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NTSB: Pilot Error Cause of Kobe Bryant Crash; Restaurant Ventilation Certification; 7 Murders on Mon
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 02/09/21 11:36 pm | updated: 02/09/21 11:36 pm
National Transportation Safety Board investigators say that the pilot of the helicopter that crashed and killed NBA star Kobe Bryant and 7 others last year went against his training and violated federal flight rules. The board held a hearing on the investigation into the January 26, 2020, crash in Southern California. Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and others were traveling from Orange County to a youth basketball tournament at his Mamba Sports Academy in Ventura County that morning. The Sikorsky S-76 helicopter flew into thick clouds and fog north of Los Angeles and crashed into the mountains. Investigators say that pilot Ara Zobayan likely lost spatial disorientation in the thick clouds and could no longer discern up from down or which direction the helicopter was banking. Zobayan told air traffic controllers he thought he was climbing out of the clouds when he actually was accelerating downwards toward the ground. The helicopter was flying under visual flight rules which require you to be able to see where you are going. Relying solely on flight instruments to fly in limited visibility requires specialized training. The NTSB has said that there were no signs of mechanical failure. The board is expected to make recommendations to prevent future accidents.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health announced on Tuesday, 2/9, that restaurants in the city can expand to 50% indoor capacity starting this Friday, 2/12, if they pass a ventilation certification. Currently indoor capacity is capped at 25%. The increase in capacity would be just in time for Valentine's Day weekend. Restaurants would have to fill out an application that includes a certification/attestation from an HVAC maintenance company or building proprietor. The health department will respond within 72 hours to applications. "I should note here that we are breaking new ground, and we're not aware of other locations that have done this, but we do think this is a way to try to have restaurants get back on their feet, economically, to provide service to customers, but while also doing it safely," Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said. It could be costly for some establishments to reach these new standards.

Ventilation Requirements:
- HVAC system is fully operational and ventilates the entire indoor dining area
- At least 20 percent outside is air circulated by the HVAC system
- Filtration MERV 11 or higher
- At least 15 air exchanges per hour are measured indoors
- Exhaust vent has a minimum six-foot clearance from tables, chairs, or other items
- If using window fans only, at least 15 air exchanges per hour are measured indoors.

SEE ALSO: Enhanced Ventilation Standards for Indoor Dining and Application Form for Increased Dining Capacity

Seven people were killed on Monday, 2/9, in separate incidents in Philadelphia. Police say that at least one of the victims may have been a case of mistaken identity. A 15-year-old boy was shot and killed at a home near Morris and South Hollywood Streets in Grays Ferry on Monday evening. Darius Winters was sitting outside with some friends when a vehicle pulled up and three people opened fire. Winters was hit several times and died at the hospital. The two other friends were not struck. Winters did not live at that house. "We believe this is a case of mistaken identity at this point in time. We think he's going to be an innocent victim that was targeted incorrectly," Philadelphia Police Capt. Jason Smith said on Tuesday, 2/9. The other shootings involved people ages 24-54 in all parts of the city. The unofficial homicide total for the year is now 62.

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