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Kobe Bryant crash investigators look at weather conditions, pilot's equipment

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Posted at 6:09 PM, Jan 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-27 21:09:04-05

Investigators were at the site of Sunday's helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and 7 others.

At a press conference Monday afternoon, National Transportation Safety Board members called the crash site devastating, with the debris field spanning an estimated 500 to 600 feet.

Investigators are documenting the scene and using drones to map the wreckage.

Monday morning, they established the investigative groups.

The NTSB also discussed the helicopter's flight path information and said the pilot told air traffic control he was climbing to avoid the clouds, but after reaching 2,500 feet, never made contact again.

Board members say they'll be looking at an iPad and other equipment used by the pilot in flight.

With everything mentioned by the NTSB Monday, they stressed that they're there to figure out more than just why the helicopter went down.

“We're here to conduct a safety investigation and our mission is not just to determine what happened but why it happened and how it happened to prevent a similar accident from ever happening again,” said NTSB Board Member Jennifer Homendy.

The FBI was also on scene assisting with the collection of evidence, but the NTSB says there is no criminal investigation underway.

With weather being part of the investigation, the NTSB is asking anyone who has photos of the area near where the crash occurred Sunday morning to send those to witness at ntsb.gov.

The NTSB says the pilot was a certified flight instructor with more than 8,200 hours of experience.

They say it appears he had been working for the helicopter company for many years.