Amid the devastation brought by the death of NBA Superstar, Kobe Bryant and his 13-year old daughter Gianna, last Sunday in Calabasas, California, a video claiming to show the crash that killed Kobe and eight others aboard the aircraft circulated in social media earned the ire of Kobe's fans and supporters.
The video circulating on Twitter and TikTok is of a helicopter catching fire after spinning out of control. However, this is actually a footage of a helicopter accident in Dubai back in 2018 that killed four crew members.
Fans and supporters of NBA's Black Mamba around the world were outraged and are calling for the takedown of the unrelated video. However, a home security video taken by a Google Nest camera in a home near the crash site was taken and was said to contain audio of the chopper as it descended rapidly into the hillside.
According to the homeowner, Ronna Leavitt, the camera was placed near her doorstep and that she has already turned over the video to the National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB) for them to analyze as part of their investigation. Said recording may reveal the cause of the crash that shocked not only the basketball community but the whole world.
In the aftermath of the deadly crash, a member of the NSTB brought up a recommendation to require aircrafts to have Terrain Awareness Warning Systems (TAWS) that was previously rejected by the federal aviation regulators.
According to the NSTB member, having this safety feature is crucial. Said terrain warning system may have saved the NBA legend and other victims since it can warn the pilot of the hillside they were approaching.
In a statement by Jennifer Homendy of the NSTB, a 2004 crash in Galveston, Texas, which killed ten people, prompted them to suggest to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requiring US-registered roto-crafts to be equipped with TAWS.
However, the FAA did not implement the said suggestion since regulations for TAWS installation is only mandated in helicopters conducting air ambulance operations.
Some experts argue that even with the said warning device, it could not have changed the fate of the nine people who died in the crash. According to Col. Stephen Ganyard, FMR. Fighter Pilot and Dep. Asst. Secy. of the State, with the position of the helicopter being 600 ft. from the ground diving at the speed of 4000 ft. per minute it would have been impossible to avoid crashing into the hillside even with a terrain warning system.
Last Thursday, it was confirmed by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner that all nine passengers of the chopper died due to blunt trauma. It can be recalled that the chopper was heading to Mamba Academy for a basketball game where Bryant's daughter Gianna will play with Kobe as a coach.
Apart from Kobe and his daughter, other casualties of the helicopter crash are pilot, Ara Zobayan; Orange Coast College football coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri Altobelli, their daughter Alyssa Altobelli; Christina Mauser; Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton Chester.