This week marks the anniversary of one of the darkest days in Western New York history. It was four years ago Tuesday that Continental Connection Flight 3407 crashed in Clarence Center, killing 50 people. Four years later, families of the victims continue to push for tighter airline safety, and a group of them will spend the next few days in the nation's capital. YNN's Jon Dougherty has more on their efforts.
"You gotta keep fighting, you have to keep fighting. You can't get tired, because you're doing it for the legacy of your loved one, but also you're doing it for future generations and people," said Jen West, Flight 3407 widow.
Four years since the death of her husband Ernie, Jen West is continuing to fight, along with other victims' families.
A group of about 50 family members and supporters are headed to Washington, DC this week for the anniversary of the crash. They'll be speaking with Congressional representatives and sit down with members of the FAA to push for increased safety, something they did during last years anniversary.
"I really believe we're going to make a change to much improve the airline industry. Some of the pilots have already told us that 'you changed my life' and we only have one fraction of the rules in place at this time, so I think that's a good thing that came out of it," said John Kausner, 3407 family member.
In 2010, new airline safety rules were passed by Congress, dealing with pilot fatigue, qualifications, and training; but many 3407 families say more needs be done and that's why they're going to the nation's capital.
"We're fighting for one level of safety, because you should be able to trust the pilot flying your plane, because your life is in his hands," West said.
The families reiterate there should be no difference in safety rules between major airlines and regional carriers. That's one of their messages to lawmakers this week, but they also say the trip is in remembrance of their loved ones on the anniversary and reflection on all that has been accomplished in their memory in the last four years.
Remembering Flight 3407
YNN's Katie Morse will be in Washington D.C. with the families, and will bring us the latest on their efforts as the anniversary approaches.