As NTSB hearings opened in Washington into just what happened on Feb. 12 when Flight 3407 en route from Newark to Buffalo crashed on approach to the Buffalo International Airport killing all 50 people on board, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, met with a group of family members of the deceased.
Schumer, describing himself as "a skeptic of the FAA," said he now plans to meet with President Obama's nominee to the agency, Robert Babbitt, before a scheduled confirmation hearing next week. "I want to get assurances from him that we'll get to the bottom of this," Schumer told Fox.
An aide to the senator said the impromptu meeting lasted 40 minutes. Schumer described it as "just touching," saying the families "want to make sure that the investigation gets to the real bottom of what happened. They want to make sure corrections are made."
Reports Tuesday out of the NTSB hearing indicated that the pilot, Capt. Marvin Renslow, might have prevented the crash, the worst in the U.S. in more than seven years.
The Schumer aide said the following family members participated in Tuesday's meeting, "Kevin Kuwik (boyfriend of Lorin Maurer a Princeton employee); Susan Bourque and Karen Eckert (Beverly Eckert's sisters); Dana Hartman and Cindy King (daughter and friend of Retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant John Fior, who was buried at Arlington); Robin, Darren, and Nikki Tolsma (children and wife to Darren Tolsma, a Northrup Grumman employee); and Justine Krasuski (wife to Jerome Krasuski, also Northrup Grumman employee)."
"Three months after the loss of loved ones, instead of cursing the darkness, they're trying to create change," Schumer said, adding, "There are a lot of different theories as to what happened. We have to turn over every stone."