Federal investigators are just beginning their inquiry into the cause of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven other people Sunday morning in Calabasas.
The chopper appeared to slam into the hillside and burst into flames and several experts have said the weather will probably be a key part of the initial investigation.
The crash occurred as dense fog blanketed the area of the crash and Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Josh Rubenstein said the department’s Air Support Division grounded its helicopters Sunday morning because of foggy conditions and didn’t fly until the afternoon.
“The weather situation did not meet our minimum standards for flying,” Rubenstein said.
The fog “was enough that we were not flying,” he said. LAPD’s flight minimums are 2 miles of visibility and an 800-foot cloud ceiling, he said. The department typically flies two helicopters when conditions allow — one in the San Fernando Valley and one in the L.A. Basin, he said.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department made a similar assessment about the fog and had no helicopters in the air Sunday morning “basically because of the weather,” L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.