FACT CHECK: Viral Video Claims To Show Kobe Bryant’s Helicopter Crashing

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video posted on Twitter purportedly shows former NBA player Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crashing in Calabasas, California.

Verdict: False

The video shows a helicopter crashing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in December 2018.

Fact Check:

Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California, Jan. 26.

Other victims included Orange Coast College basketball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, their daughter Alyssa, Harbor Day School basketball coach Christina Mauser, pilot Ara Zobayan, mother Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, according to The New York Times.

Shortly after news of the fatal crash broke, a video of a helicopter spinning out of control and crashing in a desert-like valley began circulating on Twitter and Facebook. Users erroneously identified the aircraft in the video as Bryant’s helicopter.

“VIDEO: Kobe Bryant’s private helicopter losing control and crashing which killed Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter Gianna,” reads one tweet. “Rest In Peace.”

However, that video actually shows a rescue helicopter that crashed near the world’s longest zipline in the UAE in December 2018, killing four crew members. The helicopter was on a rescue mission at the time, BBC News reported.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration have launched an investigation into what caused Bryant’s helicopter to crash, according to KPIX 5 News. The Associated Press reported that it was flying in foggy conditions that local police agencies considered dangerous enough to ground their own helicopters.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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