The helicopter that crashed last month in Calabasas, killing Kobe Bryant and eight others, showed no signs of engine failure, the National Transportation Safety Board said Friday.
The news comes as federal investigators continue to investigate the cause of the crash. The finding that the chopper didn’t lose power before slamming into the hillside is one key conclusion, but many questions remain unanswered.
“Our investigators have already developed a substantial amount of evidence about the circumstances of this tragic crash,” NTSB Chairman Robert L. Sumwalt said in a statement. “And we are confident that we will be able to determine its cause as well as any factors that contributed to it so we can make safety recommendations to prevent accidents like this from occurring again.”
The report provided more details about the crash but not a definitive cause, which is likely to take several more months.
According to the report, the main impact crater was on a 34-degree slope and measured 24 feet by 15 feet in diameter and 2 feet deep.
“Examination of the main and tail rotor assemblies found damage consistent with powered rotation at the time of impact. The initial point of impact consisted of highly fragmented cabin and cockpit debris,” the report noted. The main wreckage was about 127 feet from the impact crater.
The engines were found lying inverted in the burned area. “Viewable sections of the engines showed no evidence of an uncontained or catastrophic internal failure,” the report said.
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