Buffalo, New York- February 9, 2010 – As the one year anniversary of the tragic regional airline plane crash that took the lives of their loved ones approaches, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ urged all members of the flying public to view “Flying Cheap”, a one hour expose on the corner-cutting and questionable safety practices of the nation’s regional airlines. The show, a one-hour PBS FRONTLINE special, will be aired tonight, Tuesday, February 9th at 9 p.m. ET – check your local listings for complete details.
“Since the National Transportation Safety Board’s hearings last May, what we have found out about these regional airlines in general, and Colgan Air specifically, is absolutely appalling,” declared Susan Bourque of East Aurora, New York, who lost her sister Beverly Eckert. “Slipshod pilot hiring practices, subpar training, and disgruntled pilots paid at the poverty level was what Beverly got when she boarded that plane painted in Continental colors. Hopefully, this FRONTLINE feature will help get the word out about the sad truth to Colgan’s approach to running an airline.”
“Flying Cheap” will explore many of the issues brought to light by the tragic crash of Continental Flight 3407 on February 12th, 2009, killing all forty nine aboard the plane as well as one person on the ground. It will feature telling interviews from former Colgan pilots and other industry insiders. And it will also portray the determined efforts of the victims’ families and friends in Washington to ensure that such an accident is never allowed to repeat itself.
“It all starts in the cockpit, and we have learned the hard way that you can’t just take a quick look at your boarding pass to figure out what airline is flying your plane,” stated John Kausner of Clarence Center, New York, who lost his daughter Ellyce. “Congress and the FAA need to take a good hard look at the ridiculously low standards that govern commercial airline pilot qualifications and training requirements; what was allowed to happen in that cockpit by that airline is absolutely unforgivable. Anyone who tunes into FRONTLINE will be sure to have their eyes opened by the shortcuts being taken.”
A preview of this feature and other details can be found at www.pbs.org/frontline/flyingcheap, and the show will be available for viewing online. Its airing coincides with a push by the family group this week to call on the Senate to take action on the FAA Reauthorization Bill. The bill, which contains many important aviation safety reforms, has been grounded behind health care in the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Max Baucus of Montana, since last July.