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No sign of engine failure in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash: NTSB : The Standard

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Smoke rises from the site of the helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on January 26 that killed NBA icon Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others. The NTSB says there is no indication that engine failure was a factor. [AFP/File / Mark RALSTON]

Wreckage at the scene of the helicopter crash that killed NBA great Kobe Bryant and eight others showed no evidence of engine failure, a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Friday.


Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among the nine who perished when the helicopter crashed in rugged terrain west of Los Angeles on January 26.

“All significant components of the helicopter were located within the wreckage area,” according to the report. “Examination of the main and tail rotor assemblies found damage consistent with powered rotation at the time of impact.

“Viewable sections of the engines showed no evidence of an uncontained or catastrophic internal failure.

SEE ALSO :Nine people dead in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash: official

“The No. 2 engine first-stage compressor blades exhibited tip curl in the direction opposite of rotation, consistent with powered rotation at the time of impact.”

Friday’s report was a summary of investigators’ findings so far. A final report identifying the cause of the crash is expected to take at least a year to complete.

Investigators from the NTSB and other bodies are considering what role heavy fog that Sunday morning might have played.

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“Our investigators have already developed a substantial amount of evidence about the circumstances of this tragic crash,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said in a statement.

“And we are confident that we will be able to determine its cause as well as any factors that contributed to it so we can make safety recommendations to prevent accidents like this from occurring again.”

SEE ALSO :Kobe Bryant’s final tweet hours before dying in helicopter crash

In addition to 41-year-old Bryant and Gianna, those killed in the crash were her basketball teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, Alyssa’s parents John and Keri Altobelli, Payton’s mother Sarah Chester, basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.

They were heading to a girls’ basketball tournament at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in suburban Thousand Oaks having departed from John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

The deaths rocked the NBA and the wider sporting world as well as Los Angeles — where Bryant won five NBA titles playing for all of his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Memorials sprang up around the city as fans left flowers, balloons, basketballs, stuffed animals, jerseys and other memorabilia in Bryant’s honor at the Lakers’ Staples Center arena, the team training facility in suburban El Segundo and as close to the crash site as they could get.

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The Lakers honored Bryant with a pre-game ceremony less than a week after his death and a public memorial for Bryant and the other victims has reportedly been scheduled for February 24 at Staples Center.

SEE ALSO :The 29-year-old helicopter in which Kobe Bryant and his daughter died

The report includes photographs of the crash area in the Santa Monica Mountains, including one from a witness near the site and one from a security camera that shows the helicopter flying into clouds.

It also includes comments from a witness who was on a mountain bike trail and told investigators he heard the helicopter approaching.

He said he saw the blue and white helicopter emerge from the clouds, travelling forward and down, observing it for about two seconds before it crashed.



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Kobe BryantNational Transportation Safety BoardNTSBGianna Bryant

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MPs clear Betty Maina and Mutahi Kagwe for Cabinet posts

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MPs clear Betty Maina and Mutahi Kagwe for Cabinet posts

MPs supported the appointment of Mutahi Kagwe
MPs supported the appointment of Mutahi Kagwe and Betty Maina for Cabinet posts. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The National Assembly has cleared Betty Maina for appointment as the Cabinet Secretary for Industrialisation and Enterprise Development. The move now paves the way for her swearing-in as a CS.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to preside over the swearing -in of Ms Maina, the outgoing principal secretary for Trade and Industrialisation, alongside former Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe who is set to take over as Health Cabinet Secretary. Mr Kagwe will replace Cecily Kariuki, who was moved to the Water Ministry.

Ms Maina takes over from Adan Mohamed who was moved to the Ministry of East African Affairs.

The House on Wednesday evening approved the report of the Committee on Appointments that vetted the two nominees. It also commenced debate on the nomination of six principal secretaries who will take over various ministries once approved by lawmakers. The report on the vetting of Mr Kagwe and Ms Maina shows that the outgoing PS’s net worth stood at Sh117.5 million. Mr Kagwe had listed his total net worth as Sh667.8 million.

Ms Maina told the committee chaired by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi that she earned a salary of Sh9.7 million from the State Department for Industrialisation in 2019.

