Island Express Helicopters, the operators of a Sikorsky S76 that tragically crashed in Calabasas, California, on Sunday that claimed the lives of Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant as well as nine others, have released a statement regarding the accident this morning.
“One of our helicopters, N72EX, Sikorsky S76, was involved in an accident on Sunday, January 26th in the Calabasas area of LA County.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our top priority is providing assistance to the families of the passengers and the pilot. We hope that you will respect their privacy at this extremely difficult time.
“The pilot, Ara Zobayan, was our chief pilot. Ara has been with the company for over 10 years and has over 8,000 flight hours.
“We are working closely with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to investigate the cause of the accident and we are grateful to the first responders and local authorities for their response to this unimaginable accident“.