NTSB says Kobe Bryant helicopter crash left ‘devastating accident scene’

UNTV News   •   January 28, 2020   •   899

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called on Monday (January 27) for the public to give it any photographs or video that might have been taken of the weather in the area of the helicopter wreck that killed basketball star Kobe Bryant.

The crash on Sunday (January 28) left a “devastating accident scene,” NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy said.

“We have a request for the public. We’re looking for photos of the weather in the area of the crash. If you have photos that can help us, again, in the area of the crash, if you could send those photos to witness-at-ntsb-dot-gov,” she said.

Air traffic controller recordings showed the pilot was flying too low to be monitored in fog.

“The pilot advised they were climbing to avoid a cloud layer,” Homendy said. “Radar data indicates the helicopter climbed to 2,300 feet and then began a left descending turn. Last radar contact was around 9:45 a.m. and is consistent with the accident location.”

Coroner’s investigators said on Monday they had recovered three bodies from the crash site and were searching for more remains.

The Sikorsky S-76 chopper slammed into a steep hillside on outside Calabasas, California, about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, killing all nine people on board, igniting a brush fire and spreading debris over hundreds of feet of grassy terrain.

The NTSB offered no update on the search for victims but said investigators were expected to be on the scene for as many as five days.

Bryant, who won five NBA championships in his 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, was known since his playing days to travel frequently by helicopter to avoid the Los Angeles area’s glacial traffic. (Reuters)

(Production: Jane Ross, Krystian Orlinski)

Apple to re-close more stores in seven states, bringing total to 77

UNTV News   •   July 2, 2020

REUTERS – Apple Inc said on Wednesday (July 1) that it would re-close more than two dozen stores in seven states, including its home state of California, bringing the total closures to 77 as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Starting Thursday (July 2), stores will close in Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, and Oklahoma.

As of Wednesday, additional stores had already closed in Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Utah.

Apple has taken an city-by-city approach to opening and closing stores, evaluating data for each community.

In cities where stores remain open, Apple requires face coverings for employees and customers while also performing temperature checks and frequent cleaning, the company said.

Apple has said its retail employees will continue to be paid through the closures. (Production: Angela Moore)

Number of Californians with COVID-19 keeps rising; governor declares budget emergency

UNTV News   •   June 26, 2020

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday (June 25) declared a budget emergency in the most populous U.S. state, blaming expenses and the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Declaring a budget emergency allows the state to tap into its rainy day fund. California anticipates a $54.3-billion budget deficit due to costs and a drop in revenue linked to the pandemic.

The state’s budget crunch lies in the shadow of coronavirus cases that continue to mount.

Nearly 5,350 people tested positive for the coronavirus in California the past 24 hours, Newsom said. The increase was smaller than Wednesday’s (June 24) record of 7,149 new cases. But the number of Californians becoming very ill continued to rise, using about 34% of the available intensive care beds in the state, up from 29% on Wednesday.

A total of 4,240 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Thursday in the state, using about 9% of total available beds, Newsom said.

The surging cases have prompted the state to put 11 counties, representing about half of California’s population, on a watch list of places that might be required to roll back recent efforts to reopen their economies. (Reuters)

(Production: Jane Ross)

Pilot in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash may have become disoriented in heavy fog – NTSB

UNTV News   •   June 18, 2020

The pilot of a helicopter that crashed in foothills near Los Angeles, killing basketball great Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and all seven others on board, likely became disoriented in the fog, federal investigators said on Wednesday (June 17).

The National Transportation Safety Board report said pilot Ara Zobayan told air traffic controllers that his helicopter was climbing, when in fact it was descending shortly before slamming into a hillside outside the community of Calabasas on Jan. 26.

The NTSB said that pilots can become confused over an aircraft’s attitude and acceleration when they cannot see the sky or landscape around them, causing “spacial disorientation.”

“Without outside references or attention to the helicopter’s attitude display, the actual pitch and bank angles have the potential to be misperceived,” the NTSB said.

The findings came in a “public docket” released by the NTSB as it investigates the crash. The agency has not yet released its final report. (Reuters)

(Production: Omar Younis)

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