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Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act reintroduced in California

A year to the day after the tragic passing of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, California’s senior senator and a local congressman have reintroduced the Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act which will require the Federal Aviation Administration to strengthen federal safety standards for equipping helicopters.

The act requires all helicopters certified for six or more passengers to be equipped with a flight data recorder, a cockpit voice recorder, and a terrain awareness and warning system.

The legislation is supported by members of the Bryant family, and Kobe’s widow Vanessa Bryant issued a statement of support last year: 

“I strongly urge that the United States Congress pass a federal law that would improve the safety of helicopters operating in this country,” said Vanessa Bryant. “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. Having Kobe’s 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.”

Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others passed away one year ago in Calabasas, California, when the helicopter they were on crashed because they were flying in low visibility. Their chopper did not have terrain awareness equipment. The group had been heading to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, for a youth basketball game.

At the time of the accident, FAA records showed that Island Express Helicopter on which the group was flying, was only certified for using visual flight rules (VFR) but that the conditions the day of the crash should have required instrument flight rules (IFR), something this helicopter was not licensed or certified for.

Kobe Bryant was a shooting guard, who spent his entire 20-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He helped his team win five NBA championships and is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

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