Nightly News | February 13, 2011
>>> it was two years ago this weekend the deadly crash of a regional airliner outside buffalo brought new attention to safety issues on such flights. tonight, nbc's tom okcostello tells us about the big changes made.
>> reporter: outside buffalo, a candlelight vigil at the very spot where flight 3407 went down two years ago. each of the 50 victims' names read aloud. while flight 3407 carried continental's logo it was, in truth, flownly regional carrier, kogan air. ntsb finding of pilot error , crew training experience and fatigue put a glaring spotlight on the regional airline industry and forced change. much criticized airline was taken over by pinnacle airlines and congress raised the minimum flight hours for a new commercial flight from 2250 hours to 1500 hours. meanwhile, the faa is setting new guidelines for the number of hours pilots are required to work and rest. rules that haven't changed since the 1940s that allow airlines to schedule pilots for 16-hour duty days, eight hours of that flying with eight hour force rest. rest time that starts when the pilot pulls the plane up to the gate, not when he or she arrives at a hotel. the faa's new rules require the pilots get nine hours of rest starting from the time they get to the hotel and the length of the duty day depends on time zone changes, number of take-offs and landings and whether they fly long haul or short-duration flights. it's the families of flight 3407 who kept the pressure on making 35 trips to washington, forcing the government and the airlines to act.
>> just as a big brother keeps a watchful eye on his little brother to make sure no harm comes to him, so, too, we expect the major airlines to keep a close eye on their regional partners.
>> for this couple who lost their son on the flight --
>> we miss him terribly.
>> reporter: their success is bittersweet.
>> there suspect a day that goes by that we don't cry or reminisce that we don't say prayers and remember him in such a special way. comfort? no. satisfaction? yes.
>> reporter: tom costello, nbc news, washington.