Unanimously-Passed 2010 Legislation Has Resulted in Safest Period in U.S. Commercial Aviation History by Far

Group Highlights the Emphatic Support of ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ Flight Crew

Buffalo, New York – April 17, 2018 – With the House of Representatives scheduled to consider a five-year FAA Reauthorization Bill on the floor next week, members of the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ issued a strong warning against any amendments that would serve to weaken the experience and qualification requirements for new-hire regional airline first officers. These enhanced standards were a key component to Public Law 111-216, the ‘Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010,’ which was unanimously passed by both Houses of Congress in response to a series of regional airline crashes in the previous decade.

“We are now going on over nine years without a fatal commercial airline crash here in the United States, and that gives my wife Terry and me a small sense of comfort that Lorin did not die in vain,” stated Scott Maurer of Palmetto, Florida, who lost his thirty year-old daughter Lorin. “When you come back to Washington time after time like we do, the amount of money spent on these lobbyists and the endless horse trading never cease to amaze us. Unfortunately, there is no deal that can be struck that can bring Lorin back or make our lives whole again. We just carry on in the hope that our efforts can spare another family from going through what we have gone through. This safety law has been absolutely critical in holding our nation’s regional airlines to a higher standard, which previously had been working so well for our mainline carriers. So hopefully the leadership of the House, from Speaker Ryan and Leader McCarthy right on down to Chairmen Shuster and LoBiondo, will stand up to any pressure from the regional airlines and their lobbyists and instead do right by the American traveling public. And if these leaders experience any hesitation or uncertainty on this issue, I simply challenge them to look at their own children and use that image as their guiding light; there is no argument that can possibly trump the importance of having the most-experienced and well-prepared pilots flying your loved ones when they board a plane.”

The nine years (and counting) without a fatal commercial airline crash on a domestic carrier is over three times longer than the previous such period in U.S. history. In addition to spotlighting this unassailable safety record, the family group also underscored the strong support for the new safety regulations by Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger and First Officer Jeff Skiles, the crew of the ‘Miracle on the Hudson.’

“I have a very simple message for every member of the House who could find themselves considering this issue in the upcoming week, and just as importantly, for the staffers who will be doing the legwork to prepare them for that decision,” stated John Kausner of Clarence Center, New York, who lost his twenty-four year-old daughter Ellyce. “Usually when you consider an amendment on the floor, you look at connections in your district, you take note of Dear Colleague letters, you see where the Committee leadership is on the issue. That is all very fine and logical. But with what we have unfortunately learned to be a life-and-death issue like this one, I ask each and every one of you to go one step further and pay extra heed to what the two of the highest-regarded experts are saying – none other than Captain Sullenberger and First Officer Skiles. Please allow them to them tell you about the critical decision-making and hand-flying skills that are honed by these additional flight experience requirements. And the importance of having a first officer in the cockpit who is not an apprentice but rather an experienced and well-prepared partner. That is why they were successful in overcoming a situation that was light years more complex than what the crew of Flight 3407 faced. To Speaker Ryan, Leader McCarthy, Chairman Shuster, and Chairman LoBiondo, I echo what Scott said: think of your own children boarding a plane, and please do everything possible to ensure that when they are flying back from school or coming home for the holidays, that they are able to do so safely.”