February 12, 2019

Chairs DeFazio, Larsen Reflect on 10 Year Anniversary of Fatal Flight Colgan Air Flight 3407 Crash

Washington, DC- Today, Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and Chair of the Subcommittee on Aviation Rick Larsen (D-WA) shared comments in remembrance of the fatal Colgan Air crash that took 50 lives.

On February 12, 2009, Continental flight 3407, operated by Colgan Air, was scheduled for flight from Newark, New Jersey, to Buffalo, New York. Tragically, the flight never made its arrival. At approximately 10:17 PM the plane crashed into a home in Clarence Center, New York, killing all 49 passengers and crew on board, as well as one person on the ground. A National Transportation Safety Board report on the accident concluded that the probable cause of the accident was the Captain’s response to the stall warning, with several contributing factors, including flight crew’s failures to monitor airspeed and adhere to sterile cockpit procedures. With the help of the Colgan families, Congress responded to this tragic accident with landmark safety legislation for the aviation community, The Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010.

“The family members of those lost in the Colgan flight 3407 crash have been on Capitol Hill many times over the last ten years, turning their unimaginable tragedy into a mission to protect the safety of the flying public. We are grateful to them for their advocacy, and for their hard-work to make sure our aviation system is the safest in the world. Safety must remain our top priority, and our Committee will continue to address new safety concerns and provide strong oversight of the FAA to guarantee our safety mandates have been fulfilled,” said DeFazio.

“Safety must be Congress’ number one priority when it comes to U.S. aviation. In the ten years since Colgan Flight 3407 crashed near Buffalo, New York and tragically claimed 50 lives, Congress has significantly improved safety measures for airlines. Congress must never forget the tragic lessons learned from the loss of Colgan Flight 3407,” said Larsen.