The helicopter involved in Sunday’s fatal crash that killed nine people, including NBA legend Kobe Bryant, had previously been owned by the state of Illinois, according to a helicopter tracking website and FAA records.
According to the website Helis.com, the helicopter, with tail number designation N76ILL, was used by the state from 2007 until it was sold in 2015. In September of that year, the helicopter was transferred to Island Express Holding Corp in California and its “N-number” changed to N72EX.
That number, confirmed on the FAA’s database, was the one affixed to Bryant’s helicopter, as shown in photos from aircraft tracking websites and Getty Images’ database.
According to the flight tracking website Flightradar24, that helicopter was the one that crashed in the hills near Calabasas, California on Sunday, killing Bryant and eight other people on board.
The NTSB has sent a team to California to begin investigating the cause of the crash.