Vanessa Bryant, wife of the late Kobe Bryant, is pushing for Congress to pass a helicopter safety bill named after her husband and daughter. They were among nine to be killed in a helicopter crash earlier this year.
“I strongly urge that the United States Congress pass a federal law that would improve the safety of helicopters operating in this country,” she said in statement. “I believe there is a chance that Kobe and Gianna would still be alive today if their helicopter had been equipped with the safety equipment required by this pending federal legislation.”
She continued, “I believe that these safety measures will save many lives. As passengers traveling on aircrafts, we assume that proper safety measures are in order to prevent accidents from happening before we fly. It’s unfortunate that this is not the case and aircraft companies must do their part to protect lives.”
On Thursday (June 18), lawmakers introduced the “Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act,” a law that would require all helicopters certified to carry six or more people to be equipped with a Terrain Awareness and Warning System, a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder.
Bryant said that she was moved by the bill being named after her late husband and daughter. “Having Kobe and Gianna’s names associated with this federal law that has the potential to save countless lives would be a fitting tribute to their memory,” she said.
She also suggested that the helicopter industry “consider renaming the black box to Mamba 8 Box in honor of the three young Mamba team players, the two Mamba coaches and the three Mamba parents onboard, equaling eight.”
Bryant is currently suing Island Express Helicopters for the deadly crash. The suit alleges that the pilot Ara Zobayan, who also died in the accident, failed to “properly monitor and assess the weather prior to takeoff,” “failed to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy conditions” and “failed to properly and safely operate the helicopter resulting in a crash.”