The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a hearing on Feb. 9 to determine the cause of the helicopter crash a year ago that killed Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others when it struck a fog-covered hillside in Calabasas. The NTSB, in a preliminary report, ruled out engine and mechanical failure on the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter. But it has yet to provide a probable cause for the Jan. 26, 2020 crash.
Zobayan told air traffic control they were “climbing” to 4,000 feet, when in reality the aircraft was descending. The NTSB’s aircraft performance study said the helicopter banked left and away from the 101 Freeway while communicating with the controller. According to the study, the pilot “could have misperceived both pitch and roll angles,” according to the NTSB documents. “When a pilot misperceives altitude and acceleration it is known as the ‘somatogravic illusion’ and can cause spatial disorientation,” the report said. In other words, acceleration could cause a pilot to sense his aircraft was climbing when it was not.
A Houston-area family has filed a lawsuit against a construction company saying their loved one, a personnel scout for the Houston Rockets, was killed while riding his bike in a “dangerously” unfinished section of a sidewalk. On Oct. 15, Brent “BJ” Johnson lost his life on the stretch of Almeda Parkway and Shadow Creek. He was loved by his family, friends and the NBA community and traveled the world as part of Basketball Without Borders, the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program.
The then-New Orleans Jazz selected Hardy in the first round (11th overall) of the 1978 NBA draft. He spent four seasons with the Jazz — the final three in Utah — and averaged 5.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Hardy later played several seasons in Europe.