The pilot of the helicopter apparently got into some trouble with fog during their trip. They tried returning home, barely clearing one mountain range, but never slowed down, according to the flight tracker and other experienced helicopter pilots in the Los Angeles area.
According to TMZ, the pilot had to circle near the Downtown L.A. area — near the L.A. Zoo — for 15 minutes because of bad weather ahead. The LAPD had grounded its helicopter fleet because of fog at around the same time Kobe’s helicopter took off.
In the audio clip below, you can hear the pilot speaking on the radio while following along with his flight path. The pilot, identified as Ara Zobayan, suddenly stopped responding as he lost service, then crashed into the mountain.