What We Know About the Helicopter That Crashed With Kobe Bryant on Board

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    When Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed in a fiery helicopter crash Sunday, they were passengers in a luxury vehicle dating back to the George H.W. Bush administration.The chopper, a twin-engine Sikorsky S-76, was a roughly $13 million model marketed as an “executive helicopter” for personal travel, catering to “corporate executives and heads of state.” A brochure for a more recent model of the aircraft boasts “safe, reliable flight in all weather situations,” and describes its demographic as “the few who have reached the pinnacle of success.” But according to the Federal Aviation Administration aircraft registry, the particular vehicle in question spent most of its operating life far from the city in which Bryant became a basketball legend. Built in 1991, the chopper was owned by the state of Illinois from 2007 to 2015, when it was sold for $515,161 to a user named Jim Bagge, as the Chicago Daily Herald reported. Jim Bagge is the name of an executive at Island Express Holding Corp., the helicopter operator to which Bryant’s chopper was licensed, according to business records filed with the California Secretary of State in 2012. At the time of the sale, the helicopter’s two engines had a combined 3,952 hours of airframe, according to the helicopter database Helis.Read more at The Daily Beast.

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