Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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February 12, 2014

Families reflect 5 years after 3407 crash

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — “The entire American traveling public owes a debt of gratitude to these families who turned tragedy into purpose,” said Higgins, who with the rest of the region’s Congressional delegation, supported the changes.

Flight 3407 was operated out of Newark, N.J., for Continental by now-defunct regional carrier Colgan Air and by a pilot and first officer who, the families would learn, had been inadequately trained on how to deal with a stall and were flying on little rest.

“It’s so clear that there were so many issues and this was a totally preventable crash,” said Eckert, whose sister, 9/11 widow Beverly Eckert, was killed. “It struck us at the beginning, how could this have happened?”

The group’s efforts continue toward creation of a centralized database of pilot records, a crew mentoring program and onboard safety management systems to analyze issues in flight.

To keep their efforts and loved ones’ memories alive, the families have also helped establish a private memorial at the crash site and are involved in plans for a public monument at the Clarence library.

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