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She had earned another Sh10.7 million in 2018 from the ministry. In 2016, when she worked at the State Department of the East African Community, she earned Sh12.3 million.

At the Kenya Association of Manufacturers where she worked before joining the government, Ms Maina received Sh15.2 million in salary and gratuity in 2015.

Ms Maina disclosed that she earned a further Sh3 million from consultancy in 2015 and Sh160,000 in 2014 when she served on the boards of the Anti-Counterfeit Agency and Laikipia University. She said the rest of her income comes from farming.

The Public Officer Ethics Act requires all State officers to submit their wealth declaration forms once every two years.

Section 26 of the Act requires the officers to submit their declarations together with those of their spouses and dependent children under the age of 18 years.

The full financial disclosure is meant to allow the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to detect and prevent corruption when top public servants are serving in office.

MPs supported the appointment of Mr Kagwe and Ms Maina, saying they were qualified to handle their respective dockets.

“Both Mr Kagwe and Ms Maina demonstrated immense knowledge and they are qualified to hold the Health and Industrialisation dockets.

“We want them to quickly settle and address the issues they said will be priority including reforms at the scandal hit National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), Aden Duale, the Leader of Majority said.

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Nigeria Offers $268 Million to its Entrepreneurs

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The government of Nigeria has committed to give a $268 million monetary support to local agricultural entrepreneurs and innovators, even as the country seeks to diversify its economy, and stop wholly depending on oil.

According to the country’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, the support will be birthed in two phases and sectors. The Central Bank of Nigeria will disburse the first $248 million as loans to small-sale businesses in the agricultural sector. Thereafter, they will use the remaining $20 million to fund young innovators.

Apart from being Africa’s biggest crude oil producer, Nigeria’s economy is a middle-income, mixed economy and emerging market, with expanding manufacturing, financial, service, communications, technology and entertainment sectors. It is ranked as the 27th-largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP, and the 22nd-largest in terms of purchasing power parity. 

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See Also:

Nigeria’s Aella Raises KSh1 Billion to Lend to Underbanked

Nigeria Removes VAT on Food

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Kenya Power reports worst performance in 16 years

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PATRICK ALUSHULA

By PATRICK ALUSHULA
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Kenya Power has reported its worst profit in 16 years, turning the spotlight on the push by the utility firm to raise retail tariffs for homes and businesses.

The firm’s net profit plunged 92 percent from Sh3.26 billion to Sh262 million in the year to June — the lowest profit since it returned to profitability in 2004 after posting Sh2.89 billion loss the previous year.

The cost of buying electricity from power generators like KenGen jumped by Sh18 billion during the period, Kenya Power said, blunting the impact of an increase in sales to customers.

Kenya Power has made an application to the regulator for an increase in electricity prices by up to a fifth, saying it is key in reversing its reducing profitability — which has seen its earnings drop for three years in a row.

Finance costs also went up 46.4 percent to Sh10.3 billion due to higher short-term borrowings, the company said.

“This was mainly attributable to increase in non-fuel power purchase costs by Sh18 billion from Sh52.7 billion to Sh70.8 billion following the commissioning of two power plants with a combined generation capacity of 360 megawatts (MW) during the period,” said Kenya Power.

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The shock results saw the firm’s share at the Nairobi Securities Exchange shed 5.3 percent to close trading at Sh2.52 — a level last seen more than a decade ago. The utility firm also last paid a dividend in 2017.

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The company, the main electricity distributor in Kenya, delayed publication of its results last November due to a vacancy at the Auditor -General’s office, which is responsible for auditing State-controlled firms.

The search for the Auditor-General has been delayed after the initial interviews flopped. The results issued yesterday were not audited.

Executives at Kenya Power look set to use the results to pile pressure on the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) — the electricity sector regulator — for higher tariffs.

Kenya Power wants to increase the consumption charge for those consuming less than 100 kilowatts per month to Sh12.50 a unit, up from the current Sh10.

In August 2018, EPRA reduced the retail prices of electricity after an order from President Uhuru Kenyatta in the wake of widespread complaints from domestic customers and small businesses over a costly tariff introduced last July.

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