New helicopter safety bill will be named after Kobe and Gianna Bryant

A bill will require helicopters to include this safety feature.

  /  01.31.2020

 

The helicopter crash that killed Kobe and Gianna Bryant and seven others on Sunday (Jan. 26) is still under investigation. However, one finding has prompted a new safety bill to be developed by San Fernando Valley Rep. Brad Sherman.

On Thursday (Jan. 30), the California congressman introduced a new bill that will direct the Federal Aviation Administration to outfit all helicopters with a Terrain Awareness and Warning System, which was absent in Bryant’s chopper. As a tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers legend and his daughter, the proposed bill will be called the Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act.

Some experts, such as National Transportation Safety Board member Jennifer Homendy, said during a Tuesday (Jan. 28) press conference that the terrain safety feature could have prevented the deadly crash. However, according to Los Angeles Daily News, others say it’s still too early in the investigation to be sure.

Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems reportedly cost between $25,000 and $40,000 per helicopter. They aid the pilot with a detailed image of below terrain, which is especially helpful during fog.

The National Safety Transportation Board, which is conducting the crash investigation, actually recommended that the system be included in all helicopters back in 2004.

Rep. Sherman’s proposed bill would also establish a helicopter safety commission to report back to Congress on the best practices for helicopters flying during low visibility.

“We were all heartbroken to see this with Kobe Brant and his daughter, and it was poignant to me in that Calabasas is part of the Valley,” Sherman told Los Angeles Daily News. “We’ll never know, and I’m not a helicopter pilot, but I think it would have saved Kobe and all nine people and I know it will save others.”

The congressman is reportedly seeking co-signers for the bill and is looking to formally introduce the new legislation by the end of next month.

 

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