Reporter: "What about the pilot Ara Zobayan? Did you interact with him at all?”
Kawhi Leonard: “Yea, I’ve flown with him a lot. Great guy, super nice. He was one of the best pilots and a guy you ask to fly you from city to city. He’ll drop me off and say he just dropped off Kobe, and say Kobe says ‘hello’. He’s a good dude, and I’m sorry for everybody.”
Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard was personally asked about Kobe Bryant’s late helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan, and if he’s ever used the fallen pilot who was one of the 9 people killed in the horrible crash that took the lives of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
Leonard said that he had flown with Zobayan ‘a lot’, and that he was one of the best pilots in the business. He says he had a very cordial relationship with Zobayan, and that Zobayan would often say ‘Kobe says Hello’ and make allusions to having just picked up or dropped off Bryant when flying Leonard.
Leonard told reporters that the crash will not prevent him from flying helicopters in the future, but that much is still to be learned from an investigation that will likely be lengthy.
Much has speculated around the cause of the disaster, with severe low lying fog being the biggest possible culprit, which may have affected a helicopter that was lacking a terrain alarm system.
Despite police helicopters in the area being grounded that morning, private pilots reportedly have the go-ahead over airport control towers when it comes to them deciding to fly in dangerous conditions.