January 26, 2020

What We Know About the Helicopter That Crashed With Kobe Bryant on Board
When Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed in a fiery helicopter crash Sunday, they were passengers in a luxury vehicle dating back to the George H.W. Bush administration.The chopper, a twin-engine Sikorsky S-76, was a roughly $13 million model marketed as an “executive helicopter” for personal travel, catering to “corporate executives and heads of state.” A brochure for a more recent model of the aircraft boasts “safe, reliable flight in all weather situations,” and describes its demographic as “the few who have reached the pinnacle of success.” But according to the Federal Aviation Administration aircraft registry, the particular vehicle in question spent most of its operating life far from the city in which Bryant became a basketball legend. Built in 1991, the chopper was owned by the state of Illinois from 2007 to 2015, when it was sold for $515,161 to a user named Jim Bagge, as the Chicago Daily Herald reported. Jim Bagge is the name of an executive at Island Express Holding Corp., the helicopter operator to which Bryant’s chopper was licensed, according to business records filed with the California Secretary of State in 2012. At the time of the sale, the helicopter’s two engines had a combined 3,952 hours of airframe, according to the helicopter database Helis.At a press conference Sunday, representatives for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced that they had sent 18 personnel to the crash site outside Calabasas, California, to investigate the accident. Jennifer Homendy, an NTSB representative, said the team would look into the maintenance records, the pilot’s background, and the helicopter’s owner and operator.Kobe Bryant’s Brilliant, Flawed, Maddeningly Driven GeniusRepresentatives of Island Express Holding Corp—including their presidents, Bagge and Philip DiFiore, and their general counsel Teri Neville—did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Island Express also appeared to have taken down its website and social media profiles some time after the crash. The helicopter manufacturer, Sikorsky, a subsidiary of military contractor Lockheed Martin, wrote in a tweet that the company intended to cooperate with the NTSB investigation. “We extend our sincerest condolences to all those affected by today’s Sikorsky S-76B accident in Calabasas, California. We have been in contact with the NTSB and stand ready to provide assistance and support to the investigative authorities and our customer,” the company wrote. “Safety is our top priority; if there are any actionable findings from the investigation, we will inform our S-76 customers.”In September, soap opera actor and pilot Lorenzo Lamas posted a picture with a helicopter bearing the same N-number, or a registration number given to aircraft, as the one that crashed Sunday with the caption, “Sun setting on another glorious day. Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it - Ernest Holmes.” Lamas also appeared to tweet that he was safe after the crash, before the post in question was deleted. He did not immediately respond to requests for comment. On Jan. 23, Lamas tweeted another picture of a helicopter, this one captioned, “Pilot Life. Catalina Island.” The former Falcon Crest star was apparently referencing a popular tourist destination off the coast of Los Angeles, with which Island Express Holding Corporation has contracted to conduct helicopter tours since 1982, according to archived images from their website.In 2008, another of the company's helicopters, this one a Eurocopter AS 350, crashed during rainy weather on the west side of Catalina Island, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported at the time. The crash ignited a brush fire upon impact, killing two men and one woman on board and leaving three others in critical condition. An FAA and NTSB investigation said the cause of the crash appeared to be engine failure, according to the Associated Press. The Federal Aviation Administration was also investigating Sunday’s crash, and representatives from the agency did not immediately respond to requests for comment.Bryant has said that he used helicopters because it was too hard for him to sit in a car for a two-hour traffic clogged trip to Los Angeles for a game. In another interview, he said using the helicopter to get to practices and media appearances allowed him to spend more time with his daughters.In 2017, the Los Angeles Times reported that Bryant had once played a trick on Lakers GM Rob Pelinka involving a helicopter, ordering the pilot to pull military maneuvers and shut off the engine midair. “My life was flashing before my eyes,” Pelinka told newspaper. “I almost had a heart attack. Kobe’s just sitting there calm and collected.”—With reporting from Tracy Connor
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Julia Fox defends viral ‘Uncut Gems’ interview moment: ‘I was stoned’ | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
4m-p0_-ePd8
Alexia Echevarria pushed ‘RHOM’ producers to show more of son Frankie’s recovery | Page Six
February 17, 2022
E-wTaN9NfkI
Pete Davidson rejoins Instagram amid Kanye West drama | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
SsC3dmsI6t4
Aaron Rodgers And Shailene Woodley Reportedly Break Up | TMZ LIVE
February 17, 2022
FoErdRE8Qe4
Chet Hanks Done Talking About Famous Parents, Becoming Personal Trainer | TMZ
February 16, 2022
5_UrULOkQ6o
Woman Stabbed at Foot Locker During Nike Shoe Release
February 16, 2022
TfuXMs1JdVg
Steph's Freaky Side, "Summer House" & "Love During Lockup"
February 17, 2022
9W_raO0zlA8
Tay or Nay, Offset's Sushi Anxiety & Nick on Monogamy
February 17, 2022
PauYHpJRA6o
Kim Kardashian & North West TWINNING in Matching Pajamas | E! News
February 17, 2022
b-_Oib6R108
Adam McKay - Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony
February 17, 2022
tYtzsHoOZzo
Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, and the Cast of 'Uncharted' Talk Most Challenging Stunts
February 15, 2022
d3ksX-SKi8c
Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell on ‘The Adam Project’, ‘Deadpool’, and Possible ‘Star Wars’ Role
February 16, 2022
5TxJsbJr9Dk
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
04
May
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Playoffs
Seattle Sounders - Pumas
04
May
USA: Major League Soccer
FC Cincinnati - Toronto FC
03
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Nottingham Forest
02
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Brentford
02
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Fulham - Luton
02
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Real Betis
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Eintracht Frankfurt
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach - RB Leipzig
02
May
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Salernitana
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Leicester City
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Mallorca
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Bologna
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Arsenal
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Chelsea
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Inter Milan
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Fiorentina
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Venezia
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Rayo Vallecano - Real Sociedad
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Mainz - Bayern Munich
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bochum
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Liverpool
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Atletico Madrid
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Manchester City
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Espanyol
30
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Sassuolo
28
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Chelsea
27
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Liverpool - Villarreal
27
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Inter Milan
26
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Manchester City - Real Madrid
25
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Juventus
24
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Rayo Vallecano
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - AC Milan
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Everton
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - West Ham United
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Empoli - Napoli
23
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Tottenham Hotspur
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.