California congressman introduces helicopter safety act after crash that killed Kobe Bryant

Posted at 7:26 PM, Feb 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 06:59:18-05

In the wake of the helicopter crash that killed nine people including Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, a California lawmaker is asking the Federal Aviation Administration to enforce extra safety precautions for all helicopters in the United States.

Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Los Angeles) introduced a bill, the Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act, this past week.

The bill would require all helicopters in the U.S. to be equipped with a terrain awareness and warning system.

“This can give a variety of warnings if you’re looking at your sink rate," said Brian Ford, a local aircraft technician and expert. "If you have an excessive sink rate then you’re sinking rapidly to rising terrain, if you’re getting too close to terrain, it’ll give you a visual and audio alerts.”

Each system is estimated to cost between $25,000 to $40,000.

The bill would also establish a commission on helicopter safety and require a report to Congress on best practices for helicopters in cases of low visibility.

An official cause of the Jan. 26 crash could take months, but federal investigators say there was no evidence of engine failure.

To read Congressman Sherman's press release on the bill, click here.