I traveled a lot once I left Buffalo, going home as often as I could. One thing I found was you can never get a direct flight into Buffalo. I'd either travel LA - Atlanta - Buffalo, LA-Las Vegas-Buffalo or LA-NYC-Buffalo. I avoided LA-NYC-Buffalo whenever possible, not only did I despise flying past Buffalo, en route to NYC only to return, I hated the planes I'd be put into. Planes with 1 seat on each side, Planes with the "Casablanca" propellers, Planes that didn't feel safe.
I didn't know I should have been more wary of the pilots.
In December 2008 I took my now wife to the east coast for the first time, we flew home from Buffalo delayed for hours because of ice. We landed safely in Las Vegas, and later in Los Angeles. I flew right back, this time to Cleveland, for a family road trip to Atlanta. Then, when UB ended up in the International Bowl, I flew from LA to Cleveland again and drove to Buffalo for the bowl game.
I took three memorable trips in December '08/January '09 and was safe and sound.
So when the crash came a month later, I was mortified, it easily could have been one of my planes.
The investigation in my opinion made it seem that airline profits were seen as more important than safety.
Similarly, I flew from LA to SFO a week before the Korean air crash at SFO this past year. The flight attendants were complaining about the runway at SFO and how they preferred to fly into San Jose or Oakland...
I imagine that thousands of these conversations are had, and I'd bet most of the time, the argument is won by what is cheapest, versus what is safest.
My take away from all this is my generation, really needs to reverse the money-obsessed trend of American Society and focus more on people. 50 people lost their lives needlessly. We responded very well after the tragedy, but we have to do more to prevent tragedies like this.
Dave, Tim, and Matt have also written pieces for the Bull Run Remembers Flight 3407 project. You can find them through the links below under "More From Bull Run."