Many information streams came out regarding the nine people's tragic fatal helicopter crash, including legendary basketball star Kobe Bryant.
Many people heard the early reports of the crash from TMZ. It is believed that since it was TMZ, then Bryant's death was fake news. However, Harvey Levin, the owner of TMZ, quickly explained that he had cleared everything with "Kobe's People," and Vanessa Bryant had been notified.
Several government agencies have been involved in the investigation into the accident. On that fateful day, County Supervisor Sheila Kuhl said that Bryant's daughter, Gianna, was on board and likely killed in a radio interview. That premature look likely startled the radio announcer (on NPR) because, until that time, it was thought that only Kobe Bryant was on the helicopter. The National Transportation Safety Board investigator Jennifer Homendy said that Bryant's helicopter did not have a terrain alarm system. A terrain alarm makes a beeping sound if a helicopter gets too close to the ground, a mountain or building, etc. Homendy had recommended 16 years ago that the Federal Aviation Administration require that all helicopters carrying six or more passengers be equipped with a terrain awareness and warning system. She added that FAA had failed to act "on the proposal." It appears that if someone in management would have taken the lead and not allowed the helicopter to fly because of the lack of a terrain warning system, the pilot and eight passengers would still be alive today.
Sunday morning, the heavy morning fog was rolling in off the Pacific over the Santa Monica Mountains. The conditions were so bad that the minimum standards for flying were not met for the Los Angeles Police Department's Air Support Division. Department spokespeople Josh Rubinstein stated that all helicopters were grounded until later in the afternoon. "The weather situation did not meet our minimum standards for flying, "Rubenstein said. LAPD's flight minimum is two miles of visibility, and on an 800-foot cloud ceiling, he said. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva made the same assessment. He said, "basically because of the weather." If the LAPD and the LA County Sheriff look at the weather as too bad to fly in foggy weather, why would a private sector airline pilot risk other human beings' lives?
Ara Zabayan, 50, of Huntington Beach, had a decision to make. He could have landed the helicopter at the Burbank Airport and had one of Kobe's private drivers take them the rest of the way to the Thousand Oaks' basketball tournament.
With as many different agencies, individuals, managers, and leaders involved, the only way to maintain order over information released to the public would have been through strong leadership management and professionalism.
A private sector employee may attempt to appease the VIP client to continue to be the "go-to-guy in the future.
However, perhaps a public sector employee would abide by government rules and regulations and save lives.
Michael Oliver Armstrong, M.P.A., is a Pasadena native who explores the impact of public policy administration on individuals. He can be reached at email@example.com.