California Congressman Pitches Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Safety Act
Rep. Brad Sherman introduced a bill that would require the Federal Aviation Administration to strengthen helicopter safety standards in response to the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others on Sunday, January 26.
The Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act would implement new helicopter safety regulations in coordination with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which would include requiring helicopters to be equipped with a Terrain Awareness and Warning System. The system, which costs between $25,000 to $40,000 per helicopter, alerts a pilot when an aircraft gets too close to the ground.
“Had this system been on the helicopter, it is likely the tragic crash could have been avoided,” Sherman, 65, wrote in a statement released on Thursday, January 30.
The bill would also establish a commission on helicopter safety and call for a report to Congress on best practices for helicopters in areas of low visibility.
Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among the nine individuals who died after the NBA champion’s private helicopter crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California, on Sunday. He was 41.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed to Us Weekly on Wednesday, January 29, that all on board the helicopter had been identified.
Kobe is survived by his wife, Vanessa Laine Bryant, and their three other daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months. Vanessa, 37, broke her silence for the first time since the death of her husband and daughter on Wednesday.
“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time,” she captioned a photo via Instagram of Kobe, herself and their children. “Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.”
The late Los Angeles Lakers player, who retired in 2016 after a 20-year career, weighed heavily on the minds of the Lakers as they returned to practice for the first time since Kobe’s death on Wednesday.
“I’m Not Ready but here I go,” the former Cleveland Cavaliers star, 35, penned. “Man, I [sic] sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had! I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!!”
On Thursday, James unveiled a special tribute to his fellow Laker via Instagram — a tattoo of a Black Mamba.
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