The internet is mourning and sharing the hashtag RIP along with condolences and images of Kobe Bryant, but new information points to many bad decisions and irresponsible behaviour leading up to this accident.

The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight others that crashed into a rugged hillside outside Los Angeles was flying in foggy conditions considered dangerous enough that local police agencies grounded their choppers.

We must ask why this pilot and helicopter were allowed to fly in such bad conditions. This seems to be the first mistake and any responsible parent should not put their children in such dangerous situations.

Kobe Bryant preferred to get around via helicopter, but he and his wife Vanessa promised to never fly together, according to a new report. Helicopters are quite dangerous campared to other ways of travel and it seems like Kobe and his wife were aware of that fact. Knowing this fact, we got to ask if this isn’t a case of serious irresponsability and bad parenting.

Unless it is a matter of life and death, there is NO REASON to fly in such bad conditions that day. And bringing kids along makes the decision much worse. A responsible parent would have waited or used different transportation means.

But who did make the decision to fly that day? This looks like a collection of errors and bad decisions that could have been avoided if the safety rules were followed. The helicopter should never had got the green light to fly and the helicopter pilot should have known better and declined the trip until the weather cleared up.

In a 2018 interview, Bryant, 41, said he opted to travel via helicopter to avoid sitting in traffic.

Randy Waldman, a helicopter flight instructor who lives in Los Angeles, said the radar tracking data he’s seen leads him to believe the pilot got confused in the fog and went into a fatal dive.

The aircraft’s speed “means he was completely out of control and in a dive,” Waldman said.

“He could have turned around and gone back to a safer place with better visibility,” Waldman said.

However, “a lot of times somebody who’s doing it for a living is pressured to get their client to where they have to go,” Waldman said. “They take chances that maybe they shouldn’t take.”

The pilot was given special permission — known as a special visual flight rules clearance — because of weather in the area Sunday morning. At one point, an air traffic controller informed the pilot, “You’re still too low for flight following at this time,” meaning the chopper wasn’t flying high enough to register on radar.

Kurt Deetz, a pilot who used to fly Bryant in the chopper, said the crash was more likely caused by bad weather than engine or mechanical issues.

“The likelihood of a catastrophic twin engine failure on that aircraft — it just doesn’t happen,” he told the Los Angeles Times.

Why you shouldn’t make R.I.P posts

Among the grief is a growing marketing trend using dead celebrities for advertisement which is very troublesome.

One list longer than the list of celebrity deaths? That of brands and public figures which found it necessary to comment on these tragic departures via their own social media accounts.By now, we’ve seen this groan-inducing cycle play out time and time again:

  1. Cultural icon dies.
  2. Brand posts a hastily written or designed piece of content.
  3. Social media audiences explode in outrage.
  4. Brand offers an equally hasty apology or, in some feeble cases, blames an inexperienced young social media manager.

“High profile celebs are often outlived by their personal brand,” explains Jacques de Cock, spokesman for the London School of Marketing.

“However, whilst the ethics of attaching a dead celeb’s name to a product are questionable (the celeb obviously has no say in the endorsement) it can be a very effective marketing tool.”

“One of the less welcome parts of this outpouring of remembrance comes from the social media marketers of major brands, who seem to feel obligated to pitch in with product-placement condolences”.

Grieving on social media is one of the most shameful acts of acceptable narcissism today. See how upset I am? See how big a fan I was? See the run-in I had with her in line at Starbucks? It’s a cockfight at a funeral, a talent show at a wake. Mourning, once complex and personal, has been reduced to a few hasty clicks and GIFs.

Scrolling through Twitter and Facebook feeds when a major star dies, the deluge of hollow, meaningless RIPs and Awwwws leaves many users needing to take a shower. And yet, weighing in has become so commonplace that we expect it. Mob-like, we demand it.

Fundamentally, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are tools for self-promotion. They are personal websites topped with someone’s name, and everything beneath that header is a carefully curated version of how they want to be perceived. Deep expressions of honest emotion need not apply.

I understand that in order to build relationships with fans on social media, brands have to get involved in cultural conversations like those around a celebrity death. However, my advice to brands would be to pause before posting your tribute and ask yourself if it makes sense for you to get involved? Remember, a heartfelt and genuine tribute can definitely gain you the respect of the dead celebrity’s fans but if you try to use it as an opportunity to shamelessly promote your brand, then be prepared to face the wrath of those loyal fans. Good luck trying to save that reputation!


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