1960 Aircraft Accident Investigation Reports on 16 plane crashes and disasters, incl. Flight 2511 bombing
A frequently gruesome collection of disasters in the golden age of air travel. Binder of 16 official CAB reports on aircraft accidents, most of them occurring in 1959 and involving fatalities. Roughly 4-12 pages each, several with photographs and maps. Reports generally contain a synopsis, timeline of events, survey of wreckage, weather conditions, review of structures and systems, details about the flight crews and pilots’ experience, and “human factors.”
Most high-profile is the investigation of National Airlines Flight 2511, which exploded en route from NYC to Miami on January 6, 1960. The report concludes, "The probable cause of this accident was the detonation of dynamite within the passenger cabin," and outlines a wealth of evidence that New York lawyer Julian A. Frank was responsible. Frank was under investigation for fraud, deeply in debt, and had taken out a steep life insurance policy before the flight. His body was found 16 miles from the other 33 people killed in the explosion. Post mortem examinations revealed unusual damage similar to land mine injuries which suggested Frank was in the immediate proximity of the bomb when it exploded. Although criminal responsibility was never conclusively assigned by the FBI, the incident unofficially constitutes the first suicide bombing of a commercial US flight.
Also included is a 62-page translation of the Italian report on the TWA crash near Milan on June 26, 1959. It contains the names and details of all 68 people killed in the crash, and makes the observation: “The bodies were found bunched together; in fact, some of them seemed to be embracing each other as if, while still alive, they had realized the impending great danger and imminent death.”Not recommended for weak stomachs or inflight entertainment.