CLARENCE CENTER, NY (WIVB) — More than 12 years after the crash of Continental Flight 3407, some of the final pieces of the Airline Safety Act of 2010 are finally being implemented.
“Nothing like this gets done alone,” said Karen Eckert, who loste her sister Beverly on Flight 3407. She is one of the family members who lobbied to achieve changes in commercial airline safety
Families gathered back on the site on Long Street in Clarence Center where Flight 3407 crashed killing 50 people. But today they were celebrating one of the final pieces of the changes they pushed for; a Pilot Records Database which just went online Thursday. The general public cannot look up individual pilots, but over the course of the coming months and years it will act as the go to place for airlines themselves to easily know the performance history of pilots before they hire them.
“The airlines have been on notice that they have to be submitting their training records, their failures of pilots, their driving records, alcohol, drug testing records, they’re all going in there,” said Eckert.
The crash of Flight 3407 was blamed on pilot error, a pilot who didn’t have proper training in stall recovery. These families years ago managed to get better stall recovery training for all pilots from the major airlines right down to the smaller regional ones.
“We’re just grateful this is done , behind us, we have a record of safety that we can really be proud of,” said John Kausner, who lost his daughter Elly in the crash.
Congressman Brian Higgins, of Buffalo said these family members can also take pride in the fact that, since that tragedy, there has not been one life lost from the crash of US airline. “The brave people behind me were broken open. they turned their sorrow into extraordinary effort to make sure that this didn’t happen to somebody else, what they experienced.”
George Richert is an award-winning reporter who first joined the News 4 team in 1998, later returning in 2018. See more of his work here.