Do We Have Kobe?

Kobe Bryant’s helicopter pilot was given clearance to fly under worse-than-normal conditions, audio reveals

By Christina Maxouris and Holly Yan, CNN

Updated 2:03 PM ET, Mon January 27, 2020

FILE PHOTO: Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant jumps for a rebound against the Denver Nuggets during Game 2 of their NBA Western Conference final basketball playoff game in Los Angeles, May 21, 2009.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Alicia Keys sings tribute to Kobe Bryant

PHOENIX, AZ - FEBRUARY 19:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers adjusts his jersey during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on February 19, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Lakers 102-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

NBA Spurs and Raptors stop game to honor Kobe Bryant

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Watch Neymar honor Kobe Bryant after scoring a goal

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See Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s touching Kobe tribute

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks back in the first half while taking on the Utah Jazz at Staples Center on April 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

See Kobe Bryant’s final tweet

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‘The Black Mamba’ Kobe Bryant dead at 41

People gather to pay tribute to former NBA and Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant on January 26, 2020 following his death in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles. - Nine people were killed in the helicopter crash which claimed the life of NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter, Los Angeles officials confirmed on Sunday. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said eight passengers and the pilot of the aircraft died in the accident. The helicopter crashed in foggy weather in the Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas. Authorities said firefighters received a call shortly at 9:47 am about the crash, which caused a brush fire on a hillside. (Photo by Chris Delmas / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

The world reacts to Kobe Bryant’s death

Firefighters work the scene of a helicopter crash where former NBA star Kobe Bryant died, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Calabasas, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 03:  Retired NBA Champion, CEO, Kobe Inc., Kobe Bryant speaks onstage during 2016 Milken Institute Global Conference at The Beverly Hilton on May 03, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

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Firefighters work the scene of a helicopter crash where former NBA star Kobe Bryant died, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Calabasas, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Sheriff: Crash site a ‘logistical nightmare’

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 26: Alicia Keys speaks onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Alicia Keys sings tribute to Kobe Bryant

PHOENIX, AZ - FEBRUARY 19:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers adjusts his jersey during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on February 19, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Lakers 102-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

NBA Spurs and Raptors stop game to honor Kobe Bryant

Metta World Peace (the former Ron Artest) leaves the court after being ejected from the game Sunday.

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Watch Neymar honor Kobe Bryant after scoring a goal

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LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES:  Kobe Bryant (L) of the Los Angeles Lakers holds the Larry O'Brian trophy as teammate Shaquille O'Neal (L) hold the MVP trophy after winning the NBA Championship against Indiana Pacers 19 June, 2000, after game six of the NBA Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. The Lakers won the game 116-111 to take the NBA title 4-2 in the best-of-seven series. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE)  AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP via Getty Images)

See Shaq’s tweet after Kobe Bryant’s death

See Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s touching Kobe tribute

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks back in the first half while taking on the Utah Jazz at Staples Center on April 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

See Kobe Bryant’s final tweet

FILE PHOTO: Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant jumps for a rebound against the Denver Nuggets during Game 2 of their NBA Western Conference final basketball playoff game in Los Angeles, May 21, 2009.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

‘The Black Mamba’ Kobe Bryant dead at 41

People gather to pay tribute to former NBA and Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant on January 26, 2020 following his death in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles. - Nine people were killed in the helicopter crash which claimed the life of NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter, Los Angeles officials confirmed on Sunday. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said eight passengers and the pilot of the aircraft died in the accident. The helicopter crashed in foggy weather in the Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas. Authorities said firefighters received a call shortly at 9:47 am about the crash, which caused a brush fire on a hillside. (Photo by Chris Delmas / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

The world reacts to Kobe Bryant’s death

Firefighters work the scene of a helicopter crash where former NBA star Kobe Bryant died, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Calabasas, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Sheriff: 9 people on board helicopter that crashed

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kobe bryant intv

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 03:  Retired NBA Champion, CEO, Kobe Inc., Kobe Bryant speaks onstage during 2016 Milken Institute Global Conference at The Beverly Hilton on May 03, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Costas: Kobe was always pushing for something better

Firefighters work the scene of a helicopter crash where former NBA star Kobe Bryant died, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Calabasas, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Sheriff: Crash site a ‘logistical nightmare’

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 26: Alicia Keys speaks onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Alicia Keys sings tribute to Kobe Bryant

(CNN)Millions of people never met him, but the sudden death of Kobe Bryant and eight others has left a country in mourning.The 41-year-old NBA legend died in a helicopter crash under foggy conditions in Calabasas, California. Visibility was so low Sunday morning that Los Angeles police had grounded its helicopters, spokesman Josh Rubenstein said.The helicopter crashed into a hillside, killing all nine people on board — including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. The official cause of the crash has not been determined.As fans around the world grapple with Bryant’s death, new clues are emerging about what happened shortly before the crash.

