The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant was just seconds away from making it through thick fog and entering clear skies at the time it crashed, a new report shows.

The Los Angeles Lakers star was killed in the crash along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people. The New York Post reported that pilot Ara Zobayan was mere feet away from rising above the heavy cloud cover that surrounded a Calabasas hillside where the helicopter ultimately crashed.

As air safety consultant Kipp Lau told the news outlet, the evidence shows that those on board could have lived if Zobayan had made it past the thick clouds.

“If you exit the bottom of the clouds at 4,000 feet per minute at that high speed, you’ve certainly lost control of the aircraft,” Lau said. “Once you break out of the clouds it’s clear. Everything lines up with the body.”

Another expert said they believed that Zobayan was attempting to clear the clouds by moving the helicopter quickly up and forward, but instead lurched to the left and crashed into a hillside.

The NTSB report showed that there was no evidence of engine failure, suggesting that the helicopter may not have crashed if it had made it just a few seconds longer.

Witnesses who saw the helicopter in the final moments before the crash noted that the helicopter appeared to be totally covered in clouds and headed toward the hillside. As one of those witnesses appeared to have seen the moment of the crash itself.

“I just heard a helicopter go over me, approximately from Lost Hills Road on south to easterly sweep. It went over my head, it’s thick in clouds, and then I heard a pop, and it immediately stopped… I can’t see it,” read a transcript in one of the 911 calls.

On the day of the crash, police said that the helicopter crashed onto a hillside in rugged terrain, making it difficult to respond to the scene. They believe that all of those on board died on impact.

(Story from Inquisitr)