WHAT DID HAPPEN ?
TWENTY-SEVEN people died when
the airliner Amana 20 minutes out of port, crashed in flames near York on Monday night. Throughout Australia the immediate public reaction was one of horror that such a thing could happen to a well found, fully-manned airliner of the most modern kind. What miraculous freak saved the one survivor of this aerial holocaust? Cause of the disaster offers a wide field of speculation with very little chance of a satisfactory explanation. At the
moment when the tension of take-off had lifted the strain from the pilot's shoulders,
when passengers were settling down after the excitement of preparation and depart- ure to comfortable relaxation on their flight through the night-a flight made secure by daily repetition over the years since 1929-death struck. Twenty-seven individuals each with a purpose before him, each with responsibility extending widely into the community plunged to swift destruction in the hull of a marvel lous machine evolved to help each occu- pant to play his part in living. What did happen? This is the question being asked today throughout Australia not only by people charged with finding explanations for such disasters but by thousands of others upon whom the news has caused dismay. Did the pilot dive his charge violently to choke flames in an engine turned faulty and dangerous by
fatal stress at a frail point and strike a hilltop before that purpose was achieved? Were all those things done that human beings on the ground were re- quired io do to make the aircraft ready for flight? The former question is mere
speculation. Perhaps the sole survivor will have light to throw on the fatal events in the air; the latter will be the subject of searching investigation by experts in preparation and loading. The whole grisly business must be turned inside out for that cause without which there can be no remedy.