3407 Families: "Don't change pilot training!"

Posted at 7:21 PM, Jun 20, 2017
and last updated 2019-01-22 16:33:04-05

The crash of Continental Flight 3407 in Clarence Center on February 12, 2009 took the lives of 49 people onboard the aircraft and an unborn child.  It also killed a man who lived in a home that was destroyed by the falling plane. Investigators found that pilot error due to inadequate training was to blame.

Following the crash, families who lost loved ones successfully lobbied in Washington D.C. for passage of the Airline Safety Act that was signed into law by President Obama in 2010.

The law required that airline pilots have 1,500 hours flight experience before entering a commercial airline cockpit.

However, 3407 Families have learned that regional airlines are now trying to get Congress to roll-back training requirements because of a pilot shortage.  Congress is currently in the process of putting together a new FAA Reauthorization Bill.

About 20 people representing several 3407 families are now planning to head to Washington next week to argue against any changes to pilot training.  They are being supported in their efforts by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Congressman Brian Higgins, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Chris Collins.

Jennifer West and John Kausner both lost family members in the crash and they are part of the group going to Washington on their own expense.  7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly talked with both of them to get their thoughts on what is happening.