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August 14, 2012

Dear Family Members and Close Friends:

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 disaster.

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 responders.

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 Family Assistance.

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.

Warmest Regards,

Jen Stansberry Miller            Terri Henry Severin

Family Members
American Eagle Flight 4184 | October 31, 1994 | Roselawn, IN
Email: info4184@gmail.com
Blog: http://roselawn4184.blogspot.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/flight4184

Air Disaster Family Assistance Feedback Survey Link

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