutes before the crash, one of Bryant's drivers at the Camarillo Airport (where they were supposed to land), sent a text which read "Just started raining lightly here". The same group had flown to the same destination a day before the crash and Zobayan had taken the route around 10 times in 2019. For every flight, the broker, charter company and drivers communicated via text. 

At 9:48 AM ET, another broker asked if the helicopter landed three minutes after it was scheduled to do so. After 13 minutes of no response from the pilot, the broker asked Zobayan if he was okay at 10:02 AM. The text messages were among many details released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) which mapped the events which led to the crash. 

Zobayan had also confirmed that he would check in about the weather a day later. As per CNN, Zobayan later stated that it would not be the 'best day' to fly, but it was not as bad as the day before the crash. On the day of the crash, Zobayan confirmed that they would be flying as the weather looked okay. An hour before the flight, Taylor asked Zobayan about the weather, who replied saying that it should be 'OK', which Taylor had agreed to. 

Reports also revealed the Zobayan must have grown 'disoriented' before the crash. Right before the crash, Zobayan informed the radar controllers that they were starting to claim above the cloud layers. However, the helicopter was descending before the data ended. Zobayan did not respond after being asked for updates repeatedly. 

Vanessa Bryant sued the helicopter company in a wrongful death lawsuit, which stated that they were responsible for Bryant and Gigi's death. 

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