Group Offers Condolences to the Family and Friends of Jennifer Riordan

Buffalo, New York – April 25, 2018 – With the FAA Bill scheduled to head to the House floor today, members of the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ issued a call for renewed vigilance and emphasis on safety to the government and all stakeholders in the airline industry. The group highlighted the recent tragic passing of Jennifer Riordan on Southwest Flight 1380 as well as a 60 Minutes documentary on numerous safety issues with discount carrier Allegiant Air.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Jennifer Riordan as they join us in the sad and lonely club that no one should ever have to be a part of,” stated John Kausner of Clarence Center, New York, who lost his twenty-four year-old daughter Ellyce when Flight 3407 crashed less than a mile from his family’s home. “As we have learned, this tragedy will be a part of their lives each and every day. The best we can do is pray that the needed lessons are learned so that the mistakes are never repeated. While each day that passed over the past nine years without a commercial airline fatality gave us all a small measure of comfort that our loved ones did not die in vain, it also increased the ever-present danger of complacency. This tragedy, along with the shocking revelations about Allegiant, should serve to refocus everyone in the industry. Obviously, our concern first and foremost remains with our nation’s regional airlines, and we challenge each and every one of them to keep their foot on the gas when it comes to safety as we strive to achieve ten years without a regional airline fatality come this February.”

The group also highlighted the importance of robust government oversight of the airline industry to act as a deterrent to potential shortcuts taken by carriers, challenging the Trump Administration, Congress, and key federal transportation agencies to take heed of these recent happenings.

“Whether we are talking about the maintenance program at Southwest, the alarming near-misses at Allegiant that were the result of day-to-day slippage in the approach to safety, or maintaining watchfulness when it comes to the selection and training of regional airline pilots, it is imperative that every arm of the government with skin in the game steps up to the plate in a big way,” stated Karen Eckert of Williamsville, New York, who lost her sister Beverly Eckert, a noted 9/11 widow and activist. “With Colgan Air, we learned a hard painful lesson about what happens when the government takes a laissez-faire approach to regulating and overseeing the airlines. I don’t care if you are dealing with Mesaba, Allegiant, or even Facebook, the idea of hoping that a private entity is going to choose the hard right over the easy wrong when they are left to their own devices is a recipe for disaster. This FAA Bill provides an opportunity for the House to send a strong statement in this regard, and then moving forward, it is incumbent on the Senate, DOT, FAA, NTSB, and the Trump administration to each play their part. In memory of Beverly and everyone else who needlessly died back in February 2009, we promise to remain vigilant and vocal every step of the way,”