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On the eve of the anniversary of the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others, California’s senior senator and a local congressman announced Monday they will try again to improve chopper safety through legislation.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Northridge) reintroduced the Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act, a bill that would require terrain awareness and warning systems on all helicopters that carry six or more passengers. Despite a 2006 National Transportation Safety Board recommendation that such equipment be mandatory on all helicopters, the Federal Aviation Administration, which sets flight rules, only requires it on helicopter air ambulances.

Despite a personal plea from Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow and Gianna’s mother, lawmakers did not pass the legislation last year. Opposition from the aviation industry, combined with a Congress overwhelmed with the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues, pushed helicopter safety to the back burner.

In the wake of the Jan. 26, 2020, crash, NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy said that a terrain awareness system, or TAWS, would have provided more information to the pilot, Ara Zobayan, but she did not say it could have prevented the deadly crash.

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