Vanessa Bryant reveals sweet nickname for Kobe and says 'I'll never understand how this happened’ in heartbreaking post
VANESSA Bryant has poured her heart out on the anniversary of the tragic deaths of her husband, Kobe, and daughter, Gianna, saying she'll "never understand how this happened".
"I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too," Vanessa wrote on Instagram this morning.
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"I will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings.
"It still doesn’t seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you!"
Kobe's last flight ended in disaster after the chopper plunged 1,000ft in mere seconds after the pilot tried to escape foggy conditions in Calabasas, California, on January 26 last year.
The helicopter crash killed everyone on board, including the NBA legend, 41, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven other people: college baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and their daughter Alyssa, Christina Mauser, a coach at Mamba Sports Academy, passengers Sarah and Payton Chester and pilot Ara Zobayan.
During the final chilling message to controllers, Zobayan said he was struggling to avoid cloud before plunging 1,000 feet into a hillside, according to crash investigators.
National Transportation Safety Board Investigator Jennifer Homedy said radar indicated the helicopter reached 2,300 feet before it began descending, with wreckage found at 1,085 feet.
Large turbine helicopters like the one that Bryant was in, aren’t required to have a terrain awareness warning (TAWS) to alert a pilot if they are about to fly into rising areas of land.
The choppers also do not require flight data or cockpit recorders.
Vanessa has advocated for reforms that make those systems mandatory and close the loopholes, however efforts have now stalled.
The system in helicopters can help prevent crashes, especially when a pilot has limited visibility, by providing details of the surrounding terrain as well as visual and audio warnings of obstacles or mountainous areas, according to experts.
Kobe, who retired in 2016 after 20 years in the NBA, began using a helicopter while still playing for the LA Lakers so as to shorten his commute and enable him to spend more time with his family.
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In a gut-wrenching social media post, Vanessa previously told how she sometimes "doesn't feel like being alive" as the anniversary of Kobe's death approached.
The 38-year-old wrote: "Let me be real – Grief is a messed up cluster of emotions.
"One day you're in the moment laughing and the next day you don't feel like being alive.
"I want to say this for people struggling with grief and heartbreaking loss.
"Find your reason to live. I know it's hard."
Vanessa, who met Kobe in 1999 and married him in 2001, also has daughters Natalia, now 17, Bianka, four, and Capri, one, with the late sportsman.
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