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Flight 3407 -- the preventable tragedy


   WASHINGTON -- Jim Hall seems to be suffering a sickly sense of deja vu these days.

   He was head of the National Transportation Safety Board back in the 1990s, when two turboprop commuter planes dropped from the sky and killed everyone aboard, just like what happened to Continental Connection Flight 3407 in Clarence the other night.

   At the time, the safety board railed time and again about the dangers of flying turboprop planes in icy conditions, and about the Federal Aviation Administration's alleged lack of interest in trying to fix those dangers.

   And now, Hall is railing again -- and saying the crash of Flight 3407 could have been prevented.

   "What made this crash more than tragic was that it was foreseeable and likely preventable if not for the preference of profit over safety in some of the aviation industry and for the lax oversight of the Federal Aviation Administration in its failure to adequately address known safety risks related
to icing," Hall said.

   What's more, the two airlines that flew those planes that crashed in icy weather back in the 1990s stopped flying turboprops in the wintry North after that.

   So, given what Hall says and what those airlines did, would you feel comfortable stepping onto a turboprop plane anytime between now and April 15?

  -- Jerry Zremski

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