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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Kobe Bryant’s helicopter was flying in fog. That can be frightening for any pilot

Helicopter crash
Firefighters work at the scene of a helicopter crash in which Kobe Bryant died on Jan. 26 in Calabasas.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

To the editor: There is no doubt that a terrain awareness and warning system could have helped prevent the tragic helicopter crash that killed Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and his fellow passengers on Jan. 26.

Why the National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendation that such systems be mandatory in helicopters that carry six or more passengers (such as the one carrying Bryant ) was not followed by the Federal Aviation Administration is unbelievable.

I also wonder about the helicopter pilot’s instrument flight time. As an Air Force all-weather jet interceptor pilot, I had to go through 120 hours of “hood time” -- where you fly using instruments under a hood with an instructor -- in addition to simulator training.

Even after that, a pilot’s first encounter with actual weather is a new experience in which one must believe only the instruments and not his or her senses.

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Jim Ramsey, Sandpoint, Idaho

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To the editor: Bryant was the Mozart of basketball. He loved the feel of the ball in his hands much like a musician handling a fine instrument. He delighted in the sound the ball made as it tapped the floor composing a melody in his mind.

At age 17, Mozart began playing in the Salzburg court. Bryant joined the Lakers at 17. Mozart delighted hundreds with his symphonies just as Bryant did with his incredible movements on the court.

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Both young prodigies, Mozart died at 35, Bryant at 41.

Ann Acosta, Huntington Beach

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To the editor: To those who expressed sorrow but tempered it by adding a caveat of Bryant’s arrest for sexual assault, I say to you how heartless. And your point is?

Rest in peace to all the victims of the tragedy, period.

Rod Lawrence, Los Angeles


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