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Flight 3407 families continue the fight for air safety; Pilot Records Database under formal review

"They lost their lives, to save lives"
Posted at 11:44 PM, Sep 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-02 23:46:41-04

(WKBW) — One of the last parts of a federal aviation law is closer to the final phase of being enacted after the crash of Flight 3407 in Clarence Center 10 years ago.

"They lost their lives, to save lives," Jennifer West, wife of victim Ernie West, said. Her husband is one of 50 lives lost during the horrific tragedy. She continued, "It was such an preventable unnecessary tragedy that should not have ever happened."

The "Pilots Records Database" is now being formally reviewed by the "Office of Management and Budget," according to Congressman Brian Higgins. Essentially the database will be a "one-stop shop" resource for commercial and regional airlines when hiring pilots--providing employment histories, training and certifications. Since 2017--it's been in the testing phase.

"Our pilot Renslow, he failed the "check rides" three times," she said.

Congress Higgins said, "If there was a records database at the time, he may not have been hired."

West has been one of the voices trying to implement change in airline safety measures. Nine years ago--President Barack Obama passed the Airline Safety Act--but those like West, are still trying to bring pieces of that bill to fruition. One of the final pieces being the Pilot Records Database.

"It's a tragedy because one simple record could've prevented this whole thing from happening," West said.

"We're getting to the goal line, but it's been a long struggle that should not have taken that long," Higgins added.

West vows to continue to fight alongside all of the 3407 families. And every time she does, she knows her beloved late husband and all of the victims of Flight 3407 are right there with her.

"I think they're with us looking down and saying you go get 'em. You protect other lives. Everyone knows someone who flies, so this can affect everyone," West said.