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Group Advises Against Travel in Small Planes

November 15, 1994| From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — An airline passenger group says small commuter airplanes should be avoided for safety reasons, but the airline industry, defending the small aircraft, said the warning issued Monday "needlessly frightens the public."

And Federal Aviation Administrator David R. Hinson said commuter airlines "have achieved and have sustained a high level of safety."

The International Airline Passengers Assn. urged its 110,000 members not to fly in planes with fewer than 31 seats, which it said have an accident rate "significantly higher" than larger craft.

But the Air Transport Assn., which represents airlines, responded that its members "continue to have confidence in the safety and operations procedures of their regional airlines partners."

The association said the warning "needlessly frightens the public."

The safety of short-haul commuter planes has been the focus of attention recently, particularly after the American Eagle crash in Indiana on Oct. 31 that killed 68.

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