NTSB: Flight path recreated with drone, helicopter 20-30 feet from clearing mountain

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jan 28, 2020

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board said they've recovered an iPad and cell phone at the crash site where Kobe Bryant died.

Further analysis will now be done to determine whether those electronics belong to the pilot and if they'll provide clues to what went wrong.

With the pilot having 8,200 hours of flight time as of last July, NTSB officials said today more than 1,200 hours of those took place on an S-76 helicopter, the type of helicopter that crashed on Sunday.

The NTSB recreated the helicopter's flight path, with the help of a drone, and also found other documents at the site of what they call a "high energy impact crash."

“We also found air worthiness certificates, the registration, company operations manual and everything we would expect would be on the aircraft,” said NTSB Investigator Jennifer Homendy.

Investigators say the plane missed clearing a hillside by 20 to 30 feet.

“It’s important to realize there's not one hill. It's a ravine with undulating terrain so the small out cropping that had the main impact in it, the main impact, was about 20 to 30 feet from the top of that small hill, but there are actually other higher hills surrounding it,” said Bill Enlish, NTSB investigator.

The NTSB did say previous recommendations following crashes in 2004 and 2005 in Texas and the Baltic Sea made to the FAA but were ignored.

Investigators said Tuesday one of those could have possibly helped prevent Sunday's crash.

A preliminary report with factual info, but no findings, is expected to be released in ten days.