COMPTON, Calif. - News of the Calabasas chopper crash that happened on Sunday has the aviation community seeking their own answers. Not only for flight reasons but for the heartache felt worldwide over the loss of an icon, Kobe Bryant.
Pilots who fly out of Compton Woodley Airport are listening to early NTSB reports, awaiting results of an investigation that could take more than a year.
Nine people died on Sunday when the helicopter crashed into a hillside killing all on board, including one in their industry, pilot Ara Zobayan.
At Compton airport's Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum, home to the local Tuskegee Airmen, you'll find a museum of aircraft. For founder Robin Petgrave, the aviation world is a small one.
He'd never met Zobayan but has known the Island Express company for a "long, long time."
He says "really good people.'
Petgrave also owns Celebrity Helicopter. He's flown Dodger Yasiel Puig and Rapper YG. He touts the safety of helicopters and notes their use in rescue missions on land and over turbulent seas.
Jim Lezie is an attorney and pilot who flew helicopters in Vietnam. He says the NTSB will have to look at a number of factors in Calabasas crash.
His thought, "with the rate of descent, he probably lost control of the aircraft."
Chris Bruno is a newer pilot. The actor turned private pilot been flying for two years and says he attend the same flight school as Zobayan. He says "I only met him once but his reputation as a helicopter pilot and human had preceded him. We were all aspiring to achieve what he had in the aviation industry."
Lezie who says he practically lives at the Compton Airport says everyone feels a connection to Kobe, "he's in all of our living rooms." Petgrave, like Kobe, has a thirteen-year-old daughter and is feeling the loss of Gianna Bryant who also perished in that crash.