Helicopter Company Sues Air Traffic Controls Over Crash That Led To Kobe Bryant's Death

Island Express Helicopters, the company operating the chopper that killed Kobe Bryant has filed a suit against the air traffic controllers that were on duty.


Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others crashed in Calabasas in January.

ABC7 reports that lawyers for the firm claim that the pilot, Ara Zobayan, contacted Southern California Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) and requested “flight following,” or radar assistance.

They said the controller dismissed the request and replied: “I’m going to lose radar and comms probably pretty shortly.”

The suit called the denial improper “because radar contact had not been lost and services were being denied based on the possibility that they might be lost at some point in the future.”

It said that when the traffic controller who spoke to Zobayan was replaced, he failed to inform his colleague of the communication.

He also allegedly did not terminate radar services with the helicopter, leading the pilot to believe that he was still being monitored.

Attorneys representing Kobe’s wife, Vanessa, had in February sued Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp.

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