Families use tragedy to push for change


CLARENCE, N.Y.(WIVB)- Many families of the victims of Flight 3407 took the tragedy and used it to push for change, change that is making the skies safer.

Beverly Eckert, a 9/11 widow, was a well-known advocate for strengthening security in a post 9/11 world. Days after she took a picture with President Barack Obama, Beverly died in the crash of Flight 3407.

Beverly’s sister Karen Eckert said, “That was February 6, then on February 12 she was killed. I think what was remarkable to us is that the president of the United States the next morning went on tv and said what a remarkable inspiration she was.”

Inspired by her sister’s courage, Karen Eckert, has fought to change the aviation industry, lobbying congress to make skies safer for the flying public.

Karen said, “It’s channeling energy, it’s channeling frustration, I mean all those things that build up, we’re stronger as a group. And so it all comes together and we make things happen.”

Government reports blame the crash on pilot error, investigations revealed a stunning lack of training among some regional airline pilots.

Kathy Johnston lost her husband Kevin in the crash.

Kathy said, “It didn’t have to happen. That’s what makes you so angry. It was a crash that was a crash, it wasn’t an accident. It shouldn’t have happened.”

But positive changes have come about in the last year, alone. Pilots will now spend more time training before taking control in the cockpit, and will be highly qualified when they do. All, a result of the crash of Flight 3407.

Kathy said, “I love my 3407 family. So whenever I can get together and we can do things together and have something positive come out of it, or planning a service, there’s something in that for me too.”

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