Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The National Transportation Safety Board discovered no evidence of engine failure in the helicopter crash that killed Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others.
The NTSB released its preliminary report Friday. While no cause was listed for the crash, investigators offered details about the aircraft's flight pattern and rapid descent before hitting a hillside Jan. 26 in Calabasas, Calif.
In the report, a witness said the hillside where the crash occurred was covered in fog when he heard the helicopter approaching. According to the witness, the aircraft sounded normal, and then he saw the blue-and-white helicopter emerge from the clouds at a high rate of speed in a downward trajectory. Within two seconds, it slammed into the hillside below him.
Investigators said the Sikorsky S-76B was traveling at more than 180 mph and 4,000 feet per minute when it made impact with the hillside. According to the report, the aircraft's instrument panel was destroyed in the crash and most of the devices were displaced.
The helicopter damage was consistent with "powered rotation" and there was "no evidence of an uncontained or catastrophic internal failure," according to the NTSB's report.
Ara Zobayan, the pilot of Bryant's copter, served as the chief pilot for Island Express Helicopters and logged more than 8,200 hours of flight time, according to investigators. Maintenance records show the helicopter had about 4,716 hours of flight time at the time of the accident, and all inspections were up to date.
Bryant, 41, his daughter and seven others were traveling to Mamba Sports Academy, a facility that Bryant created and coached at, for a girls basketball game when their helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances. There were no survivors.
Along with Bryant and his daughter, the other victims were identified as college baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri Altobelli, and their daughter, Alyssa Altobelli; girls' basketball coach Christina Mauser; Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton Chester; and pilot Ara Zobayan.
The NTSB is investigating the crash, including any role that heavy fog in the area played, and a final report isn't expected to be released for at least a year.
A public memorial for Bryant and the eight other people killed in the crash will be held Feb. 24 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. A memorial service for John Altobelli and his family will be held Feb. 10 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.