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WNY politicians urge FAA to hasten air safety regulation implementation

WNY — On the fourth anniversary of the crash of Continental Flight 3407, Congressman Brian Higgins, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Congressman Tom Reed and Congressman Chris Collins urged the Federal Aviation Administration to make the implementation of airline safety reforms a top priority.

On Feb. 12, 2009, Flight 3407 crashed in Clarence Center, en route to Buffalo from Newark.

These members of Congress requested the adoption of provisions on pilot qualifications and crew member training, which they called “long overdue.” They added that they believe these measures would remedy the errors that contributed to the Flight 3407 crash.

“In the years since this tragic plane crash, we have made great strides in reforming airline safety thanks, in large part, to the efforts of the victims’ families,” Higgins said. “The best way to truly honor their hard work and the memory of their loved ones is to push forward on the implementation of these final rules and make sure that we are doing all we can, to ensure that a tragedy like this never occurs again.”

Slaughter called the crash a “tragedy that truly shocked us all in Western New York,” and said that officials are attempting to make future accidents preventable, via more training and improved regulations.

“There have been some improvements in airline safety, since the crash, but until we implement these final rules and stop the sequester from drastically cutting the FAA, we still have lots of work to do, to protect the lives of future airline passengers and honor the victims of this tragedy,” Slaughter said.

On the four-year anniversary of the Flight 3407 crash, Reed said that he and the other members of Congress were committed to airline and public safety and called for his “Western New York colleagues to continue the fight, on behalf of those who lost their lives in the crash of Flight 3407. I commend the families and loved ones of the victims, for keeping aviation safety in the forefront. With full implementation, these reforms will be a proactive step toward preventing future tragedies.”

Collins said that future airline passengers deserve “what the victims of Flight 3407 did not get that fateful night: well-qualified and trained pilots,” and added, “There is no excuse for the FAA to continue to drag its feet, in the implementation of the new safety regulations championed by Flight 3407 families and passed by Congress. On this fourth anniversary, we remember all those who died that night and extend our gratitude to their families for fighting so hard, to make sure their loved ones did not die in vain.”

The 2009 crash claimed the lives of everyone on board and one person on the ground. Since that date, the Families of Flight 3407 and the Western New York delegation have called for airline safety regulation reform.

In August 2010, Congress passed new flight safety reforms, through the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010. In November 2010, the Western New York delegation approached the FAA with what it called concerns about the “unacceptably slow pace of the rulemaking process.”

For more information about the Families of Continental Flight 3407, visit

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2013-02-27 | 11:31:11
mechanical problems
The statements of eyewitnesses on the ground strongly support the conclusion that mechanical problems brought down flt 3407, not pilot error. It is probable that a malfunctioning propeller control unit(PCU) caused the prop to 'disc,' resulting in an uncommanded roll which led to the crash. Large pieces of one engine were never found, and numerous people in the neighborhood said the plane was on fire as it came down.