Kobe Bryant and The Kennedys

The crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others a week ago today, made me think of two similar accidents. John Kennedy Junior’s fatal flight in 1999, and his uncle, Ted Kennedy’s, in 1964, en route to Springfield, Massachusetts to accept the nomination for the U.S. Senate.

His pilot, Edwin Zinny, told him the weather was bad, and they shouldn’t take off, but Kennedy insisted, the plane crashing into an orchard, killing Zinny and Edward Moss, Kennedy’s legislative assistant. He himself escaped alive, but with a collapsed lung and three broken vertebrae, hospitalized, forced to lie on his stomach strapped to a board, for five months.

Cut to, thirty-five years later, his nephew in similar circumstances, being warned not to fly his Piper Saratoga in foggy weather, but like his uncle, ignored the warnings, but unlike his uncle, didn’t survive, taking his wife and her sister with him.

  Remnants of JFK Jr.’s plane.

17 Dec 1964, Southampton, Massachusetts, USA — The remains of a small plane that crashed in the fog near Southampton, Massachusetts. Senator Edward Kennedy was seriously injured in the accident, and two others on board were killed. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

What does this have to do with Kobe Bryant’s accident? I’m thinking, Kobe too, might have been warned by his pilot, Ara Zobayan, against flying in foggy conditions, but also may have insisted. Why else would a seasoned pilot make such an error, crashing into a hillside, killing himself along with eight others on board?

Is hubris the cause?

We all know the Kennedys are famous for it, the old, the rules just don’t apply to us, but what about Mr. Bryant, was he a little like that too?

It’s already been a week since Kobe, his thirteen year-old daughter, Gianna, along with seven of their comrades, had their lights put out like candles in the sky, a humble reminder how quickly life can end, for whatever reason.

I just hate to think, it could have been avoided, if sounder judgements had prevailed.   




About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in Culture, Family, History, humanity, media, Politics, violence and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Kobe Bryant and The Kennedys

  1. aFrankAngle says:

    Interesting to think about the roles of confidence in life. The praise of confidence getting us through a seemingly difficult journey vs. the downside confidence brings situations like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. On top of everything else, the helicopter was designed to be flown with two pilots. I can just imagine under visual flight rules, getting disoriented and then having to do all the work of two. That hard bank into the hill leads me to believe there was too much to do and not enough resources. In any case, like the other two examples you gave, it comes down to pilot error. One wishes it never happened.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Patricia says:

    It seems there are two sides to confidence and a fine line between. Sad when young people die. Can’t help but wonder what the world will miss out on without them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorryless says:

    When I learned about the heavy fog and low lying clouds, and that the pilot should not have been flying, I thought back to that July night in 1999. Dammit for hubris.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel there’s a piece missing. A friend said, Kolbe might have said, he needed to get there and the pilot just wanted to be the hero. We’ll just never know. Just hope it was quick. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorryless says:

        It did make me think about that horrible Saturday morning when the news was all about John’s missing plane. It was an odd emotion of overwhelming grief, complete disbelief and even a little bit of anger and frustration.
        I believed the kid was going to run for office, and I still do. Dammit.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It was on my birthday when the garment bag washed up on shore. I knew though, there was no way he was just going to show up, dazzling us one more time. It was the only time I really liked Clinton, who pulled out the stops trying to find him, and was vastly criticized for it. He gave a live statement saying, it was his decision, and his alone. There was no one else to blame. He felt, John Kennedy’s only son was worth every effort to be rescued. I really loved him for that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sorryless says:

        I agree with you on Clinton’s decision. This wasn’t about hero worshiping, it was about our nation’s history. And I have to believe that Bill, like all of us, was hoping against hope as the hours kept telling us how this was going to end.
        I once dreamed that he was alive and running for President. Dammit.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Really. Maybe he is, in the ether.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. My father was a Boeing test pilot. He knew when to push the envelope and when not to. When flying privately, often with me and the rest of my family, he frequently cancelled plans or we stayed someplace a day or two longer because of poor weather. He always cautioned against impatience. Too many private pilots push when they shouldn’t, or succumb to the pressures of others to get someplace now when they should wait. (My father always said doctors made the worst private pilots because they had a touch of omnipotence, could afford airplanes, and often flew when they shouldn’t, killing themselves and their families/passengers.) Ultimately, it’s the pilot’s call and if they’re not comfortable with conditions, they should say “no” regardless of the passenger’s desire to go. Many such sad tragedies could be averted.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dale says:

    It’s funny, Susannah… I was thinking the same thing. JFK Jr was his own pilot so not much we can say but in the other two cases, why did the pilots not refuse to fly. It’s not safe, you wanna go out? It ain’t gonna be me flying your rig. Fire me. I cherish my life more than the paycheque.
    Such a waste of life. Kobe Bryant has left three orphans because why? How urgent was it to get to where they were going? I have to agree with you. Hubris has to have played a big part.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I wouldn’t have put those pieces together, but you did it beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Good writing isn’t always appreciated. This post had impact! I won’t forget it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I had a friend who used to always say, “You pay your moneys and takes your chances” (Sic).
    I don’t really believe that as I think God or the Universe or the Force has something to say and put into it, too, however, I do guess we make our choices and then just go on. It’s all we can really do. I feel bad for anyone who has a loved one die and I also feel bad for anyone who has to make choices that could well lead to their own death. The Kennedys and Mr. Bryant will be remembered. That I am certain about.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Vasca says:

    May they all rest in peace…no matter what. how or why.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. skinnyuz2b says:

    From what I’ve read, planes were grounded by many surrounding agencies. It’s such a shame. He seemed like a genuinely nice person and family man. I pray his wife finds strength to get through this.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.