CLARENCE, N.Y. -- It's been six years since families of the victims of the crash of Flight 3407 took up their crusade for safer skies, and Monday, they were joined in Clarence by "Miracle on the Hudson" pilot Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who said reverting back to previous and less strict regulations for regional airline carriers would be unthinkable.
"Let me tell you that 250 hours total time to be an airline pilot is laughable,” said Sullenberger. “What we do and how we do it matters because people's lives are literally in our hands."
"The FAA Reauthorization comes up this year, it would be easy for someone to sneak in some amendments that would dilute what we did," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York.
"We not only never will forget, we'll never quit,” said John Kausner, whose daughter Ellyse was killed. “We're going to keep working, keep at it and make sure these rules are not rolled back."
Monday's news conference was the first in a series of what they call preventative steps. The next comes Wednesday as families head to Washington to lobby on behalf of their cause.
Regional airlines blamed a pilot shortage for the push back, which is something Sullenberger called an excuse for a poor internal economic model on their part.
To those quietly looking to revert back to older FAA regulations, he had this to say:
"Come here to Buffalo. Come here to the crash site of Flight 3407," Sullenberger said. "See the memorial; see the faces of those who've been lost. Meet the families of those who have lost so much and then, you will understand what we unfortunately already know - that when it comes to costs, the real costs, the human costs of not having the highest level of safety is a cost no family should ever have to bear."
On top of their fight to keep these regulations in place, families are still pushing to have remaining legislation implemented, including a pilot database and crew mentoring.
When asked what he would do to help Captain Sullenberger simply said "whatever is required."