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An air safety group, citing a string of accidents since 1979, today warned against flying all commuter planes with fewer than 31 seats. But the 110,000 member International Airline Passengers Association immediately drew criticism from the Federal Aviation Administration and the airline industry for encouraging unnecessary public alarm. The group urged members to avoid the planes, which it said had an accident rate "significantly higher" than larger aircraft. Over 15 years, the group said, small commercial planes of that size were involved in 29 accidents, compared with only one for larger commuter planes and 11 for major airliners. Ironically, the passengers' group didn't recommend people avoid short-haul commuter airliners like the ATR-72, the model involved in the American Eagle accident in Indiana on Oct. 31 that claimed 68 lives.Post your opinion on theScience & Technologybulletin board.