The past couple of days have been a dark place in the world of sports and entertainment following the fatal helicopter crash in which Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven others were killed on Sunday. In the wake of the grim event, Kylie Jenner took to social media to send her prayers to the families who are grieving for their loved ones. In her stories, the 22-year-old shared a message with small photos of each of the victims and revealed she knew and had even flown with the pilot, Ara Zobayan.
“Rest in peace...and prayers to these families,” she wrote. “I still can't believe this. That was the helicopter I would fly on from time to time with that pilot, Ara. He was such a nice man. Hold your loved ones close,” she added.
Kylie had reportedly rented out the chopper for her niece Dream, Robert Kardashian’s daughter’s third birthday back in November. According to Daily Mail, Ara had obtained his private pilot license 19 years ago on January, 21, 2001. According to FAA California spokesperson Ian Gregor, he had never been involved in any aviation accidents.
In an emotional interview with good pal Alex Rodriguez for his podcast The Corp with A-Rod and Big Cat, the NBA all-star explained the reason why he turned to helicopters to get around L.A.
“Traffic started getting really, really bad, I would be sitting in traffic and missing the school play because I was sitting in traffic,” he said. “I had to figure out the way where I can still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time. That’s when I looked into helicopters.”
He continued, “My routine was always the same, wake up early in the morning, kids to school, flying out, practice like crazy, do my extra work, media and everything I needed to do, fly back, get back to carpool mode and pick the kids up, ” he said. “Every time I get the chance to see them, to spend time with them, even though it’s 20 minutes in a car, I want that.”