Berks

New pilot guidelines please family of crash victim

Survivors pleased with new pilot guidelines

READING, Pa - Families who lost loved ones in a deadly plane crash nearly three years ago are pleased about a new set of pilot guidelines.

 When Continental Flight 3407 went down in Buffalo, a Berks County native Lorin Maurer was on that flight.  Her father has been a vocal advocate of new regulations and he explained how the new rules will keep the skies safe.

Scott Maurer said the new regulations aren't perfect, but they are an improvement over what has been on the books since the 1960s.

 Since February 12 2009, the families of the victims who died on Continental Flight 3407 have been fighting to prevent another crash like it.         

 They've gone to Washington to tell Congress what needs to change about safety.  Scott Maurer talked about his daughter,  Wilson High School grad Lorin Maurer.

 "I will not have the opportunity to walk my daughter down the aisle," said Maurer.

 Wednesday the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced an update to the Federal Aviation Administration's pilot work rules to fight pilot fatigue.

 "The vast majority of people that fly, particularly on regional planes, will have the assurance under this rule, that they're flying safely," said LaHood.

 Maurer said he was glad actual sleep science was used to construct the new rules.  Some of them include flight time limits of 8 or 9 hours, a 10-hour minimum rest period prior to flight duty, and limits on actual flight time.

 "What you're going to have here is they're going from a 16-hour-duty day down to a 14-hour-duty day and perhaps less depending on what they're work start is," said Maurer over the phone.

 Maurer said the Flight 3407 families were told via teleconference before the FAA announcement.

 "We honor those who lost their lives by coming up with rules regulations to prevent another tragedy like this from happening," said Maurer.  

 He said there's still plenty more to do and he has the motivation to keep fighting.

 "I will be in Reading this weekend to enjoy the holidays with my family," said Laurer, "But there's always going to be that empty chair at the table that Lorin sat at. And that tugs at our heart everyday."

 Maurer said Lorin would have turned 33 December 28.

 The passenger airlines have two years to adapt the new pilot work rules.


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