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Reader's view: Cravaack stands up for aviation safety

On Feb. 12, 2009, I tragically lost my girlfriend, Lorin Maurer, when Continental Flight 3407, operated by Colgan Air, crashed outside of Buffalo, N.Y., taking the lives of 50 people.

On Feb. 12, 2009, I tragically lost my girlfriend, Lorin Maurer, when Continental Flight 3407, operated by Colgan Air, crashed outside of Buffalo, N.Y., taking the lives of 50 people.

The crash bore many unfortunate resemblances to another regional airline crash in Hibbing

16 years earlier. Our family group ultimately was connected with some of the families who lost loved ones when Northwest Airlink Flight 5719 crashed on the Iron Range on Dec. 1, 1993.

Last August, we enjoyed a small measure of closure when President Obama signed landmark aviation safety legislation, calling for key reforms in the areas of pilot training, fatigue and minimum hiring qualifications. The law included a strong focus on our nation's regional airlines.

Unfortunately, the legislation is only as strong as the regulations that come from it, and we suffered a small setback when the House narrowly passed the Shuster Amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act last month. This provision seeks to weaken the impact of the safety reforms by making it harder for the FAA to write those regulations. The amendment was introduced at the behest of certain air carriers who do not want to foot the bill for additional costs due to increased safety measures.

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Despite intense industry pressure, U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack,

R-Lindstrom, stuck up for our group and crossed party lines to vote in opposition. Furthermore, he is fighting to keep this amendment out of the final bill that is negotiated with the Senate.

In an era of increasing partisanship, I just wanted everyone in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District to know you have a congressman who did right by our group, and not because of any campaign contributions that we made but because it was the right thing to do.

Kevin Kuwik

Columbus, Ohio

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