Letter to Family Members of of CO 3407

On behalf of the National Air Disaster Alliance/Foundation members worldwide we extend our deepest sympathy to friends and family members from Continental Connection flight 3407 for their enormous loss. The following was written by our family members, based on their experiences, and we hope this is helpful in the weeks and months ahead.

NADA/F Family Support Team

In the immediate aftermath of an aviation crash, the affected families and victims are in a state of shock. Your entire world appears in complete chaos. There are people and agencies coming from everywhere demanding information and giving out information and most of this becomes a blur. You may feel completely numb and cannot comprehend, process or respond to all that is going on at this time. This is your body’s natural way of protecting you from sudden trauma.

Most of our members on the Family Support Team know and remember this time and these events. We have organized our assistance through NADA/F to be able to respond and be available for others who face this horrific experience.

The following are some of the unique issues facing those impacted by an aviation disaster:

  • Receiving insensitive, untimely and sometimes erroneous information
  • Difficult and sometimes distant disaster site
  • Frustration in dealing with multiple agencies
  • Difficult and delayed forensics
  • Denied a traditional funeral and “stressful” family dynamics
  • Possible loss of multiple family and or friends traveling together
  • The need to know the cause of the disaster, and learning that it was a preventable disaster.
  • Crash becomes a potential platform for political, media, and special interest agendas

As time progresses other difficult issues arise:

  • Lengthy, interrupted grieving process
  • Loss of privacy
  • Complex, long-term investigation and legal issues
  • Exhausting efforts to establish a memorial
  • Difficult to connect with other families from the disaster and the need to support each other and work on common issues
  • Need for supportive assistance dealing with personal and family life after returning home
  • Complex demands and confusing days lie ahead.
    If you are coping with an aviation disaster, please:
  • REST: Your body is working hard to sustain the trauma you have just experienced.
  • RELY: On family and close friends who can share the workload with you.
  • RESIST: Intrusion of others who are not close or helpful or trying to tell you what you should do.
  • REALIZE: You will be faced with harsh realities and tasks.
  • RESERVE: Your right to privacy, and to make your own decisions.
  • REMEMBER: There are people and organizations that genuinely understand this time and are there for you now and in the future.
  • REACH OUT: The Family Support Team of the NATIONAL AIR DISASTER
    ALLIANCE/FOUNDATION was founded by family members with experiences similar to yours. Feel free to contact us at 1-888-444-NADA or by writing 2020 Pennsylvania Ave NW #315, Washington DC 20006 or by visiting www.PlaneSafe.org.

Open Letter to the Survivors of US Airways flight 1549

To the survivors of US Airways flight 1549, the “flight on the Hudson River,”

We wish to extend our sincere congratulations, and extreme pleasure, to the survivors and family members from USAirways flight 1549.

As a survivor, or family member, you may be feeling overwhelmed after the shock of the flight landing in the Hudson River and the incredible rescue. We are grateful and thankful that all survived, but survivors need time to process and comprehend what it means to be an air crash survivor.

The National Air Disaster Alliance/Foundation (NADA/F) is a non-profit organization founded in 1995 by air crash survivors and those who lost loved ones in hundreds of crashes. From our members worldwide, our thoughts and prayers are with you as you work through the crash impact for the short term and the long term.

From our experiences, like yours, we offer the following:

REST: Your body is working hard to sustain the trauma you have just experienced.

RETREAT: When you are feeling overwhelmed, trust your instincts and know that you can say “No.”

RELY: On family and close friends who can share the workload with you.

RESIST: Intrusion of others who are not close, helpful, and no understanding of what you experienced.

REALIZE: You will be faced with realities and tasks as you regain your life.

RESERVE: Your rights to privacy, and to make your own decisions. Be cautious about who you rely on for counseling, as your privacy is important for the short term and long term.

REMEMBER: There are family and friends who are there for you.

NADA/F members encourage survivors to rest and take your time after such a horrific experience. Feel free to contact us if we may be helpful to you in any way.

Matthew Ziemkiewicz, President NADA/F
Northern NJ, responded to US1549

Gail Dunham, Executive Director
Summerfield NC

Read the February 2009 Newsletter

Our February 2009 newsletter is now available online.

Click here to read the newsletter (opens in PDF).