When Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others died in a helicopter crash, the NBA icon's fans were stunned to learn that he and his wife, Vanessa, had actually planned for a situation like this. The couple had made an agreement in which they would "never fly on a helicopter together," per a source speaking with PEOPLE.
Following the news of this agreement, fans on social media had mixed reactions. Some felt that Bryant and Vanessa were being smart and planning for the worst-case scenarios while others didn't think this story deserved any attention. They wanted PEOPLE and their "source" to let the family grieve in peace.
"That way they would have a parent in case anything happened. Very smart deal," one fan commented on Facebook.
Others said that this may sound morbid, but it's smart considering that there will always be one parent to raise the children.
"Jim Irsay owner of The Indy Colts has this rule, I'd say it's fairly common in the millionaire community," another user added to the conversation.
This agreement was actually viewed as very common considering that several Facebook users weighed in to say that their families did the exact same thing when taking trips.
Some families grew out of the habit once their children were older while others still take separate planes on long trips. There are concerns about an aircraft going down, and many individuals do not want to leave their children without parents.
There are statistics showing that flying by helicopter is more dangerous than traveling on a commercial airplane. According to data from the federal government, fatal accident rates were 0.72 per 100,000 flight hours in 2018. However, general aviation such as recreational flying is more dangerous, with fatal accident rates of one accident per 100,000 flight hours in 2018.
With this data showing that flying in helicopters brings inherent danger, there have been people weighing in on social media to say that Bryant should have avoided using a helicopter to travel. However, a professor of aerospace and occupational safety at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University named Anthony Brickhouse is urging users to avoid those hasty comments.
"I think it is natural to the public, whenever an accident happens, to start to question the overall safety of a certain type of flying," Brickhouse said, per NPR. "I would just caution people to be patient and to let the investigation play out so that we can figure out what happened."
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