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Video shows inside Kobe Bryant’s helicopter two days before it crashed

A video showing the inside of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter just two days before it crashed killing the Lakers legend, his daughter Gigi and seven others has emerged.

The footage shared on Twitter on Sunday was filmed by a passenger inside the chopper and shows a young boy looking out the aircraft window as the Sikorsky S-76B flew over the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of Southern California.

The boy is sitting in the exact spot where Bryant was photographed in the chopper relaxing while traveling to his last NBA game on April 13, 2016. 

Unlike the thick and low fog that may have contributed to Bryant’s crash on Sunday, the view from the helicopter across the water to the shore was clear and sunny.

The video and pictures of the helicopter were tweeted by user ‘IWiIlkaga’ along with the tail number of the chopper, N72EX.

‘Video from inside Kobe’s helicopter from last week,’ the man wrote. ‘My brother lives in Los Angeles. He has a video of the helicopter he was on last week. 

‘The tail number is the exact same as the one that crashed today. My brother was on the Helicopter Kobe crashed in. #N72EX wow!’

Video emerged showing the inside of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter days before it crashed, killing Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others on Sunday. The footage was filmed by a passenger inside the chopper and shows a young boy watching out the aircraft window as the Sikorsky S-76B flew over the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of Southern California

Bryant flew in the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter he'd used to travel for years. The child is sitting in the exact spot where Bryant was photographed in the chopper relaxing while traveling to his last NBA game on April 13, 2016 (pictured)

Bryant flew in the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter he’d used to travel for years. The child is sitting in the exact spot where Bryant was photographed in the chopper relaxing while traveling to his last NBA game on April 13, 2016 (pictured) 

Unlike the thick and low fog that may have contributed to Bryant's crash on Sunday, the view from the helicopter across the water to the shore was clear and sunny

The video and pictures of the helicopter were tweeted by user 'IWiIlkaga' along with the tail number of the chopper, N72EX

Unlike the thick and low fog that may have contributed to Bryant’s crash on Sunday, the view from the helicopter across the water to the shore was clear and sunny. The video and pictures of the helicopter were tweeted by user ‘IWiIlkaga’ along with the tail number of the chopper, N72EX

In previous tweets the Twitter user, who did not immediately respond to requests from DailyMail.com for comment, described his brother Ryan as a wealthy 38-year-old commercial real estate broker based in Los Angeles

In previous tweets the Twitter user, who did not immediately respond to requests from DailyMail.com for comment, described his brother Ryan as a wealthy 38-year-old commercial real estate broker based in Los Angeles

In previous tweets the Twitter user, who did not immediately respond to requests from DailyMail.com for comment, described his brother Ryan as a wealthy 38-year-old commercial real estate broker based in Los Angeles.

Data from the helicopter, frequently used by Bryant to transport him from his Orange County home around the LA area, shows a flight at 10.35am on Friday which flew over the water just off the coast of Long Beach and Huntington Beach, appearing to match the tweeted video.

The flight, just two days before the fatal crash, lasted 23 minutes and took the chopper from Long Beach Airport to LAX.

The aircraft was built in 1991 and is owned by Island Express Holding Corp, which is based in Fillmore, California. 

According to the website Helis.com, it was previously owned by the state of Illinois, and Island Express changed the aircraft tail number after purchase. 

The model is frequently used for transporting VIPs, and experts have compared the S-76B to a ‘limousine’.

Sikorsky, which was sold to defense giant Lockheed Martin in 2015, began manufacturing the $13 million helicopter line in 1977 and claims it has ‘more than 7.4 million hours of safe, successful flight’.

It is unclear whether the pilot killed in Sunday’s crash, 50-year-old Ara Zobayan, was flying the helicopter while the video was shot.

However, he is noted as being Island Express’ chief pilot and has worked for the company for 10 years.  

Passengers John Altobelli, 56; his wife Keri; their daughter Alyssa; Payton Chester and her mom, Sarah; as well as Christina Mauser, also all died in the crash.   

'Video from inside Kobe’s helicopter from last week,' the man wrote. 'My brother lives in Los Angeles. He has a video of the helicopter he was on last week. 'The tail number is the exact same as the one that crashed today. My brother was on the Helicopter Kobe crashed in. #N72EX wow!'

‘Video from inside Kobe’s helicopter from last week,’ the man wrote. ‘My brother lives in Los Angeles. He has a video of the helicopter he was on last week. ‘The tail number is the exact same as the one that crashed today. My brother was on the Helicopter Kobe crashed in. #N72EX wow!’

