Bodies retrieved from Kobe Bryant helicopter crash site; no black box on board

National News

CALABASAS, Calif. (CBS News) – Federal investigators revealed that the helicopter that was carrying Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven others did not have a black box when it crashed into the Calabasas hillside on Sunday morning. The device, which would usually alert investigators to clues about the incident, was not required in the model Bryant had been flying.

As officials from the coroner’s office worked to retrieve bodies from the hillside after the crash, CBS News correspondent David Begnaud said investigators have reached out to the public for any photos of the weather in the area that day amid reports of heavy fog.

Pilot Ara Zobayan’s final transmission to Air Traffic Control before the fatal crash came at about 9:44 a.m., when he said he was climbing to 2,300 feet to avoid a cloud layer. A minute later the helicopter plunged more than 1,000 feet into the steep terrain.

Zobayan had previously logged over 8,200 flight hours. That morning, he had radioed for special permission to fly in poor weather conditions rather than the standard regulations that require three miles of visibility.

An official at the National Transportation Safety Board said in a press conference that they were looking at “man, machine, and the environment,” and that weather was only a small part of the big picture.

Investigators said that it could take days to recover all of the evidence, as mourners continue to grieve over the nine victims of the fatal crash.

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