Helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and 8 others was 20 to 30 feet from clearing a hilltop when it crashed, investigators say
(CNN) The helicopter carrying basketball superstar Kobe Bryant and eight others crashed into a Calabasas, California, hillside with a “high energy impact,” the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday.
As federal investigators wrapped up operations at the crash site, the NTSB’s Jennifer Homendy said preliminary information suggests the helicopter descended rapidly and was likely in one piece before it slammed into the hill.
“The descent rate for the helicopter was over 2,000 feet a minute, so we know that this was a high energy impact crash,” Homendy said. “This is a pretty steep descent at high speed. So it wouldn’t be a normal landing speed.”
The crash occurred about 1,085 feet above sea level, missing the top of the hill by 20 to 30 feet, investigators said. Parts of the helicopter were found scattered around a crash site that stretched 500 to 600 feet, the NTSB said.
The NTSB will release its preliminary report on the crash in 10 days, Homendy said.
“It’s not going to contain our findings, our analysis, it’s not going to contain any safety recommendations or probable cause but it’s going to provide some factual information — more than we have now, but just the facts.”
A final report will be out in about 12-18 months, she said.