Kobe Bryant frequently traveled around Los Angeles in a helicopter, but a source reveals that he and his wife Vanessa had vowed never to fly together. According to People Magazine, Kobe and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, were flying in a helicopter on Sunday morning as they headed to a youth basketball game when the craft slammed into the side of a Calabasas mountain around 9:45 a.m.
Kobe used helicopters as a mode of transportation because, as he explained, it allowed him to have more time to spend with his family and less time in traffic. However, the couple would never use a helicopter to travel around the city together.
“He and Vanessa had a deal that they would never fly on a helicopter together,” a source explained.
The helicopter piloted by Ara Zobayan was carrying nine people, including Kobe and Gianna. According to the source, Zobayan was the only pilot that Kobe would fly with.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Kobe was traveling via car, like most people in Los Angeles, when he realized that he was wasting time in traffic that he could be spending with his kids. He said that he was missing the opportunity to pick up his girls from school and was forced to miss events with them, so that’s when he decided to travel via helicopter.
“Traffic started getting really, really bad,” he said. “And I was sitting in traffic and I wound up missing like a school play, because I was sitting in traffic. … I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time.”
“So that’s when I looked into helicopters, to be able to get down and back in 15 minutes and that’s when it started,” he continued.
The NBA legend was proud of being a father, calling it his greatest accomplishment. He said that he looked forward to retiring in 2016 because it meant he could have more time with his family. Friend Derek Jeter said that Kobe would rather talk about his family than his career.
Kobe’s flight took off on Sunday morning in foggy conditions that required the pilot to obtain a special license in order to fly. Other helicopters in the area, including those belonging to the Los Angeles police department, remained grounded that morning because of the less-than-optimal conditions. While no crash cause has been officially determined, it is likely that the investigation will focus on the foggy weather.
Kobe left behind his wife and three daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.