Ever since authorities reached the rugged hillside near Calabasas, Calif., where a helicopter came crashing down Sunday morning, investigators have been meticulously combing the crash site, using drone technology to survey the scene and manpower to delicately pick through the strewn, charred wreckage.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office announced that the remains of all nine people who died in the crash had been recovered. NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people were on board, flying to a youth basketball tournament.
Three of the bodies were recovered Sunday afternoon, officials said, but it took another day to locate the remaining six.
Authorities said they were working to positively identify each set of remains. They have yet to release an official list of the victims, but the names of all nine have been confirmed by relatives and associates.
There was no "black box" or cockpit voice recorder on board, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
"There isn't a requirement to have a black box" on this helicopter, Jennifer Homendy, a member of the NTSB, said at a news conference Monday.
But there was an iPad in the helicopter that included the ForeFlight application, which pilots use while in the air to review flight plans, monitor weather briefings and do other tasks, she said. Investigators will review the iPad and other evidence recovered from the crash site, which extended about 500 to 600 feet from the center of the wreckage.
"It was a pretty devastating accident scene," Homendy said.
During the flight Sunday morning, the fog was so thick that the pilot had to get special visual clearance from air traffic controllers before continuing on the route.
The Los Angeles Police Department had grounded its helicopters, but the pilot was licensed to fly in inclement weather and continued toward Bryant's Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
The helicopter lost contact with controllers at 9:45 a.m., and two minutes later, witnesses called 911 and reported hearing the sound of whirring blades and a fire. The aircraft had smashed into a hillside at 1,085 feet.
The investigation, which the NTSB is leading, will include a review of all conditions, including weather, Homendy said.
"We look at man, machine and the environment, and weather is just a small portion of that," she said, adding that investigators would review records and evidence tied to the pilot, his company, the helicopter and its instruments, and other factors.
Some news outlets reported that Nike had pulled all Bryant gear after his death Sunday, but a Nike spokesman said Tuesday that it had all sold out as normal online.
Bryant wore the first of his signature shoes during the 2005-06 season, which included the game where he scored 81 points. Nike also helped popularize his nickname, The Black Mamba, in ads.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant's former team, were scheduled to play their crosstown rivals the Clippers on Tuesday night, but the NBA said the game would be postponed. The Lakers are next scheduled to play Friday night.
About 40 miles south in Costa Mesa, Calif., Orange Coast College said it would go ahead with the opening day of its baseball season Tuesday. The home game, against Southwestern College, was scheduled to start at 2 p.m.
Orange Coast's longtime head baseball coach, John Altobelli, known as Alto, was killed in the helicopter crash, along with his wife, Keri, and a daughter, Alyssa.
In an interview, a pitching coach, Tim Matz, said the members of the team had decided to play the season opener as scheduled. "They as a group said, 'No, Alto would want us out there,' " Matz said.
Ara Zobayan, the pilot, learned to fly in 1998 after taking a sightseeing flight over the Grand Canyon. He was certified not only to fly under instrument conditions but also to teach other pilots seeking to obtain their own instrument ratings.
Pilots who knew Zobayan were perplexed by the crash, describing him as an experienced and meticulous operator. He had flown Bryant many times before.
"Supercautious, supersmart," an instructor said. "I can't see him making this kind of mistake."