(NBC NEWS) The California company that owns the helicopter that crashed, killing Kobe Bryant and eight others, was not licensed to fly choppers by cockpit instruments when visibility was bad, NBC News confirmed Friday.
Although pilot Ara Zobayan did have the proper federal certification to fly by IFR, or instrument flight rules, he would have been restricted to observe the licensing held by Island Express Helicopters.
“Speaking generally, a pilot has to observe any limitations on the company he or she works for, regardless of the pilot’s personal ratings,” the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. “If a company is not authorized to conduct flights in bad-weather conditions, the pilot while flying for that company can only conduct flights in visual conditions.”
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