CLARENCE, N.Y. -- Following the crash of Flight 3407, the families involved successfully fought for stronger pilot training standards. This September, the FAA reauthorization package, which includes funding and policies, expires.
Jennifer West's husband, Ernie, was on Flight 3407. Their daughter, Summer, was just a toddler in 2009. 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik spoke with Jennifer about the continued push for stronger flight safety legislation Wednesday night. They met up before Summer's orchestra concert at Clarence High School.
"What's it like almost eight years later having to fight for these regulations again?" asked Dudzik.
"Yeah, this is ridiculous because reauthorization expires this summer, so the House and Senate are going through the process and of course the Regional Airline Association is lobbying Congress hard to try to water down what we had put in place for the qualifications, and to think the day he was killed I would never think eight years later we're still pushing to do the right thing. It's just unbelievable to me," said West. "My daughter's orchestra is tonight and her father isn't here to see it, so."
"What do you think he would say to you knowing that you're strong and that you're fighting for this for not only him but for the safety of all Americans who fly?" asked Dudzik.
"Right, well, that is why we do it. It's easy for people to forget, but we can't forget because there's a huge hole in our lives. I mean, her father wasn't here to see anything that she has become a great young girl and he's not here, so we live with it every day. We can never forget and so we push this hard and keep it in the press and keep everything going and making people aware so that another little girl doesn't lose her daddy in the future," said West.
"In 2010 when things were passed, did you think that you'd have to keep going back?" asked Dudzik.
"No, I mean I was new to this whole thing, but all I knew is our group is so strong and cohesive that we would do anything to get this done, but to think eight years later, it's just unbelievable to me that we have to fight to make the skies safer," West said.
Some of the families are in Washington now for the Senate confirmation hearings for the next Secretary of Transportation. Jennifer hopes to join a larger group going to D.C. next month.