Lockheed Martin, the maker of the helicopter that crashed and killed former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter and three others, has pledged to investigate the incident.
USA Today quoted the aerospace giant as saying it would probe the crash of its Sikorsky S-76B helicopter in Calabasas, California near Malibu.
“We extend our sincerest condolences to all those affected by today’s Sikorsky S-76B accident in Calabasas, California. We have been in contact with the NTSB and stand ready to provide assistance and support to the investigative authorities and our customer”, Lockheed Martin tweeted, under the helicopter brand name Sikorsky.
“Safety is our top priority; if there are any actionable findings from the investigation, we will inform our S-76 customers”, it added.
The S-76 series helicopter debuted in the 1970s. Sikorsky has made several major upgrades to it since then, including the most recent S76-D model, and has sold than 875 worldwide.
The helicopter was “originally built for the rigorous demands of the offshore oil & gas” industries,” but “its capabilities fit naturally into other market segments,” including executive transportation and emergency services, Lockheed Martin says on its website.
Lockheed Martin acquired Stratford, Connecticut-based Sikorsky Aircraft in 2015. At the time, Sikorsky had nearly 15,000 employees in 11 countries. All five branches of the U.S. military use its helicopters in some capacity.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are also launching investigations of the crash, FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said