August 14, 2012
Dear Family Members and Close
We are Jen Stansberry Miller and Terri Henry Severin, and we share
an uncommon bond with you: we also lost loved ones in an air
On October 31, 1994, Jen’s brother Brad, and Terri’s sister
Patty, traveling with her son Patrick, met briefly before
boarding American Eagle Flight 4184. The flight crashed in
Roselawn, Indiana, and soon after that our paths crossed. We
found common ground, sharing both an intense disappointment
in the reaction of the airline industry and an even more
intense determination to improve the process.
We formed a bond establishing connections with fellow family
members and survivors from eleven other air disasters.
Together, we co-founded the National Air Disaster
Alliance/Foundation (NADA/F), whose persistent efforts to
bring about awareness of relevant issues and improve
response procedures culminated in the passage of the
Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act of 1996 (ADFAA).
This landmark federal legislation was designed to spare
families from additional trauma resulting from any lack of
training or understanding on the part of airlines or other
Our commitment has remained strong. Co-leading the Flight
4184 family group, we have lobbied in Washington D.C.,
worked with air carriers and other agencies, and provided
support to fellow family members and survivors. More
recently, Terri tells of her post-crash experiences in her
book, In the Wake of the Storm: Living Beyond the Tragedy
of Flight 4184. In the past year, Jen served as an
instructor at an advanced family assistance class at the
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Training Center.
Last year, the NTSB hosted a conference recognizing the 15th
anniversary of the ADFAA. We spoke with many attendees who
asked, “What’s next?” That’s when we realized a new
opportunity to revisit our work and explore new options in
In 1994, we found out first hand all that was lacking. While
things have greatly improved since then, the only way to
accurately assess progress is to seek input from current
family members. This is where you come in. We would like to
hear about your experience and any suggestions you may have
about family assistance. We have provided a link to a survey
that we ask you to complete at your earliest convenience.
All personal information will remain strictly confidential;
your answers, thoughts, and suggestions will help us guide
airlines and responders on upgrading their training,
policies, and procedures.
Family members of air disasters have the profound power to
make a difference for those who will face future tragedies.
We thank you for your time and participation.
Jen Stansberry Miller Terri Henry Severin
American Eagle Flight 4184 | October 31, 1994 | Roselawn, IN
Air Disaster Family Assistance Feedback Survey Link