Kobe Bryant's tragic last flight ended in disaster as chopper plunged 1,000ft in seconds after pilot tried to escape fog

KOBE Bryant's tragic last flight ended in disaster after the chopper plunged 1,000ft in mere seconds after the pilot tried to escape foggy conditions. 

The helicopter crash that killed the NBA Legend, his daughter Gianna and seven other people place a new focus on significant flaws in federal aviation regulation.

Large turbine helicopters like the one that Bryant was in, aren’t required to have a terrain awareness warning (TAWS) to alert a pilot if they are about to fly into rising areas of land.

The choppers also do not require flight data or cockpit recorders.

Vanessa Bryant, Kobe's wife advocated for the change to require those systems and close the loopholes, however efforts have now stalled. 

Loss of public interest, opposition from the aviation industry and as well as a Congress overwhelmed with the Coronavirus pandemic and other issues, pushed helicopter safety to the back burner.

“Even the death of Kobe Bryant hasn’t gotten us where we need to go,” Representative Brad Sherman said.

“Aviation firms oppose this because they say these systems aren’t cheap,” he said.

The cost of the installation and repair of the systems could be upwards of $35,000 per helicopter, along with hours of maintenance costs, repairs and installation.

Something that the aviation industry argued were not necessary. 

During the final chilling message to controllers, pilot Ara Zobayan said he was struggling to avoid cloud before plunging 1,000 feet into a hillside, a crash investigator has revealed.

National Transportation Safety Board Investigator Jennifer Homedy said radar indicated the helicopter reached 2,300 feet before it began descending, with wreckage found at 1,085 feet.

The NBA Player and his daughter died alongside college baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and their daughter Alyssa, Christina Mauser, a coach at Mamba Sports Academy, passengers Sarah and Payton Chester and Zobayan.

There has been an increasing body of evidence that TAWS has become more effective over time and can save lives. 

The system in helicopters can help prevent crashes, especially when a pilot has limited visibility, by providing details of the surrounding terrain as well as visual and audio warnings of obstacles or mountainous areas.

About 20 NTSB investigators were at the crash site in Calabasas collecting evidence and Homendy said debris was spread over a large area.

"A piece of the tail is down the hill," she said.

"The fuselage is on the other side of that hill. And then the main rotor is about 100 yards beyond that."

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