National Affairs: Defiance & Determination

The crash of National Airlines' Miami-bound DC-6B threw an eerie flash of light across one of the darkest problems of U.S. commercial aviation: the stubborn campaign by top brass of the Air Line Pilots' Association (A.F.L.-C.I.O.) against the efforts of the Federal Aviation Agency to enforce stricter pilot and airline compliance with U.S. air-safety regulations.

While experts were still collecting the North Carolina wreckage, the head of the National Airlines branch of the pilots' union, Captain Robert J. Rohan, fired off a telegram to FAAdministrator Elwood Quesada suggesting a charge that made more responsible pilots' union members gasp. The FAA's recently instituted...

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