Kobe Bryant and four others tragically passed away earlier today when they crashed near Calabasas, Calif.
The world is still in shock learning about the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and three others who crashed near Calabasas, Calif earlier today around 10 A.M. Kobe was in a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter, a medium-size commercial utility helicopter manufactured by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.Embed from Getty Images
Sikorsky is an Aircraft manufacturer based out of Stratford Connecticut. Sikorsky was acquired by Lockheed Martin in 2015 for $9B.
Kobe’s S-76B was manufactured in 1991 and was the 374th S-76 ever built. Kobe’s helicopter first flew for the State of Illinois with a N761LL tail number in VIP configuration until it was sold in 2015 to the Island Express Holding Corp.
According to Flight Radar 24, the tail number was N72EX.
The S-76 can carry up to 12 passengers and costs about $13 million. It’s top speed is 178 mph and it has a range of 472 miles. The copter has twin turbo shaft engines with four blades along a tail rotor and a retractable landing gear.
“Kobe has famously used a helicopter to travel for years — dating back to when he played for the Lakers. He was known for commuting from Newport Beach, CA to the STAPLES Center in DTLA in his Sikorsky.“
We are following media reports the Kobe Bryant was among those killed in a crash of an S-76 helicopter near Calabasas, CA this morning. Initial data indicate N72EX is the aircraft involved. Data for N72EX is available at https://t.co/47EEtYA3uP pic.twitter.com/XZSFafHgmU— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) January 26, 2020
Here is the speed and altitude information from the final minute of the helicopter’s flight.
Although the S-76 saw its first flight back in March 13, 1977, Sikorsky has updated their S-76 every decade or so, swapping in more capable engines and updating the technology to make this helicopter as state of the art as possible.
The S-76B is the 6th iteration out of 10, so far, of their S-76 configured for civil use.
The S-76B is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B-36A turboshaft engines. The latest version of the S-76 still uses Pratt & Whitney engines.
If you’d like to follow along with the most up-to-date information on Kobe Bryant’s passing, TMZ has the most recent updates.