The life and legacy of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant

The life and legacy of NBA superstar Kobe BryantThe helicopter was operating under “special visual flight rules” (SVFR), according to an air traffic control conversation with the pilot, captured by website LiveATC.net.An SVFR clearance allows a pilot to fly in weather conditions worse than those allowed for regular visual flight rules (VFR).Pilots can request SVFR clearance before takeoff or mid-flight, especially if conditions suddenly change, CNN transportation analyst Peter Goelz said.While SVFR clearance is “pretty normal,” he said, “it’s not something that’s often recommended.””If you’re a pilot, and you’re in marginal conditions, or changing conditions that become marginal, you might call air traffic control” to request SVFR, Goelz said.If granted SVFR clearance, the pilot will typically keep tighter communication with air traffic control.Full coverage: The death of Kobe Bryant

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What we know about the other victims
Kobe’s daughter, Gianna, was the heir apparent to his legacy

Remembering Kobe’s final game

A lookback at his life

His greatest moments in his 20-year NBA career

A country pays tribute

Read Kobe’s final social media post

Kobe, in his own words, on leadership, failure, critics and more

The business empire he leaves behind
Kobe left his mark on Hollywood, tooThe Burbank Airport control tower allowed the helicopter to proceed using the special clearance, the audio reveals.”Maintain special VFR at or below 2,500″ the pilot confirmed to the controller.Later in the flight, the pilot apparently asked for “flight following,” a service in which controllers are in regular contract with an aircraft.The controller told the pilot “you’re still too low level for flight following at this time.” That could mean the helicopter was too low to be seen on air traffic control radar.While authorities try to determine what went wrong, investigators are struggling to find clues in difficult conditions.”It’s a logistical nightmare in a sense because the crash site itself is not easily accessible,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.The effort to recover the victims’ bodies hasstarted but could take days, given the terrain and the condition of the site, Los Angeles County Chief Medical Examiner Jonathan Lucas said.

Children and parents were on board

Bryant was traveling to a basketball game with Gianna, who was scheduled to play Sunday afternoon.

Young athletes, a baseball coach and mothers were on board

Young athletes, a baseball coach and mothers were on boardThey were joined by Orange Coast College (OCC) baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and his daughter Alyssa, Altobelli’s brother told CNN.Alyssa was Gianna’s teammate, OCC assistant coach Ron La Ruffa said. And Altobelli would routinely travel with his daughter for her basketball games.OCC President Angelica Suarez said she was devastated by the loss of “a member of our OCC family.””Coach Altobelli was a giant on our campus — a beloved teacher, coach, colleague and friend,” Suarez said in a statement. “This is a tremendous loss for our campus community.”Another parent, Christina Mauser, was also killed in the crash. Mauser was an assistant girls basketball coach for a private school in Corona del Mar, California.”My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash,” her husband Matt Mauser wrote on Facebook.

Fog blanketed the area

The crash occurred under foggy and cloudy conditions with extremely low visibility, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.Pictures taken shortly after the crash showed the density of the fog.

Witnesses said the helicopter plummeted quickly before crashing on the hillside, Los Angeles County fire Capt. Tony Imbrenda said.It was not immediately clear whether the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter radioed a distress signal, Imbrenda said.Local authorities are working with the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration to try to determine the cause of the crash.

