Pilot record database to be established after years of action by families of Flight 3407 victims

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Posted at 2:14 PM, May 26, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Local elected leaders announced Wednesday the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has finalized the rule to establish a pilot record database.

The announcement comes more than 12 years after a plane crashed into a home on Long Street in Clarence Center, killing all 49 people who were on board and a man inside the home. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined the pilot failed several prior tests and may not have been adequately trained.

Officials say the final rule from OMB means the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can begin its final approval process and once final approvals are granted the database can be created. By June 2024 all air carriers will have to enter all relevant historical pilot records into the database. The database will allow airlines to access the complete pilot training records of anyone who hopes to be a commercial airline pilot.

The families of the victims of Flight 3407 have fought for years to reform the airline industry and make the skies safer. 7 Eyewitness News spoke to some of the family members in February who said the pilot record database was the final piece of the fight.

“Finally,” said Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer. “Twelve years of relentless advocacy by the 3407 families has yielded so many reforms, like this vital pilot database, that have made our skies safer. They faced immeasurable tragedy and instead of cursing the darkness, they emerged as resilient and forceful advocates for safer skies to honor the memories of their loved ones. We’ll never be able to truly know the number of lives their fortitude has managed to save, and we all owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”

Schumer was joined by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D - NY), U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins (D - NY), and U.S. Congressman Tom Reed (R - NY) in making the announcement.