AVIATION: Grim Record

While jet-powered 1959 ranked as U.S. commercial aviation's best year in terms of technological advance, it went down as the worst in terms of safety. A record 294 passengers and crew members were killed in nine fatal crashes of scheduled U.S. passenger planes last year. Counting cargo, nonscheduled and training flights, there were 18 fatal accidents, with 329 deaths. On scheduled flights, the fatality rate jumped from .38 per 100 million passenger miles in 1958 to .73 in 1959, highest since 1952. The only bright note was that scheduled pure jets had no fatal mishaps (but there were...

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