US officials: Pilot error caused Kobe Bryant chopper crash

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LOS ANGELES, California (AP) — Federal safety officials have blamed the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others on board last year on the pilot’s poor decision to fly into clouds where he became disoriented and plunged into a Southern California hillside.

The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday said poor visibility because of thick fog north of Los Angeles probably led the pilot to become disoriented.

The agency’s findings came after the Jan. 26, 2020 crash led to widespread public mourning for the retired basketball star.

Pilot Ara Zobayan frequently flew Bryant. Investigators say he ignored his training and violated federal regulations.