3407 Families: Asiana Airlines Crash is Another Wake-Up Call

July 8, 2013 Updated Jul 8, 2013 at 11:29 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

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July 8, 2013 Updated Jul 8, 2013 at 11:29 PM EDT


Buffalo, NY - The Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco serves as another reason for families of Flight 3407 in Western New York, to keep pushing for the changes that Congress has mandated when it comes to flight safety.

The National Transportation Safety Board is looking into everything -- including pilot error as a possible cause for Saturday's deadly crash in San Francisco.

In February of 2009, it was pilot error that contributed to the Flight 3407 crash in a Clarence Center neighborhood. Fifty people died in that crash.

Victims family members say they are more determined now than ever to fight for change.

"Takes you back to 3407," says John Kausner, who lost his 24-year-old daughter, Elly, in Flight 3407. "(It was) an accident that happened that shouldn't have happened."

Since then, Kausner and family members of other victims have devoted their lives to change in the airline industry.

However, they have seen roadblock after roadblock in the last three years.

This latest crash, which left two passengers dead, just strengthens the push for upcoming deadlines for the FAA to toughen the minimum requirements when it comes to pilot experience and training.

That's something local lawmakers pushed for again on Monday.

"We have a lot to learn here, but more so than anything else, what happened this past week underscores the urgency of getting those rules consistent in August and October and getting the airlines to comply with those rules," said Congressman Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo).

Investigators say Flight 214 in San Francisco stalled seconds before crash landing. According to the NTSB, the plane was going to slow, and the pilot tried to abort the landing shortly before the crash.

Flight 3407 had stalled mid-air.

Of Flight 214, Kauser says, "this pilot apparently had a lot of experience in the air, although not on that plane. They need to be refreshed, reminded on how to respond to a stall."

Investigators are also looking into the pilot's experience on this specific airplane -- the Boeing 777.

"You consider that this pilot landing this plane only had 43 hours in this craft, which maybe a major contributing factor," Higgins says.

Kausner says the fight is going overseas too. Members of the group are working with other countries.

"We're doing something with Germany. They can fly for 21 hours and then come into our airspace," he says.

However, nothing moves quickly in Washington, DC. It is expected that the FAA will finally implement the new pilot safety rules within weeks. However, it will take another three years for airlines to phase the changes in.