Report on Brown Crash Released

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: An Air Force inquiry has concluded that the April 3 crash of Secretary Ron Brown's plane in Croatia was the result of "failure of command, aircrew error and an improperly-designed instrument approach procedure." In a 22-volume, 7,000 page report, investigators concluded that all three factors were necessary for the accident to occur. The report said the plane should never have been allowed to land at Dubrovnik, because it was not equipped to handle the airport's 1930's-era navigational landing system. In addition, the pilots were not properly trained for landing at civilian airports, particularly in Eastern European countries. As a result, the pilots spent the last minutes of their lives dealing with unfamiliar procedures which led to "uncharacteristic mistakes." "There is a sad satisfaction in the Air Force that people are being held accountable for obvious screw-ups," says TIME's Mark Thompson. "And the big heads were the first to roll. Now an officer appointed to comb the results of the investigation will determine if other people in the chain of command should also be held accountable." President Clinton called the report brutally honest: "Some steps have already been taken to avert the possibility that any of these errors can be made again, and I am convinced, absolutely convinced, that others will be taken." -->