Questions raised by Flight 1420

June 04, 1999

Here is an excerpt of an editorial from the Miami Herald, which was published yesterday.

A MIRACLE indeed: American Airlines Flight 1420 landing in hurricane-force wind, skids off a runway, slams into a steel light tower, splits, erupts into flames -- and 134 people are believed to have survived.

Incredible? Yes. Luck? Perhaps, but maybe there were safety systems and procedures that prevented a more ghastly toll.

Every plane that goes down sends an understandable shudder through the public. That's why it's important to answer questions about each crash for safety's sake.

Knowing how people escaped uninjured and how quickly, what contributed to injuries, what -- if any -- fire suppression or retardant systems and materials were employed is also warranted.

More important, the Federal Aviation Administration must implement the safety-board recommendations that will emanate from the crash of Flight 1420. The FAA has been known to drag its feet.

Pub Date: 6/04/99

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