KEY POINTS

  • Aerial drones carrying video cameras swarmed over the crash site of Kobe Bryant's helicopter
  • LA Sheriff Villanueva also confirmed paparazzis near the area
  • The FAA implemented a no-fly zone over the area that same afternoon, more roving guards added

Swarms of aerial drones and manned aircraft loitering over the hillside where the helicopter carrying NBA legend Kobe Bryant and eight others crashed Sunday has forced aviation authorities to declare a no-fly zone over the area.

The crash site on the still foggy hillside in Calabasas, California has been roped-off on the ground by local police. Medical personnel said they recovered three bodies on Monday. Recovery of the other six bodies is expected to be completed within the week.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a "temporary flight restriction," or a no-fly zone, covering all unmanned and manned aerial vehicles extending five nautical miles in every direction from the crash site and up to an altitude of 5,000 feet. The FAA restriction effectively closes the airspace above Calabasas until January 31.

The restriction was enforced at 2:15 p.m. PT in Los Angeles on Sunday, according to the FAA, or shortly after the crash. The FAA noted that news, rescue and law-enforcement helicopters crowded the air above the crash site in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy that also took the life of Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna or Gigi. Following these aircraft were swarms of unmanned aerial drones, most of them equipped with video cameras livestreaming to social media from the scene of the crash.

It remains cognizant of the threat unmanned drones pose to manned aircraft and their passengers. It once issued a report stating the harder materials found in drones often do the most damage in collisions with other aircraft.

In a press conference earlier today, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva also revealed paparazzis have been seen in the area, trying to access the crash site. They have now added roving guards to keep the scene from unauthorized people, including police on "old-fashioned" horseback.

On Monday, California authorities identified all of the other seven victims. Three of those killed belonged to the Altobelli family: Orange Coast College head baseball coach John "Alto" Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa. The daughter also played on the Mamba basketball team as did Bryant's daughter. The only surviving members of the Altobelli family are a son and daughter.

Christina Mauser, 38, the assistant coach at Bryant’s Mamba Academy basketball team, also died. She is survived by her husband and three small children. Payton Chester, 13, and her mother, Sarah, 45, were also killed. Only the father, Chris, is left alive in this family. The dead helicopter pilot was identified as Ara Zobayan, who was also a certified flight and ground instructor, according to the FAA.

Smoke rises from the site of a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on January 26, 2020 that killed nine people including NBA legend Kobe Bryant Smoke rises from the site of a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on January 26, 2020 that killed nine people including NBA legend Kobe Bryant Photo: AFP / Mark RALSTON