“Experience, Maturity Was Needed for First Officer to Intervene”, Says NTSB Chair

Buffalo, New York- February 3, 2010 – In the wake of the National Transportation Safety Board’s final report on the February 12th crash of Continental Flight 3407, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ turned their attention to achieving long-overdue government action on key aviation safety issues, focusing on the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Bill and new pilot qualification requirements in the Senate, and new FAA-driven regulations in the areas of training and fatigue.

“People ask whether we were pleased with what happened today,” stated Scott Maurer of Moore, South Carolina, who lost his thirty year old daughter Lorin. “We cannot allow ourselves to be satisfied until these recommendations are actually implemented, as the last twenty years are filled with stories of plane crash family groups seeking critical safety reforms and coming up empty. And Chairman Hersman’s words about the pilots’ performance made today another sad reminder of the importance of having the most qualified and well-trained pilots possible in the cockpit.”

With the FAA regulatory process steeped in bureaucratic red tape, the group has set its sights on Congressional passage of the FAA Reauthorization Bill, with numerous safety measures, and legislation introduced by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to significantly raise the minimum qualifications for commercial pilots. The FAA bill has been held up in the Senate since last July, stuck behind health care in the Senate’s Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Max Baucus of Montana. In the meantime, Congress has been forced to pass two extensions of the current FAA Authorization.

“Today, someone compared our situation to the state of inertia,” declared John Kausner of Clarence Center, New York. “Well, if it’s going to take an outside force to get the Senate moving, then we are going to have to be that outside force.”

Next up for the group will be attendance at a House Aviation Subcommittee oversight hearing on the FAA’s Call to Action plan, to be held on Thursday at 10 a.m. in Room 2167 Rayburn House Office Building. That will be followed by the “Walk to Complete the Journey” next Friday, February 12th, as group members commemorate the anniversary of their loved ones’ deaths by marching ten miles from the crash site in Clarence Center, New York to Buffalo-Niagara International Airport.