Louise Line: Flight 3407
Last week, I stood in solidarity with the families of Flight 3407, Captain Tim Canoll, president of the Airline Pilots Association, Jeff Skiles, first officer of the Miracle on the Hudson, and members of the Western New York delegation. We came together in a bipartisan call for Congress to protect hard-won airline safety reforms.
Eight years ago, Flight 3407 crashed outside of Buffalo, killing all 49 passengers and crew on board and one man on the ground. An investigation of that crash found an appalling lack of training standards for pilots that put countless lives in danger. In the face of this unspeakable tragedy, the Flight 3407 families turned their grief into powerful action by pushing Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration to enact new safeguards to protect all air travelers. These safeguards are some of the strongest airline reforms of our generation and include increased rest and training requirements for pilots.
Thanks to their efforts, we haven’t seen a fatal regional crash in over seven years. Not one.
Congress is working on reauthorizing the FAA and unfortunately, some are trying to roll back our progress.
That’s why I was proud to stand once again with these families and tell my colleagues in Congress that we can’t afford to put any more lives in danger. It would be unconscionable for Congress to cave to industry pressure and eviscerate protections that have helped pave the way for safer air travel.
Summer West, a ten-year-old who lost her father in the crash, said it best last week: “Don’t you know that lives are more important than money?” I’m with Summer. It’s time for the airlines to put the lives of travelers ahead of their profit margins.
We lost so many that February night in 2009, and we have an obligation to keep fighting for flight safety in their name. I will continue to stand with kids like Summer and the rest of the 3407 families to ensure that this kind of preventable tragedy never happens again.
Louise M. Slaughter