Straight & Level 10.9.1954

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Shannon Accident Less than a fortnight after losing a DC-6B, K.L.M. suffered another stroke of misfortune on September 5th, when their Super Constellation PH-LKY Triton fell into the Shannon estuary. Twenty-eight of the 56 people on board lost their lives. The survivors - 22 passengers and six crew members - managed to reach the shore in the aircraft dinghies. First statements suggest that the majority of casualties, if not all, were caused by petrol fumes rendering the passengers unconscious so that they drowned in the shallow water. Apparently nothing had been known of the crash - which occurred at 3.40 a.m. - until Johan Tieman, the second co-pilot and navigator, gave the alarm at 6.10 after swimming to a mud flat and crawling through two miles of mud to the river bank.

Reader's USSR Review I spent a month in the U.S.S.R earlier this year and during that time I travelled extensively by Aeroflot. My first journey under the care of this organisation was in an IL-12. I must say that from a passenger's point of view, I found the Aeroflot machine wanting in every respect. Flying at a height of 6,000ft the machine was either excessively hot or very cold - dependent it seems on the whim of an unsmiling, un-informed hostess. The furnishing was dull and uninteresting, brown being the predominant colour. All the airports I visited were dual-purpose - that is both civil and military. I had the good fortune to be in the Red Square on May Day and had an excellent view of the proceedings, including the flypast led by a rather large four-jet bomber. When I mentioned the word "bomber" my interpreter raised his eyebrows and asked: "Who said it was a bomber?"

Migs V. Neptune Another shooting incident involving Communist and American aircraft occurred over the Sea of Japan on September 4th. A Neptune of the US Navy, while on routine patrol 100 miles east of Vladivostock, had been attacked and shot down by two jet aircraft "apparently of the Mig-15 type." Nine of the ten men on board were picked up by American air/sea rescue units.

Bombay Duck Involving the largest concentration of aircraft and naval ships seen in Ceylon waters for years, Exercise Bombay Duck was recently completed. It was conducted by Vice-Admiral Norris C-in-C. East Indies Station.