Kobe Bryant killed in helicopter crash

Oh dear, you never know when something like this will suddenly take away a young life. Basketball great Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest NBA players ever, was just killed in a helicopter crash. Click on the CNN screenshot to get the live updates.

He was only 41, and had four daughters. It’s horrible.



  1. JezGrove
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Sad news – RIP.

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    It is particularly terrible and sad in that his family is irreparably damaged – the news says one of his daughters was in the crash too. This is awful. Sad sad sad…

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      TMZ said a daughter of his was on the helicopter

      If anyone has family here, … tell them you love them. I’m crying.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        And of course I make it all come out wrong – i apologize.

        • JezGrove
          Posted January 26, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

          You’ve absolutely nothing to apologize for.

          According to Wikipedia (already!), a teammate of Kobe’s daughter Gianna was also on board together with her own parent – not forgetting the pilot, of course.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted January 26, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

            Thank you

            In the same way that Beethoven or Bach’s music makes me feel there’s something right in the world, this makes me feel there’s something very wrong… and I think it shows- the confusion. I cannot imagine any of the victims’s families’ grief, and there’s nothing I can do,

          • Posted January 27, 2020 at 4:45 am | Permalink

            A team mate and both her parents.

            John Altobelli, coach of the Orange Coast College basketball team, was among the passengers, along with his wife Keri and their 13-year-old daughter Alyssa


            • Filippo
              Posted January 27, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

              I’m contemplating how long it will take for the NY Times to acknowledge in its print edition these others by name. (Maybe they already have online.)

              I assume readers here are aware of a Washington Post reporter being suspended on account of her inserting in a Twitter comment a link to a report, by another media organization, of Bryant’s settlement in an alleged sexual assault incident. (The amount was not disclosed, though the Guardian reported that “legal experts” are alleged to have opined that a settlement of $2.5M was reasonably likely.) Has the WP mentioned one word of this incident in its reporting on the lamented demise of Bryant? The NY Times briefly mentioned the incident in its reporting. Will NYT staff be similarly suspended/disciplined?

              If one ought not mention such an item in relation to a late popular professional athlete until after some specified duration of grieving, ought the same standard be applied to anyone else?

              • ThyroidPlanet
                Posted January 27, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

                I saw that headline hobby in Google News and thought “here we go” and skipped it – I didn’t even notice it was the … was it? Washington Post?

  3. rickflick
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink


  4. Debra Coplan
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    What terrible news and so shocking.

    Posted January 26, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    It was a stunner and saddening to learn this news in the red band atop a screen.

    His poem, “Dear Basketball,” which he read upon his retirement put his love for the game into words I could feel.

    And to think that just last night King James nudged Bryant from the #3 all time scoring position. And Bryant wss among the first to congratulate him for this accomplishment.

    • Mark R.
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, he was a stand-up athlete and person.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        Took me a while to warm up to Kobe’s public persona, but there was no harder worker or more fierce competitor.

        It’s a tragedy, especially with the loss of his daughter and her teammate.

  6. Mark R.
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    And he was in Philly last night as LeBron James broke his record for all time points scored: James took Kobe’s 3rd position. I read the crash took place under foggy conditions- crashed against a hillside, but don’t know if that’s the main cause. Either way, a very sad incident and there are millions mourning.

  7. Liz
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    This is shocking and so sad.

  8. Andrea Kenner
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    So sad

  9. Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    We were at the Pepsi Center awaiting the start of the Nuggets-Houston game, chatting with one of the camera men, and he gave us the news shortly after the word arrived in Denver. Before the start of the game, I think that all 19000 fans had heard even though there was not announcement. Before the start, there was a moment of silence for Kobe, with a haunting black and white photo of him standing on the court, back to the camera, and back lit. Several players did not hold back their tears, and the singer of the National Anthem also teared up. A chant of “Kobe, Kobe….” rang for a few moments. Interestingly the players played well and hard although after the game, each said how difficult is was to get out on the floor. But they also acknowledged that getting out there is what Kobe would have wanted.

  10. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    From the CNN feed :

    Weather conditions on Sunday morning did not meet the Los Angeles Police Department’s minimum standards for flying, spokesman Josh Rubenstein confirmed to CNN.
    Due to foggy conditions, LAPD had grounded their helicopters in the morning.

    The only significant question is – who pressurised the pilots into flying that morning?
    – Weather too bad for the emergency services to fly out in is not a thing you can be unaware of.
    – Pilots are not insane.
    – Therefore, pressure was applied, and probably quite a lot of it, by a person who is culpabile for these deaths. And for any ground damage.

