SPRINGFIELD, Ill — The helicopter that crashed on Sunday, killing NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others, was previously owned by the State of Illinois.
The helicopter with tail number designation N76ILL was used by the State of Illinois from 2007 until it was sold in 2015 for $515,161, according to the helicopter database helis.com. It was built in 1991.
At the time of sale, it had 3,951 flight hours.
In September 2015, the helicopter was transferred to Island Express Holding Corp in California and its tail number changed to ‘N72EX.’
The helicopter was flying in foggy conditions considered dangerous enough that local police agencies grounded their choppers.
The Associated Press reports that according to data from Flightradar24, the helicopter was flying at about 184 mph and descending at more than 4,000 feet per minute when it crashed.
It's not yet known if there were any mechanical issues with the helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76. But Kurt Deetz, who used to fly Bryant in the chopper, told the Los Angeles Times that weather was the more likely cause.
“The likelihood of a catastrophic twin engine failure on that aircraft — it just doesn’t happen,” Deetz said.
"We do know there was an issue of visibility and a low ceiling. The actual conditions at the time of impact, that is still yet to be determined, and we will have that with the NTSB shortly," said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
A typical preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board could take 10 days, but a final report may take up to a year, according to AP.
The Associated Press contributed to this report