Sport

Vital warning system absent in Bryant’s chopper

Firefighters work the scene of a helicopter crash where former NBA star Kobe Bryant died. Multiple entities reported that Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, along with seven others including the pilot, were on their way to a basketball tournament in nearby Thousand Oaks.

Firefighters work the scene of a helicopter crash where former NBA star Kobe Bryant died. Multiple entities reported that Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, along with seven others including the pilot, were on their way to a basketball tournament in nearby Thousand Oaks.   | Photo Credit: AP

The helicopter that crashed into a Los Angeles hillside killing NBA legend Kobe Bryant and eight others, was not equipped with vital software that alerts pilots when aircraft are too close to the ground, officials said.

The terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS), which is designed to send a warning when a collision appears imminent, had not been installed on Bryant’s Sikorsky S-76 helicopter, the National Transport Safety Board’s (NTSB) Jennifer Homendy said.

“Certainly, TAWS could have helped,” NBC News reported Homendy as saying, adding that she could not conclude that its use would have prevented the crash.

The warning system is not mandatory on helicopters under Federal Aviation Administration regulations, despite the NTSB recommending that it be made so on all helicopters with six or more passenger seats.

Medical examiners identified the body of Lakers star Bryant after recovering the remains of all nine of those who died.

Meanwhile federal investigators finished their inspection of the crash site, handing it over to local authorities.

Bryant, 41, was traveling with daughter Gianna and seven other passengers and crew when the Sikorsky S-76 slammed into a hillside in thick fog. The helicopter was headed to Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, where his daughter was set to play.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 10:16:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/vital-warning-system-absent-in-bryants-chopper/article30686646.ece

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