Flight 3407 families recognized with plaque in DC

WASHINGTON, DC — Thirteen years have passed since the crash of Continental Flight 3407 in Clarence Center.

All 49 people on board that flight, and one person on the ground, died in that tragedy.

Since then, families of the victims and lawmakers have worked tirelessly to advocate for stricter aviation safety reform measures.

Family members and others gathered Monday at the Federal Aviation Administration’s headquarters in Washington, DC for a special dedication in honor of their efforts.

That special dedication inside the Orville Wright Federal Building, home of the Federal Aviation Administration, coincides with the 12th anniversary of landmark regional airline safety legislation then-President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010.

Family members of those killed on Continental Flight 3407 received a special plaque Monday that’ll hang in the lobby of the FAA.

FAA leaders, together with lawmakers and the “Miracle on the Hudson” crew, including Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, helped dedicate the honor to the families.

Families were recognized for their hard work in advocating for tougher aviation reform ever since the plane went down in Clarence Center back in February 2009.

The aircraft said to have stalled just five miles before its approach to land. Pilot error and fatigue were listed as the causes.

Since the crash, the family members formed a network of support and advocacy for stricter aviation reform.

In addition to attending several Congressional hearings over the years, the group’s efforts led to the passing of the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, designed to improve the overall safety for the flying public.

“For the last 13 years, for every flight that has landed safely, those people were able to get off the plane and go home to their loved ones, and continue on with their lives and keep chasing their dreams,” said Kevin Kuwik, The Families of Continental Flight 3407 spokesman. “That’s something we need to celebrate. To shout to the mountain tops.”

“This plaque will be a constant reminder to everyone who passes by that aviation safety is about much more than the physics of the machine that lift us,” said Billy Nolen, acting FAA administrator. “It is the promise we make to mothers, fathers , husbands, wives, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers of those who travel by air, that we have done everything humanly possible to keep them safe.”

While family members did pause in the moment to celebrate the recognition, many say more must be done to ensure the safety measures remain in place for years to come in hopes of preventing other families from dealing with the same tragedy.

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