In some tragic news, Kobe Bryant died today in a helicopter crash in Calabasas.
The helicopter involved was confirmed by Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Tony Imbrenda to be a Sikorsky S-76, a type of chopper which Kobe owned.
Kobe Bryant death
According to the reports, Kobe Bryant was traveling to the Mamba Academy for a basketball game with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore, also known as GiGi.
The reports indicate that the helicopter crashed and burst into flames. Firefighters arrived to put out the fire, but there were no survivors.
Along with Kobe and his daughter Gianna, seven other people and the pilot are reported to have died in the accident. Their names have not been released as of this report.
Sikorsky S-76 helicopter
It was well known that Kobe Bryant loved to travel by helicopter to a lot of the events he attended, and it was no different on Jan. 26 when the accident took place.
The Sikorsky S-76 helicopter is a medium-sized commercial helicopter that has different uses based on the specific model and specs. The aircraft has twin turboshaft engines, four-bladed main and tail rotors, and retractable landing gear.
— Edin Hajdarpasic (@BatoEdin) January 26, 2020
The Sikorsky S-76 helicopter was launched in 1975. The executive transport version of the chopper reportedly has a quiet cabin which provides a good work environment during flight. It also allows conversations without the need for headsets.
The S-76 was meant to replace small business jets for shorter and medium business trips. This made it perfect for what Kobe Bryant used it for, and it was a great way to travel to events like his daughter’s basketball games.
As for specs, the baseline Sikorsky S-76 had:
- A large, rectangular cabin
- Two cabin doors with pop-out windows
- Two jettisonable cockpit doors
- Four-axis fully coupled autopilot
- Honeywell Primus® Weather radar
- Dual AHRS and air data computers
- Suction fuel system – 281 gallons
- Two Turbomeca Arriel 2S2 engines with dual FADEC
- Retractable Controllable Landing Light
- Plus many more options
Kobe Bryant: An NBA Legend
Kobe Bryant will go down as one of the best NBA players in the history of basketball.
Bryant was a five-time NBA Champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, the only team he played for in his 20-year career. He also won the NBA Finals MVP in two of those championship runs (2009, 2010).
Bryant was also the NBA MVP in 2008 and was an 18-time NBA All-Star and 11-time All-NBA First-Team star.
He finished his career with 33,643 points, 7,047 rebounds, and 6,306 assists. This made him a first-ballot NBA Hall of Fame entrant. Sadly, he will not be able to accept the honor now, since he was not eligible until 2020.