By STEFANIE DAZIO, BRIAN MELLEY and DAVID KOENIG Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. safety officials are criticizing the helicopter pilot’s decisions during the Southern California flight that crashed last year and killed Kobe Bryant, his teenage daughter and six other passengers. National Transportation Safety Board members on Tuesday say pilot Ara Zobayan went against his training and violated flight rules by flying into thick clouds during the roughly 40-minute flight that crashed on Jan. 26, 2020. Zobayan frequently flew Bryant and his children and was also killed. Tuesday’s federal hearing focused on the long-awaited probable cause or causes of the tragedy that unleashed worldwide grief for the retired basketball star, launched several lawsuits and prompted state and federal legislation.