NEW From DAILY MAIL: Kobe's Chopper In Low Visibly Conditions Before Crash

ACCORDING TO THE DAILY MAIL: The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and seven others that crashed into a rugged hillside outside Los Angeles was flying in foggy conditions considered dangerous enough that local police agencies grounded their choppers. Bryant's helicopter left Santa Ana in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, shortly after 9am, a time when conditions were not suitable for flying, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. There was an overcast at 1,300 feet and visibility of about five miles. The pilot was flying under visual flight rules (VFR), meaning that he was relying on his ability to see the terrain below him. Around 9.20am, the helicopter circled for about 15 minutes just east of Interstate 5, near Glendale. Air traffic controllers (ATC) held up the helicopter for other aircraft for about 11 minutes, before clearing the Sikorsky S-76 to proceed north along Interstate 5 through Burbank's airspace. Air traffic controllers noted poor visibility around Burbank, just to the north, and Van Nuys, to the northwest. Due to the poor visibility, the pilot could have contacted air traffic controllers and requested to switch to instrument flight rules (IFR), which would have allowed him to navigate through the clouds. However, when pilots fly under IFR, it can take up a lot of time, especially in Southern California, which has an extremely busy airspace. The aircraft continued under VFR and around 9.40am it turned west to follow US Route 101, the Ventura Highway. At about 9.44am, the helicopter turned again, toward the southeast, and climbed to more than 2,000 feet, in an attempt to put some space between the helicopter and the high terrain. It then descended and crashed into the hillside at about 1,400 feet, according to data from Flightradar24.

Also meet the other seven victims. All seem like true friends of the Bryant Family. Our thoughts are with each of the family members affected by this tragedy. A true to life nightmare for those directly affected.

The other victims include John Altobelli, a baseball coach at Orange Coast College, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa; basketball coach Christina Mauser; Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton; and the pilot Ara Zobayan.

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