    It could have been worse – nominally the aircraft can carry 13+2 people. With two pilot seats, it is very odd for only one pilot to have been deployed. On a short, freight-heavy, flight it is conceivable. But loaded with passengers? Very unlikely.

    • rickflick
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      I had some of the same thoughts. Pilots who fly celebrities would likely be vulnerable to pressure. It will be interesting to learn what the feds find out.

    • Posted January 27, 2020 at 4:42 am | Permalink

      Let’s wait for some facts to come out before calling for people to be strung up, shall we?

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 27, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        If I hadn’t seen it dozens of times and had dozens of colleagues die because of pressures like that, I might think it was unlikely. But since I have seen it, it seems considerably the most likely explanation, a priori.
        Remember – helicopters can autogyrate if they have more than a hundred or so feet of air room. So absent catastrophic mechanical failure and loss of the main rotor (which tends to land tens of seconds later, attracting attention from ground witnesses), the pilots should have been to land safely. If they could maintain their ground clearance. Which is notoriously error-prone in foggy conditions. Which is why fog severely affects helicopter operations.
        All tediously familiar.

        • Posted January 27, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          “Most likely” is not the same as definite. People have died, including the pilot. Maybe he is to blame, maybe one of the passengers is or maybe it was mechanical. At the moment, any speculation as to the cause is just a half arsed guess.

      • Filippo
        Posted January 27, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        It is a fact that fog existed, if one can believe what one reads in the media. Why land in fog in a helo which, I reasonably gather, is not equipped to so land, unlike planes landing at airports?

        • Posted January 27, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          How do you know they were trying to land?

          • Posted January 27, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            I know that area fairly well and watched the video referenced. It looks to me that the pilot decided to make a U-Turn because of poor visibility and did not correctly gauge how much space he needed to make the turn. He flew over some flat area at the 101 and Las Virgenes but hit the hills before he could get back over the 101.

  11. Posted January 27, 2020 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    R.I.P. Your love towards Basketball is a Oscar Winning poem and Your play is the reason for many to watch basketball.
    Legend 🙏 Kobe Bryant

  12. Posted January 27, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    NINE people died in the crash. I thought this meant is was way overloaded but gravelinspector above said the helicopter could carry more.
    If there was high pressure on the pilot to fly, then lawsuits are next. But one should wait to learn of course.

  13. Tom Czarny
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Whenever anything aviation-related occurs in the world I usually turn to this YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/cttx236mUIE. Juan Brown is a retired military and 777 pilot and can be counted upon to deliver an authoritative analysis. His occasional swipe at the “main stream media” is irksome and his commentariat tends to the loony but his analysis is very good.

    • Posted January 27, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      He’s one of my goto aviation channels.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted January 28, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Update: https://youtu.be/Df6OPxxbSyc

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted January 28, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        Long story short : it’ll take half a year to rule out all the unlikely possible explanations.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted January 30, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Another update: https://youtu.be/dOee3WQGFv8

      It discusses the NTSB findings.

      I’m finding that what is unsettling – and the larger, overt impression about this – is how unremarkable and predictable it seems the conditions were to result in such a catastrophe. How we see helicopters all the time, in various conditions, and it always seems highly controlled and predictable- e.g. usually there are no meteors, volcanoes, hurricanes, or other terrifying natural objects. But it seems it doesn’t take much… this looks like it was that typical fog near the coast in California.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Another update yesterday- the NTSB preliminary report.: https://youtu.be/ZxjlgmHt7Wk

  14. Posted January 27, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Hoping that their suffering was slight.

  15. rickflick
    Posted January 29, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Here is the ATC recording of the last minutes of the flight. You can hear the pilot ask for Special VFR just before going silent.


  16. rickflick
    Posted January 29, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    NTSB film of the crash site.


    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted January 29, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Despite the grim nature of the investigation, this is encouraging- and right at a moment when it seems the mechanism of government is not aligned with the nation’s best interests – there is methodical, scrupulous attention to learn from error, to make indeed a more perfect union.

      Also it looks exciting to use all the technology they have to collect data.

  17. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 29, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I think it is worth noting, despite the terrible result, that nobody on the ground was harmed.

    • Posted January 29, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Indeed. A bit sooner, residential areas would have been hit; a little later, although unlikely because of the terrain, residential also. The site of the hillside crash does have some mountain biking trails, and fortunately no one was there at the time.

%d bloggers like this: