Helicopter did not have 3 recommended features
The aircraft did not have a terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS), the National Transportation Safety Board said. It also lacked a cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder.
TAWS is a safety feature that alerts pilots when they might hit land. The recorders can help authorities investigate a wreck.
The helicopter flew in foggy conditions, and investigators are trying to determine the cause and whether the pilot should have been granted the permission to fly in the weather.
It is not clear if the missing equipment would have prevented the crash, but a California congressman introduced a bill Thursday requiring the Federal Aviation Administration to have all helicopters equipped with TAWS.
The legislation, named The Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act, “will also establish a commission on helicopter safety and require a report to Congress on best practices for helicopters in cases of low visibility,” US Rep. Brad Sherman said in a statement.
Medical examiner confirms IDs
The bodies of all nine victims of the crash have been positively identified.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner announced Wednesday that it has confirmed, following “round-the-clock testing and analysis of DNA,” that Gianna Bryant, 13; Payton Chester, 13; Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Keri Altobelli, 46; and Christina Mauser, 38, were killed in the crash.
The medical examiner had previously confirmed the identities of Bryant, 41; John Altobelli, 56; Sarah Chester, 45; and the pilot, Ara Zobayan, 50; through their fingerprints.
The cause of death for all nine victims was certified as blunt trauma, and the manner of death was certified as accident, the coroner said.
The group had been on the way to a basketball game when the helicopter carrying them crashed into a hillside. There were no survivors. The teenagers were teammates on a basketball team coached by Bryant and Mauser.