Report: Bryant pilot did not have drugs, alcohol in system

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher 

According to the Associated Press, an autopsy on Ara Zobayan, the pilot of the helicopter that crashed in January in Calabasas, California did not show any alcohol or drugs in his system. Zobayan, Kobe Bryant, and and others were killed in the January 26th crash. 

It’s also being reported in the same story that all nine were killed instantly when the helicopter crashed into the hillside. All nine autopsy reports were released on Friday. 

Helicopter (Photo by Pixabay)

Kobe Bryant was the most notable person on the helicopter at the time of the crash. He had to be identified by his finger prints as his body was ‘broken beyond recognition,’ AP reports. 

“These injuries are rapidly if not instantly fatal,” wrote Juan Carrillo, senior deputy medical examiner, in Bryant’s report.

The deaths were ruled accidental, while their instant deaths were from ‘blunt trauma.’

At the time of the crash, this group was on their way to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California as there was a tournament that day. Gianna — GiGi, as she was known — was wearing her Mamba jersey at the time of crash, the report said. 

It was recently announced that the world ‘Mamba’ has been removed from The Sports Academy. Before entering into a partnership with Bryant, the facility was known as ‘The Sports Academy.’

Zobayan — who was credited as an experienced pilot — often flew Bryant around. He also flew Kawhi Leonard, as well. 

He was mere seconds from breaking through the clouds on that early morning. However, for some unknown reason, Zobayan allegedly ‘took a left turn and plunged’ into a hill. 

The helicopter allegedly was flying at 184 mph and descended at a rate at ‘more than 4,000 feet per minute.’ Once hitting the hill, the crash caused a cater on the hill, along with a large debris field that was considered to be as large as a football field. 

Shortly after the crash, the helicopter engulfed in flames. The bodies were heavily burned, as it reportedly took the first responders an hour to get to the scene. 

The AP is reporting that Bryant was found on a side of the wreckage of the helicopter. The impact caused Gianna to go in a ravine on the other side of the wreckage. 

Bryant, his autopsy, said had methylphenidate in his system. This drug is commonly known as Ritalin, which helps treat hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. 

The National Transportation Safety Board previously said that there was no signs of mechanical failure at the time of the crash. However, a final report could be months, if not years from being released. 

The helicopter has been criticized for not having a Terrain Awareness and Warning System installed. This would have signaled to Zobayan that the helicopter was close to hitting the ground. 

Besides Zobayan, Bryant and his daughter, John Altobelli, who was the Orange Coast College head baseball coach was killed with his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa. Christina Mauser, who was an assistant coach with Bryant on his daughter’s team, was also killed. 

Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton were also killed in the crash. Alyssa, Payton, and Gianna were all teammates on the team that Bryant and Mauser coached. 

Berge Zobayan recently filed in court that ‘Bryant knew the risks of helicopter flying.’ He alleges that Bryant’s wife and children should not be entitled to Zobayan’s estate for damages. 

Bryant’s wife Vanesa previously sued Zobayan’s estate and Island Express, the company that owned the helicopter. Island Express claims that the accident is ‘an act of God’ and the accident was ‘beyond their control.’

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