NBA

Kobe Bryant: Lockheed Martin to open investigation into crash

The manufacturer of the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and his daughter is to work with the NTSB to determine what happened to the aircraft.

Sikorsky S-76B, el helicóptero con el que se estrelló Kobe Bryant

Lockheed Martin has announced that it will open an investigation into the accident that resulted in the death of former LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people on Sunday. The company that manufactures the Sikorsky S-76B said it would work in tandem with the US National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) to determine what caused the helicopter to crash.

"We extend our sincerest condolences to all those affected by today’s Sikorsky S-76B accident in Calabasas, California," Lockheed Martin said in a statement on Sunday. "We have been in contact with the NTSB and stand ready to provide assistance and support to the investigative authorities and our customer."

"Safety is our top priority; if there are any actionable findings from the investigation, we will inform our S-76 customers."

S-76 used by Donald Trump, British royal family

NBA legend Bryant was a regular traveller in the S-76, which was initially designed for use in the offshore oil and gas industry but has become the preferred mode of transportation for many politicians and celebrities, including US president Donald Trump and members of the British royal family. It is also in service in the Spanish military and the Japanese coast guard. Bryant had previously explained in interviews that he favoured helicopter travel in LA to avoid the city's notorious traffic jams and although he did not own one himself, he would often rent one to get around the area.

According to a report in UK daily The Independent, there have been two other fatal crashes involving the Lockheed Martin S-76B in recent years. In Canada in 2013 a medical helicopter went down killing four people on board while in 2017 a crash in Turkey resulted in the deaths of seven people.