Jury Will Hear Flight 3407 Cockpit Recording

October 20, 2010 Updated Oct 20, 2010 at 7:13 PM EDT

By Ginger Geoffery

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October 20, 2010 Updated Oct 20, 2010 at 7:13 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - The sounds from the final moments of Continental Connection flight 3407 before it crashed in Clarence Center can be played for a jury. That's the decision made by a federal judge on Wednesday. It is something the families of flight 3407 victims have wanted and pushed for with the contention that a jury needs to hear the tapes rather than just a reading of the transcript in order to get a fuller picture of what was going on in the cockpit on that fateful night. Flight 3407 crashed into a house in February of last year killing 50 people.

Defendants Colgan Air and Bombardier argued against allowing the recording to be played contending it would invade the privacy of the flight crew and their families and it could unfairly prejudice the jury. U.S. District Judge William Skretny disagreed and in his ruling he wrote that relying on the transcript alone would be insufficient and the jury needs to hear the tone and inflection of the voices and other sounds from the plane.

"I really don't want to hear them (the recordings) because my imagination is hard enough imagining the terror they went through, but I do believe a jury should here them," says Jennifer West who lost her husband Ernie in the crash. West says she'll excuse herself from the courtroom when the recordings are played.

"It's great because now the jury will be able to hear the mistakes the pilots made and that moment of terror and it'll be very clear emotionally what that means, that Colgan did not train those pilots. They didn't know what they were doing," says West.

Some families of victims have settled their cases, but West is among those determined to see it through to a trial that's not even scheduled to begin until March 2012. In the meantime she tries to make sure her young daughter doesn't forget her father. "I have his pictures. I talk about him. I just want her to know what a great man he was," says West.