Nation: What's Up In Our Crowded Skies

The sudden appearance of a Cessna 172 in the flight path of a Boeing 727 last week was the kind of disaster that commercial airline pilots dread, and all too many of them can describe near escapes in similar situations. Despite the statistical evidence that air travel is constantly becoming safer, America's airspace is getting more and more crowded. Last year there were 187,473 nonmilitary aircraft darkening the nation's skies, of which only 2,473, or 1.3%, were commercial airliners.

The phenomenal growth in general aviation in the U.S. has continued unabated for a...

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