Island Express Sues Air Traffic Controllers Over Kobe Helicopter Crash
Island Express, the company that operated the helicopter that killed Kobe bryant and 8 others, continues the 2 air traffic controllers who, according to them, caused the accident.
The helicopter company claims Kyle Larsen and Matthew conley, the 2 air traffic controllers guiding the pilot to the Mamba Academy, when the pilot requested radar guidance, probably because of the thick fog. According to the lawsuit, Larsen responded by saying, “I’m going to lose radar and communications. [communications] probably not enough time for you to just start VFR [visual flight rules] and when you get closer, go to the Camarillo tower. “
The company claims the controller denied the pilot the use of what it considers to be rescue radar, despite the fact that radar guidance had not yet been lost.
Conley then relieved Larsen and, depending on the suit, less than 2 minutes later the pilot radioed in, but Conley was not helpful and was not informed.
According to the pursuit, the pilot believed he was still operating on radar because tower operators did not clearly say he was terminated. Nevertheless, the company says the helicopter suddenly lost radio and radar contact in the fog.
The suit claims that at some point – presumably when the pilot was in the fog – the radio contact returned, and Conley tried to reach the pilot on several occasions, causing the pilot additional stress. What is not clear … it looks like Conley is calling to guide the pilot.
Small story … the helicopter company says that the operators of the tower caused the stress and distraction of the pilot which ultimately caused the crash.
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