The Hainan Incident

Two radial-engined low-wing fighter aircraft with red-circle markings on the fuselage were responsible for merciless attack on the DC-4 airliner belonging to Cathay Pacific Airways, just east of the Chinese island of Hainan on July 23rd. Following the incident, two American aircraft carriers were ordered to the China Sea to cover and protect the rescue area. In Washington, Mr Dulles announced that, early on Monday morning, "two United States carrier-based planes of the rescue type," while seeking survivors, had been attacked by two fighters of the same type that had shot down the DC-4. The American aircraft had thereupon shot down the two fighters.


M. Jean Viens, hotel proprietor of Fernay-Voltaire has suffered sleepless nights by reason of the roar of four-engined aircraft whose route took them over his hotel. Unable to receive indemnification for loss of sleep, M. Viens sent an ultimatum last year to the director of the offending airport of Geneva-Cointrin, M. Bratchi. Within ten days time, it said, captive balloons trailing steel wires would hover over the hotel of M. Viens. "This measure," wrote the proprietor, "will prevent aircraft shaking the whole building and ruining my sleep." M. Bratchi brought the case before the courts, and although the threat had not been carried out, M. Veins was fined 30,000 francs (£30). That was in February of this year. In an appeal, the defending counsel for M. Viens showed that the Geneva-Cointrin airport was a "clandestine establishment" constructed during the occupation, and had never received legal authorisation. The court allowed the appeal, on the grounds that there was no menace to life, but only "menace to prevent the use of an air route." In French law, there is no legislation to cover this "crime." The upshot is that M. Veins can now return to his hotel and happily let up his balloons from the roof. And, according to his counsel, that is exactly what he intends to do.

Non paying members

Not every sailor has the opportunity to command a battleship, but at some time he does pull an oar, cox a launch or take charge of a lifeboat. The Air Force could and should do better in their corresponding sphere and we wonder whether senior R.A.F. officers appreciate how, when one wants very much to fly, it feels to be a penguin in eagle's clothing. If more men were given the opportunity to fly as pilots the R.A.F. would stand a much better chance of getting the tradesmen it needs and of keeping enthusiasm high among them.

Source: Flight International