OC Helicopters (“OCH”) has issued the following statement today in response to being named as a defendant in the lawsuits stemming from the tragic helicopter crash that took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other cherished members of their communities.
We have acted as travel agent and concierge for the Bryant family for many years, seamlessly arranging local travel, accommodations, and other services. This was a personal tragedy for us as Kobe and family began as clients and then became close personal friends. While we at OCH continue to grieve for this unimaginable loss, we adamantly deny any responsibility for the accident.
OCH had no Operational Control over any flights operated by Island Express Helicopters. FAA regulations define “Operational Control” as the authority to initiate, conduct, or terminate a flight. FAA regulations are clear that only the pilot has Operational Control of the aircraft. OCH never at any time had “Operational Control” of the Sikorsky helicopter operated by Island Express. Ultimate flight decision making authority and responsibility was that of the pilot, Ara Zobayan, alone.
OCH is greatly disappointed by the sensational media coverage of these lawsuits. OCH’s attorney, Dina Adham, stated “We are confident that the law and facts will show that OCH was not responsible for this tragedy in any way and that we will prevail on a motion for summary judgment.”
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