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Wreckage from Kobe Bryant helicopter crash moved to Phoenix

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Posted: Jan 30, 2020 11:56 AM

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    PHOENIX, AZ (KTVK) -- Federal investigators moved the wreckage from the helicopter crash that killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant and eight others to Phoenix.

Crews with the National Transportation Safety Board drove the debris on a flatbed being pulled by a pickup truck from Southern California to the Valley of the Sun on Tuesday night. The special team will look at the engines and gear boxes.

“It’s not like there’s super-duper investigators in Phoenix," said Lyons Roofing News Chopper pilot Bruce Haffner. "It’s just a place to store the aircraft.”

Haffner says though this crash is getting more attention than most, officials are still following the same basic steps as any aircraft accident. Once the NTSB releases the wreckage from a crash site, a recovery company hauls it away.

“This company comes in with a crane. They lift all of the big major parts onto a flatbed, and then they gather up the other small parts and put it in containers. And then they take it to a yard," Haffner said.

From there, the wreckage will stay in the yard until the investigation is over.

“Unless they need to pull it out and start laying the parts out in a hangar somewhere and reconstructing it," Haffner said.

The helicopter carrying nine people was headed to Camarillo from John Wayne Airport in Orange County when it crashed in Calabasas on Sunday morning. The pilot received special clearance to fly in heavy fog just minutes before the crash, investigators said. Everyone onboard, including Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, were killed. The crash scattered debris all over an area the size of a football field. Crews recovered the bodies on Sunday and Monday.

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