Entertainment Sports NTSB Says Kobe Bryant Helicopter Pilot Was Likely Disoriented in Clouds, Leading to Fatal Crash The Bryants were traveling to a basketball tournament at Kobe's Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, at the time of the crash into a hillside in Calabasas By Lindsay Kimble Lindsay Kimble Lindsay Kimble is a Senior Digital News Editor and the Sports Editor for PEOPLE Digital. She's worked at PEOPLE for over seven years as a writer, reporter and editor across our Entertainment, Lifestyle and News teams, covering everything from the Super Bowl to the Met Gala. She's been nominated for the ASME NEXT Awards for Journalists Under 30, and previously wrote for Us Weekly while on staff at Wenner Media. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 9, 2021 11:28 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Just over a year after the January 26, 2020 helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others, the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) met to determine the accident's probable cause. During a public, livestreamed hearing on Tuesday, members of the NTSB said that pilot Ara Zobayan flew through clouds ahead of the crash last year, which is an apparent violation of federal standards and likely led to him being spatially disorientated, the Associated Press reported. "He was flying under visual flight rules (VFR), which legally prohibited him from penetrating clouds," NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said. "However, he continued this VFR flight through the clouds, into instrument meterological conditions." Kobe Bryant. Clicks Images/Getty Images The Bryants, as well as passengers John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and Christina Mauser, were traveling to a basketball tournament at Kobe's Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, at the time of the crash into a hillside in Calabasas. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday. The NTSB previously said that the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter did not have engine failure before it crashed. The NTSB's previous report also included photos showing foggy conditions in the area the morning of the crash. RELATED VIDEO: Fans Remember Kobe and Gianna Bryant During the meeting — led by Sumwalt — NTSB Investigator-in-Charge Bill English said that investigations did not indicate that the weather conditions should have prevented the flight and that the failures came from "the in-flight decisions, the pressing on at high speed." Zobayan, who worked for the company that operated the aircraft, Island Express Helicopters, had frequently flown Bryant. The pilot had 8,200 hours of flight experience and logged about 1,250 hours in the S76 helicopter before his death in the crash, PEOPLE previously reported. The NTSB also said that Zobayan's "self-induced pressure and plan continuation bias" also were factors in the crash. Said Sumwalt, "I think this illustrates that even good pilots can end up in bad situations." Kobe Bryant's Helicopter Did Not Suffer Engine Failure Before Fatal Crash That Killed 9: NTSB Kobe's wife, Vanessa Bryant, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters last year and is seeking extensive damages from the company. Families of the other victims have also filed wrongful death lawsuits against Island Express. Both legal battles are ongoing. Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday. In a press conference days after the crash, Jennifer Homendy with The National Transportation Safety Board said the helicopter was not equipped with a terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS), a system aimed at preventing unintentional impacts with the ground. Part of Tuesday's hearing's focus was discussions over whether the NTSB will suggest to the FAA that TAWS should be legally required in all helicopters.