BRITAIN: Fatal Fatigue

Fighting a blinding snowstorm, the four-engine Vanguard turboprop locked onto the approach system at Basel-Mulhouse Airport and received permission to land. Inside Invicta International Airlines' flight "Oscar Papa" were 138 passengers, most of them housewives from neighboring towns in southern England on a package "shopping tour" to Switzerland. They were singing and chatting when they received routine orders to fasten their seat belts and were told: "We will be landing at Basel Airport within ten minutes." Oscar Papa never made it.

Though the visibility of 900 yds. was well within the Vanguard's safety zone and the...

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