The two engines of the helicopter that crashed in hazy, cloudy weather on a California hillside last month, killing basketball great Kobe Bryant and eight others, showed no evidence of a “catastrophic internal failure,” federal investigators said on Friday.
The interim report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) 12 days after the Jan. 26 accident also said examination of both rotor assemblies found damage “consistent with powered rotation at the time of impact.”
The findings, while preliminary, pointed to no obvious signs of mechanical problems that may have contributed to the fiery crash in which Bryant, 41, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and all seven others aboard the helicopter perished.
The death of Bryant, an 18-time all-star in the National Basketball Association and one of the world’s most admired sports figures, prompted an outpouring of shock and grief from fans and fellow athletes around the globe.
The retired Los Angeles Lakers forward had been on his way to a youth basketball tournament in which he was coaching and his daughter and two other girls aboard the luxury chopper were due to compete.