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Kobe And Vanessa Bryant Reportedly Had A Deal To 'Never Fly On A Helicopter Together'

Kobe And Vanessa Bryant Reportedly Had A Deal To 'Never Fly On A Helicopter Together'
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Kobe Bryant often flew in helicopters to get around Los Angeles.

Because of that, the late NBA star reportedly made a pact with his wife, Vanessa Bryant.

A source told PEOPLE :

"He and Vanessa had a deal that they would never fly on a helicopter together."

There was no further explanation as to how the couple—who wed in 2001—came to the decision.

The world is still mourning Bryant's tragic death.

The 41-year-old Los Angeles Lakers legend and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in the helicopter crash on Sunday morning in the hills of Calabasas, California.

Some authorities speculated that dense fog conditions may have been what brought down the chopper.

A source close to the family described Bryant as a dedicated family man, saying:

"One of the biggest things he was looking forward to after retiring from the NBA [in 2016] was getting to spend more time with his family."
"He was a very hands-on dad and, like any other father, saw such bright futures for all of his daughters."
"He was so proud to see them take after not only him and Vanessa, but also grow into their own. He had a special bond with each of his daughters."

In a 2018 interview, Bryant explained his preferred mode of transportation of flying was to spend less time stuck in traffic and more time with his wife and daughters.

He said on the Barstool Sports podcast, The Corp.

"Traffic started getting really, really bad."
"I was sitting in traffic and I wound up missing like a school play."
"I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time.
"So that's when I looked into helicopters, to be able to get down and back in 15 minutes and that's when it started."

You can watch him discuss his daily regimen commuting in helicopters at the 36:30 mark in this video from Dec 31, 2018.

The source also revealed that Bryant only flew in choppers with Ara Zobayan behind the controls.

Zobayan was among the seven other passengers who perished on board the Sikorsky S-76B on that fateful morning, including Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa, 13, who was Gianna's teammate; Christina Mauser, the assistant coach of the basketball team; and mother and daughter, Sarah and Payton Chester.

According to ESPN, the group was on their way to a youth basketball game at Bryant's Mamba Academy.

They left John Wayne Airport in Orange County at 9:06 a.m. PT.

Investigators—including the FBI, National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration—are still trying to determine the exact cause of the crash.

Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa, 37, and their daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and their seven-month-old, Capri.