Early media reports following the accident used terminology like, “FAA Cleared Bryant Helicopter to Fly,” a clear reference to the special VFR clearance issued by ATC at both Burbank and Van Nuys. While those headlines seemed to imply ATC was somehow responsible in the accident, a special VFR clearance required the helicopter’s pilot, Ara Zobayan, to remain clear of clouds at all times. At the time of the accident, the area around and west of Van Nuys was shrouded in dense fog. Though Zobayan was instrument rated, there is no evidence the 1991 vintage S-76B was equipped and current for instrument flight. The pilot held a second class medical and had logged 8,200 hours as of July 2019, with approximately 1,250 hours of time on the S-76. He’d been employed by Island Express Helicopters, the company operating the helicopter for Bryant, for 10 years. Investigators will also be looking into the scheduling of the helicopter on that Sunday morning to determine if anything might have influenced the pilot to press on into poor weather. An unverified audio/radar track created by VASA Aviation purports to show the last few minutes of the flight.