Politics

Helicopter safety bill filed in wake of crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others

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Key Points
  • Congressman Brad Sherman, D-California, introduced legislation on Wednesday that would strengthen federal safety standards for helicopters.
  • The Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act would direct the Federal Aviation Administration to adopt new helicopter safety standards by requiring helicopters to be equipped with a Terrain Awareness and Warning System.
  • Kobe Bryant's helicopter lacked this system when it crashed on January 26, killing him and eight others, including his daughter.
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center on November 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Allen Berezovsky | Getty Images

Days after a helicopter crash killed retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven other people, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, introduced legislation that would strengthen federal safety standards for the aircraft.

The Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act would direct the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board to adopt new helicopter safety standards, and specifically require helicopters to be equipped with a Terrain Awareness and Warning System, according to a press release sent Friday.

The system is a safety net that provides a warning to pilots when their aircraft is too close to the ground.

The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and his party, which was traveling in foggy conditions, lacked the warning system when it crashed on January 26.

The Sherman bill will also set up a commission for helicopter safety, which will make a report to Congress and make recommendations on low-visibility flights.

The NTSB took up the Terrain Awareness and Warning System issue in 2004, according to the release, recommending to the FAA that all helicopters have the system. The FAA did not implement the recommendation.

It costs between $25,000 and $40,000 to outfit a helicopter with a terrain warning system, the release stated.

The NBA world was shocked on Sunday by the death of Bryant and his daughter. Michael Jordan paid tribute to Bryant and said, "Words cannot describe the pain I'm feeling. I loved Kobe – he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much."

The business community also mourned the loss of Bryant, who was also know for his investing.

Billionaire entrepreneur and Philadelphia 76ers partner Michael Rubin said Bryant could have become better at investing than basketball.

"What made him successful on the court — that absolutely working harder than anybody else — is the same thing I saw from him in business," Rubin said.

CNBC's Kevin Stankiewicz contributed to this report.