Transport: Inquest No. 1

For years the Department of Commerce has conducted private investigations of fatal airplane crashes, kept its findings secret to protect airlines from adverse publicity. Year ago Air Commerce Director Eugene Luther Vidal got Federal regulations amended to make publication of reports on fatal airplane accidents mandatory (TIME, July 2).

Since then reports on a few minor crashes have dribbled into the U. S. Press, attracted little attention. Last month TWA's Sky Chief, en route from Los Angeles to Kansas City, cracked up in a Missouri fog, killed both its pilots, three of...

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