(WIVB) – Families who lost loves ones in the 2009 crash of Flight 3407 are in Washington DC Wednesday to once again fight for airline safety.
With the FAA authorization set to expire this year, they’re making sure safety regulations don’t roll back.
Jennifer West, lost her husband in the 3407 plane crash. She was in DC and is asking that the bill, she and other families of 3407 helped pass, stay the way it is.
The Federal Aviation Administration act of 2010, was passed after the plane crash that killed 50 people, in Clarence Center. After investigation, the cause of the crash was pilot error.
The Aviation Act strengthened training requirements for pilots to make sure this did not happen again. That includes a 1,500 hour training requirement for pilots. Those in favor of modifying the requirements are asking that training in a simulator be counted toward those hours.
“If they had a loved one on the plane, that died unnecessarily due to pilot error, maybe they’d rethink their position on that,” West said. “You don’t know until you’re put in that position where you lose all these people due to a negligence of training.”
West and the other families of 3407 argue that computer training does not accurately train pilots for real-life situations.
Besides raising the standards on pilot training, the Federal Aviation Administration Act of 2010 includes measures that address pilot fatigue, consumer transparency, and the pilot records database.
In a bipartisan effort, Congressmen Brian Higgins (D) and Nick Langworthy (R) were also in DC fighting to keep safety laws in place.
In a news conference Langworthy says “loosening life saving regulations is not the answer.”
Since the act was passed, there has not been a fatal commercial plane crash in the U.S. The FAA’s funding and authorities expire September 30th of this year.
Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.