Previous Issues
March 2016

From Our Collections: Aviation and Civil Liberties

In this 1940 National Aeronautics column, Jerry Lederer discusses the question of balancing civil liberties against regulations for flight safety.

He suggests that individual rights should be abridged at "the point where an extension of these rights would endanger the Public Safety or the public welfare" and that in many cases education—rather than regulation—can serve the role of ensuring safety. Regulations should be put into place in those situations where the average person is unlikely to have the means, skill, or knowledge to ensure safety.

Question of the Month. "At what point shall we abridge the rights of the individual flyer for the sake of the public? Shall we also abridge his flying freedom to protect him against himself?"

Did you know?

Jerome F. (Jerry) Lederer has been called the "father of aviation safety." Already known for his work in the aviation insurance industry, a few months after the publication of this article Lederer was appointed as the first Director of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) Safety Bureau.

Resources on the Web

"Preventing Injuries by Providing Information"

SafetyLit is a free bibliographic database providing citation and abstract information for scholarly journal articles, technical reports, and theses concerning all areas of safety, including transportation safety, human factors, ergonomics, and structural soundness/failure.

Weekly updates provide citations of recent articles. Basic and advanced searching allows users to explore research topics. E-mail updates and RSS feeds are also available for those who wish to stay up-to-date on the most recent safety-related publications.

SafetyLit started in 1995 as an e-mail update sent to a mailing list of approximately 20 individuals. By 1999 over 15,000 people subscribed to the newsletter. SafetyLit moved to a web-based database in 2001 to better serve the research community.

As of January 2016, the SafetyLit database exceeded 485,000 items. Each week, over 400 recently published items are added to the database, with additional citations being added from the back-files of journals in relevant subject areas.

This Month in Aviation History

  • 1 March 1925: Ryan Airlines started the first regular passenger service over the mainland United States
  • 2 March 1949: The Lucky Lady II (USAF B-50) completed the 1st nonstop flight around the world in 94 hours and 1 minute
  • 3 March 1915: Establishment of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the forerunner of NASA
  • 3 March 1974: Turkish Airlines Flight TK981 crashed near Paris following a sudden depressurization caused by the in-flight separation of a cargo door
  • 4 March 1936: First flight of the Hindenburg
  • 24 March 2015: Crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps
  • 26 March 1940: U.S. airlines marked a safety record of a full year with no fatalities or serious injury
  • 27 March 1977: Two Boeing 747s collided on a runway at Tenerife, Canary Islands
  • 31 March 1956: Establishment of the Air Traffic Control Association

New in the Archives

recently added books
recently added books
Recent additions to our holdings include:
  • Hopkins, G. E. Flying the Line. The First Half Century of the Air Line Pilots Association. Washington, D.C.: ALPA, 1982.
  • I Learned about Flying from That! by the editors of Flying magazine. New York: Delacorte Press/Eleanor Friede, 1976. First-hand stories of emergencies, mishaps, and valuable lessons learned.
  • Johnson, George. The Abominable Airlines. New York: Macmilllan, 1964. A look at the airlines and the status of aviation in the mid-60s, including discussions of the safety record, ongoing efforts to advance safety, and related issues.
  • Solberg, Carl. Conquest of the Skies. A History of Commercial Aviation in America. Boston: Little, Brown, 1979

Recent Citations of Interest

Article Access:
Access: C
ERAU Users: Full text available if connecting from a campus computer or with ERAU login; contact the Hazy Library (Prescott) or Hunt Library (DB & WW) for assistance accessing articles through the library databases. Non-ERAU users: Check with your institution/local library for access options.
Access: F
Open access; no login or subscription required.
Access: L
ERAU Users: Full text available with ERAU login; contact the Hazy Library (Prescott) or Hunt Library (DB & WW) for assistance accessing articles through the library databases. (One trick is to try searching for the article title in EagleSearch. Or look up the electronic journal using the Library's journal title search box/page.) Non-ERAU users: Check with your institution/local library for access options.