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Co-Pilot's Family Fights Criticism

The mother and husband of the co-pilot of the commuter plane that crashed as it approached a Buffalo airport on Friday defended her against suggestions she was an unqualified pilot who was tired, sick and distracted at the time of the deadly accident.

Rebecca Shaw's mother, Lynn Morris, said she felt that not enough was said during three days of National Transportation Safety Board hearings about how qualified and dedicated to flying her daughter was.

"I heard over and over again the issue of fatigue, the issue that she was sick. And she wasn't fatigued, she wasn't sick," Morris said.

In an interview with The Buffalo News, Morris said, "The only thing that I want out there is that my daughter was truly a professional and she was fit to fly and that she was prepared and trained and that she was a good pilot."

Shaw's husband, Troy, said his wife "was a professional pilot. She took her job extremely seriously. She loved what she was doing," he told NBC's "Today" show.

Rebecca Shaw and the captain of Continental Connection Flight 3407, Marvin Renslow, apparently didn't realize they were traveling at dangerously low speeds as the twin-engine turboprop neared Buffalo Niagara International Airport on the night of Feb. 12. The plane experienced an aerodynamic stall and plunged into a house below, killing all 49 people aboard and one on the ground.

Testimony during the hearings in Washington centered on pilot fatigue and failings.

The Shaws had recently moved into her parents' home near Seattle and she had flown across country overnight to Newark, N.J., to make her flight to Buffalo.

Troy Shaw said he spoke to his wife just a few hours before the ill-fated flight and "she sounded fantastic, sounded like any other time I'd talked to her when she was on the job."

Morris called her daughter "amazing" and said "she didn't take chances with her flying. The minute she got on that plane she was ready to fly. She had the training. She had the background. She had the experience."

"In my heart I know that she did everything that was humanly possible to make things come out differently," Morris said.