FAA Investigates Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash, Cites Fog

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Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Calabasas, California Sunday before heading to the site where Kobe Bryant's private helicopter crashed to begin documenting the scene. The federal agency has a team of about 20 people in L.A., NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said, and will work with the Federal Aviation Administration, the helicopter's manufacturer and the company that made its engine.

The investigation will examine weather data, radar information, air traffic control communications, maintenance logs and the pilot’s record, Holloway said. The meeting early Monday will be used to assign roles and areas of focus for the investigation ahead.

Los Angeles Police and the sheriff's department had both grounded their helicopters in the morning because of the weather. A police spokesman told the LA Times the conditions "did not meet our minimum standards for flying", while a pilot who used to fly Bryant said the weather was almost certainly to blame.

The Federal Aviation Authority said the aircraft was a Sikorsky S-76.

Bryant, 41, often used a helicopter to get to games at the Staples Center - the Los Angeles Lakers' home arena. He reportedly found it more comfortable than fitting his 6'6" frame into a car for several hours and referred to it as "The Mamba Chopper".

Bryant and the others in the helicopter were reported to have been heading to a children's basketball tournament organized by a sport foundation that Bryant set up. There were no survivors. Other victims named so far reportedly include Orange Coast College head baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa - who played on the same basketball team as Bryant's daughter. The girls' coach Christina Mauser also died, her husband confirmed.

Note: The headline of this piece has been updated to reflect the latest we know about the FAA investigation. 

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