Kobe Bryant helicopter crash: Engine didn’t fail

Kobe Bryant's body and others now recovered from crash site

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LOS ANGELES — Federal investigators say wreckage from the helicopter that crashed last month and killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others did not show any evidence of engine failure, according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The initial findings will be followed by a final investigative report in about a year.

The helicopter took off Sunday, Jan. 26, in Orange County to fly Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and their friends about 90 miles to a youth basketball tournament in Thousand Oaks, California. They were flying aboard a Sikorsky S-76B, a big helicopter outfitted for executive transport, and a model with a generally good safety record.

It was piloted by Ara Zobayan of Huntington Beach, California, who was qualified to fly both visually and on instruments, Federal Aviation Administration records show. He received his commercial pilot’s license in 2007. 

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