Kobe Bryant

Map: Timeline of Events Before the Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash

The map below, compiled from the National Transportation Board and air traffic control audio, provides a timeline of what happened before a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others crashed into a Southern California hillside.

Kobe Helicopter Path
Nelson Hsu / NBC
Helicopter path

1 - 9:06:00 AM - The helicopter takes off from John Wayne Airport in Orange County in low clouds with visibility about 5 miles in Santa Ana.

2 - 9:21:36 AM - The helicopter circles over the Glendale area due to air traffic in the area.

3 - 9:33:08 AM The pilot requests special visual flight rules allowing him to operate the helicopter by using sight. when he receives the clearance to fly through Burbank's airspace.

4 - 9:37:08 AM - Air traffic control reports that wind is calm, visibility is at 2 1/2 miles and the skies are clear to about 1,100 feet above the ground.

5 - 9:44:08 AM - Air traffic control reports that the helicopter was too low for a so-called flight following, in which air traffic control tracks the flight with radar to provide traffic advisories keeping the aircraft clear of traffic.

6 - 9:45:16 AM - The helicopter crashes on a hillside in Calabasas. Radar contact is lost. Radar data shows the helicopter following the 101 Freeway through Calabasas, then climbing and descending.

Full Transcript

17:12:44 Helicopter 2EX, Burbank Tower. Burbank altimeter 30.19. Burbank Class C surface area is IFR, say intentions

17:21:28 maintain Special VFR, transition on the 101 westbound.

17:21: 36 Helicopter 2EX, hold outside Burbank class C airspace. I have an aircraft going around.

17:21:36 2EX holding.

17:22:16 It's gonna be a little bit. I have a Citation 9 mile final and then go around that I just had … it's gonna be turning base to final in about 3 minutes.

17:25:10 OK, we'll continue holding.

17:26:10 N2EX, and for your planning purposes, you can expect to transition to the north side of the airport. I just spoke with Van Nuys on the line and they've got multiple IFR departure coming off runway 16 so you can expect to follow the 5 north and cross that way

17:29:20 no problem.

17:30:40 317P, Burbank Tower. You can expect a few minutes. I got a special VFR helicopter I need to get transitioning. He's been holding for about 15 minutes.

17:32:50 now northwest. Follow the 5 freeway, maintain special VFR condition at or below 2,500 feet.

17:33:00 Maintain speciall VFR at or below 2,500, follow 5 northbound, 2EX.

17:33:08 N2EX, roger, and you're cleared to Burbank Class C surface area from the southeast to the northwest.

17:33:08 Copy that, we'll maintain special VFR, helicopter 2EX.

17:33:20 Actually for your transitioning to Camarillo, did you just wanna follow the 118?

17:33:20 118 and we'll loop around Van Nuys to catch the 101; 2EX.

17:33:28 Helicopter 2EX, roger.

17:33:40 Helicopter 2EX, continue following the 5 northwest bound to join the 118 and then Van Nuys will work you through. Radar service is terminated. Remain that squak, contact Van Nuys Helicopters 119.0.

17:36:28 2EX switching to Van Nuys.

17:36:56 Van Nuys, Helicopter 2EX with you for the Special VFR transition, we are currently at 1,400 feet.

17:37:08 Helicopter 2EX, Van Nuys Tower. Wind calm, visibility 2 1/2, ceiling 1,100 feet overcast, Van Nuys altimeters 30.16. Cleared into Van Nuys Class D northeast of Van Nuys along the 118 freeway westbound. Advise when you're in VFR conditions or when you're clear of the Van Nuys Class D. Transition at or below 2,500 feet.

17:37:28 2EX, advise in VFR condition and then we stay on the 118, we're currently at 1,400 feet and we have 0235.

17:37:40 Helicopter 2EX, thank you. And when you're clear of Van Nuys D, did you wanna talk to SoCal?

17:37:40 Affirmative, 2EX.

17:37:52 Tower fo 2EX, can we start - go ahead and start turning to the southwest for the 101?

17:39:12 Helicopter 2EX, approved, and are you transitioning to VFR conditions?

17:39:12 VFR conditions, 1,500 feet, 2EX.

17:39:15 Helicopter 2EX, thank you. Contact Socal now 134.2 for flight following.

17:39:20 34.2

17:40:20 Helicopter 72EX, ident.
(Pilot is not heard)

17:41:40 Helicopter 72EX, yeah, you're following a 1200 code. So you're requesting flight following?

17:43:16 Helicopter 72EX, where - say intentions.

17:44:08 Helicopter 72EX, you're still too low level for flight following at this time.

17:45:16 Radar contact lost.

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