Helicopter Safety Improvements Stall One Year After Kobe Bryant Crash

One year ago today, the world lost Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Ara Zobayan, Payton Chester and Sarah Chester in a horrific helicopter crash. In the aftermath of their untimely deaths, the Bryant family and public officials have publicly advocated for improved safety guidelines for helicopter flights. Most notably, advocates have pushed for mandatory terrain awareness equipment on all helicopters.

“Mandatory terrain awareness equipment on all helicopters has been recommended by the [National Transportation Safety Board] for 15 years,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a joint statement with Rep. Brad Sherman.

“It’s clear the simple addition of this equipment will help keep passengers safe and prevent crashes due to poor visibility.”

In spite of the push from Feinstein and Sherman, the National Transportation Safety Board has only required air ambulances to have mandatory terrain awareness equipment. Over the past year, many state and federal lawmakers have shifted their attention toward the pandemic, economic relief and police reform. As the one year anniversary arrives, California lawmakers are now reigniting the push for change.

"Today, I reintroduced the Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act to require terrain awareness warning systems on all helicopters that carry six or more passengers. The NTSB has recommended this equipment for 15 years but the FAA still doesn’t require it," Sen. Feinstein tweeted.

"We saw how deadly flying in low visibility without this equipment can be when a helicopter carrying Kobe and Gianna Bryant crashed. Ensuring terrain awareness equipment is mandatory will make our skies safer and I look forward to this bill becoming law."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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