Safer Flying

May 20, 1953

Report Outline
Incidenc and cause of air Disasters
Saving Lives in Survivable Accidents
Improvements in Design and Traffic Control

Incidenc and cause of air Disasters

Travel on scheduled airlines in the United States is safer today than at any time in the past, but the threat of larger death tolls is presented by the development of new high-speed planes with greater seating capacity and the steadily increasing congestion of the country's airways. Constant improvement of existing safety measures and frequent revision of government regulations to meet changing conditions will be required to hold air casualty rates at their present low levels.

Domestic scheduled carriers congratulated themselves last Feb. 12 on completion of a 12-month period without a single passenger fatality. During that period their planes flew 15 billion revenue passenger miles, averaging a landing or take-off every seven seconds. However, the fatality-free period had been immediately preceded by a series of three crashes at Elizabeth, N. J., which caused the deaths of 114 persons, including 11 whose homes were struck by falling planes. And it was followed, within 48 hours, by the plunge of a National Airlines DC-6 into the Gulf of Mexico, killing all 46 persons aboard.

Safety Record of American Scheduled Airlines

During the last five years, the scheduled airlines have carried 99.9 per cent of their passengers without accident. Their 1952 record, which showed only five fatal accidents, compared with ten the year before, was the best in history. The rate of passenger fatalities per 100 million passenger miles was 0.38, as against 1.1 in 1951—a reduction of almost two-thirds.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Mar. 07, 2008  Future of the Airlines
Jun. 21, 2002  Future of the Airline Industry
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Oct. 24, 1986  Airline Deregulation
Oct. 19, 1984  Safety in the Air
Nov. 26, 1982  Troubled Air Transport Industry
Jun. 25, 1976  Air Safety
Mar. 21, 1975  Air-Fare Control
Jan. 27, 1971  Future of the Airlines
Sep. 10, 1969  Jumbo Jets: New Travel Era
Feb. 22, 1967  Airport Modernization
Mar. 18, 1964  Supersonic Transport Race
Feb. 07, 1962  Troubles of the Airlines
May 11, 1960  Prevention of Air Accidents
Sep. 17, 1958  Safety in the Air
May 23, 1956  Jet Age Problems
May 20, 1953  Safer Flying
Feb. 26, 1947  Air Safety
Jun. 08, 1944  Domestic Air Transportation
Apr. 08, 1944  International Air Transport
Mar. 02, 1939  Transatlantic Air Commerce
Jul. 14, 1927  Commercial Aeronautics
Jun. 20, 1925  Development of Commercial Air Navigation
Air Safety and Security