Bryant's former pilot Kurt Deetz, who used to fly the basketball superstar around in 2015, claimed that the Sikorsky S-76B i s such a 'reliable' aircraft that it wouldn't just 'fall out of the sky.' Deetz believes the helicopter (control system pictured) more than likely crashed due to bad weather rather than engine or mechanical issues

Bryant’s former pilot Kurt Deetz, who used to fly the basketball superstar around in 2015, claimed that the Sikorsky S-76B i s such a ‘reliable’ aircraft that it wouldn’t just ‘fall out of the sky.’ Deetz believes the helicopter (control system pictured) more than likely crashed due to bad weather rather than engine or mechanical issues

'The likelihood of a catastrophic twin engine failure on that aircraft — it just doesn't happen,' Deetz said. Pictured is the interior of the helicopter that crashed on Sunday, it was later refurbished to have cream seats and paneling

‘The likelihood of a catastrophic twin engine failure on that aircraft — it just doesn’t happen,’ Deetz said. Pictured is the interior of the helicopter that crashed on Sunday, it was later refurbished to have cream seats and paneling 

Pilots who spoke with TMZ, said they believe Zobayan panicked and ascended to 2,000 feet in order to clear a mountain range. This image shows another angle of the helicopter's interior

Pilots who spoke with TMZ, said they believe Zobayan panicked and ascended to 2,000 feet in order to clear a mountain range. This image shows another angle of the helicopter’s interior 

On Monday, Kylie Jenner revealed she used to fly on the same helicopter and knew pilot Zobayan personally

Jenner had actually rented the same chopper as a treat for her niece Dream's third birthday back in November

On Monday, Kylie Jenner revealed she used to fly on the same helicopter and knew pilot Zobayan personally. Jenner had actually rented the same chopper as a treat for her niece Dream’s third birthday back in November 

On Monday, Kylie Jenner revealed she used to fly on the same helicopter and knew pilot Zobayan personally.

Jenner had actually rented the same chopper as a treat for her niece Dream’s third birthday back in November.

Posting on her Instagram story, Kylie shared a touching message which included small photos of the nine victims of the crash. 

‘Rest in peace .. and prayers to these families,’ she wrote below the images. 

‘I still can’t believe this. that was the helicopter i would fly on from time to time with that pilot, Ara. he was such a nice man.’ 

It appears that Bryant charted the helicopter as needed, as others were able to fly on it when he wasn’t on board. 

Bryant’s former pilot Kurt Deetz, who used to fly the basketball superstar around in 2015, claimed that the Sikorsky S-76B is such a ‘reliable’ aircraft that it wouldn’t just ‘fall out of the sky.’  

Deetz described the helicopter as being like a ‘limousine’ that was in ‘fantastic’ condition and subject to a ‘very good maintenance program’. 

Deetz said the helicopter is a ‘very complex’ aircraft that’s meant to be flown by experienced pilots. He said that pilots need at least a couple thousand hours flying in a twin engine to be ready to fly the model. 

‘There aren’t a lot of people readily qualified to fly it,’ he said. While speaking about the reliability of the helicopter, Deetz told CNN: ‘They just don’t fall out of the sky.’

He also said the model is considered nearly ‘bulletproof’.

On Monday, investigators worked along a rugged hillside outside Los Angeles where the helicopter carrying Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, 13, and six other passengers crashed in foggy weather considered dangerous enough that local police departments had grounded their choppers

On Monday, investigators worked along a rugged hillside outside Los Angeles where the helicopter carrying Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, 13, and six other passengers crashed in foggy weather considered dangerous enough that local police departments had grounded their choppers

Dramatic pictures have revealed how Kobe Bryant's helicopter exploded into a fireball after it plunged 1,000 feet into a hillside on Sunday, killing the NBA legend and eight others

Dramatic pictures have revealed how Kobe Bryant’s helicopter exploded into a fireball after it plunged 1,000 feet into a hillside on Sunday, killing the NBA legend and eight others 

Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters and coroner staff recover the bodies from the scene of the helicopter crash

Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters and coroner staff recover the bodies from the scene of the helicopter crash

Radar indicated the helicopter reached a height of 2,300 feet before descending, and the wreckage was found at 1,085 feet

Radar indicated the helicopter reached a height of 2,300 feet before descending, and the wreckage was found at 1,085 feet

Deetz told the Los Angeles Times that the helicopter more than likely crashed due to bad weather rather than engine or mechanical issues.

‘The likelihood of a catastrophic twin engine failure on that aircraft — it just doesn’t happen,’ he said. 

In 2015, Deetz joined Island Express because he wanted to be Bryant’s pilot.

He told CNN that he had many memorable flights with the Lakers legend, including flying him out of downtown Los Angeles the night Bryant retired.

‘He was a very private person and you have to respect that. He was very cordial – it was always thumbs up and waves,’ he said.

The aircraft was built in 1991 and is owned by Island Express Holding Corp, which is based in Fillmore, California. According to the website Helis.com, it was previously owned by the state of Illinois.   

On Monday, investigators worked along a rugged hillside outside Los Angeles where the helicopter carrying Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, 13, and six other passengers crashed in foggy weather considered dangerous enough that local police departments had grounded their choppers.

About 20 investigators were on the scene. Among other things, they will look at the pilot’s history and the chopper’s maintenance records, said National Transportation Safety Board board member Jennifer Homendy.

The NTSB typically issues a preliminary report within about 10 days that will give a rough summary of what investigators have learned. A ruling on the cause can take a year or more.  

Pilots who spoke with TMZ said they believe Zobayan panicked and ascended to 2,000 feet in order to clear a mountain range. 

After ascending, flight tracking data shows he then descended to 1,700 feet in what may have been an attempt to go under the fog, which would mean he likely didn’t know a mountain was nearby. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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