The world mourns NBA legend Kobe Bryant

Photos: The world mourns NBA legend Kobe Bryant

Players and fans in Phoenix observe a moment of silence for Bryant before the Phoenix Suns game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.
Inside the Staples Center, a man takes a photo of a mural featuring Bryant on Sunday.
Fans mourn in front of Bryant's image across from Staples Center on Sunday.
A memorial for Bryant is seen Sunday near the Staples Center.
A moment of silence is taken before the game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Toronto Raptors on Sunday at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Fans are seen at a memorial started next to a mural of Bryant on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Fans stand for a moment of silence before the game between the Orlando Magic and the LA Clippers in Orlando on Sunday.
Elana Hirschman hugs her 11-year-old son Bryan as her husband Craig stands by Sunday near the scene of the deadly helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
A fan pays respects at a mural depicting Bryant in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday.
From left, Houston Rockets players Tyson Chandler, Austin Rivers and P.J. Tucker react during a tribute to Kobe Bryant before their game against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday,  January 26.
<img src="https://deepcogitationdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/image-8.gif?w=16&quot; alt="Host Alicia Keys speaks about Bryant during the <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/26/entertainment/gallery/grammys-show-2020/index.html&quot; target="_blank">2020 Grammy Awards
From left, Alex Fultz, Eddy Rivas and Rene Alfaro react to Bryant's death on Sunday outside of the Staples Center.
AFC defensive end Calais Campbell kneels as he and his teammates react to the announcement of Bryant's death Sunday in the second quarter of the 2020 Pro Bowl on Sunday in Orlando.
Dharma Brown, 8, writes a note to the late Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday.
LA Clippers assistant coaches Sam Cassell and Tyronn Lue react on the bench after honoring Kobe Bryant during a game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center in Orlando on Sunday.
The ceiling of Madison Square Garden is lit in the colors of the Los Angeles Lakers as Bryant's picture is displayed during a moment of silence Sunday.
People gather at a memorial for Kobe Bryant near the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday.
A fan shows off a Bryant jersey during a game between the Orlando Magic and the LA Clippers on Sunday.
Players and fans in Phoenix observe a moment of silence for Bryant before the Phoenix Suns game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.
Inside the Staples Center, a man takes a photo of a mural featuring Bryant on Sunday.
Fans mourn in front of Bryant's image across from Staples Center on Sunday.
A memorial for Bryant is seen Sunday near the Staples Center.
A moment of silence is taken before the game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Toronto Raptors on Sunday at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Fans are seen at a memorial started next to a mural of Bryant on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Fans stand for a moment of silence before the game between the Orlando Magic and the LA Clippers in Orlando on Sunday.
Elana Hirschman hugs her 11-year-old son Bryan as her husband Craig stands by Sunday near the scene of the deadly helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
A fan pays respects at a mural depicting Bryant in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday.
From left, Houston Rockets players Tyson Chandler, Austin Rivers and P.J. Tucker react during a tribute to Kobe Bryant before their game against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday,  January 26.
<img src="https://deepcogitationdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/image-7.gif?w=16&quot; alt="Host Alicia Keys speaks about Bryant during the <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/26/entertainment/gallery/grammys-show-2020/index.html&quot; target="_blank">2020 Grammy Awards
From left, Alex Fultz, Eddy Rivas and Rene Alfaro react to Bryant's death on Sunday outside of the Staples Center.
AFC defensive end Calais Campbell kneels as he and his teammates react to the announcement of Bryant's death Sunday in the second quarter of the 2020 Pro Bowl on Sunday in Orlando.
Dharma Brown, 8, writes a note to the late Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday.
LA Clippers assistant coaches Sam Cassell and Tyronn Lue react on the bench after honoring Kobe Bryant during a game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center in Orlando on Sunday.
The ceiling of Madison Square Garden is lit in the colors of the Los Angeles Lakers as Bryant's picture is displayed during a moment of silence Sunday.
People gather at a memorial for Kobe Bryant near the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday.
A fan shows off a Bryant jersey during a game between the Orlando Magic and the LA Clippers on Sunday.
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Sikorsky, the helicopter manufacturer, tweeted its condolences.”We extend our sincerest condolences to all those affected by today’s Sikorsky S-76B accident in Calabasas, California,” the company said.”We have been in contact with the NTSB and stand ready to provide assistance and support to the investigative authorities … Safety is our top priority; if there are any actionable findings from the investigation, we will inform our S-76 customers.”The helicopter was built in 1991 and was most recently registered to Island Express Holding Corp., according to the FAA.Calls to Island Express were not answered Sunday.

A nation in shock and mourning

Kobe Bryant: An NBA legend and a cultural icon

Kobe Bryant: An NBA legend and a cultural iconDevastated fans flooded an area near the crash site as well as Staples Center in Los Angeles, the city where Bryant spent his entire 20-year NBA career.Born in Philadelphia, Bryant quickly soared to become one of basketball’s greatest champions. He won five NBA championships, before retiring in April 2016, capping his career by scoring 60 points in his final game.Former Lakers Coach Phil Jackson called Bryant a “chosen one — special in many ways to many people.”Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and his three other daughters — the youngest of which was born in June.

CNN’s Aaron Cooper, Artemis Moshtaghian, Chloe Melas, Chuck Johnston, Darran Simon and Jon Passantino contributed to this report.

By adongoogony Posted in kenya

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