VENESSA Bryant has called on Congress to pass the Kobe and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act.
The 38-year-old widow believes the bill will help prevent future helicopter accidents, like the one that killed her late husband Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gigi in January.
The bill, which was introduced by Democratic lawmakers on Thursday, would mandate all helicopters that carry six or more passengers are equipped with a Terrain Awareness and Warning System, a flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder.
“I strongly urge that the United States Congress pass a federal law that would improve the safety of helicopters operating in this country,” Vanessa Bryant said in a statement via CNN.
She continued: “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.”
Similar legislation was introduced in January by California Representative Brad Sherman following the tragic crash that killed Kobe, Gianna, and six others outside of Los Angeles.
It was later updated after the Bryant family contacted the relevant lawmakers to say they supported the effort.
“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,” Vanessa Bryant said.
It’s believed the foggy weather conditions disoriented the pilot Ara Zobayan and caused the fatal crash on January 28, according to an ongoing investigation.
Although Zobayan had 8,300 flight hours under his belt, a 2016 pilot record included in the report shows that he had only flown for 75 hours using the instruments required for a day with such bad fog.
Through estimations of the aircraft’s speed and the pilot’s visibility, the report believes that conditions were so poor that Zobayan had less than 19 seconds between being able to see the hill and crashing into it.
Evidence has so far shown that the helicopter had increased its speed, made a sharp left turn, and then began falling, even though Zobayan had just radioed that he was climbing to 4,000 feet in order to get above the dense cloud layer.
The report revealed texts which showed concern for the weather[/caption]
On the morning of the flight, the pilot said “weather looking ok”[/caption]
Cate Brady, Bryant’s personal assistant, said in the interview transcript from 19 February that the Bryants had never put pressure on the helicopter company to fly in the bad weather.
Vanessa Bryant sued the helicopter company, Island Helicopters, in the wake of the crash, claiming that it was reckless to fly in foggy weather conditions.
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All nine people aboard were killed: Bryant and his daughter Gianna; Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, who was affiliated with Gianna’s team; Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton; and Zobayan himself.
Kobe Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star – and his public memorial service, held on 24 February at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, gathered thousands of fans.