THE question of safety is of primary importance in all forms of transport and, of course, particularly in aerial transport, This plain fact is stressed over and over again in all publications, in the service regulations, and in all questions concerning design, construction, and improvement of the materials. An element of paramount importance, however, is a proper appreciation of these questions by public opinion, without the support of which this branch of aviation will never be in a flourishing condition. The public will never consent to entrust life and limb to a mode of transport unless they have the assurance that it possesses a high degree of reliability. The public are ignorant of the result of the working of the airlines; of the progress made and the set‐backs suffered; of the improvements secured; of the causes of damage; and other features of the kind. Their judgment is therefore based on scanty information which Teaches them in a haphazard manner, together with news items supplied on the subject of aviation performances and reports of accidents, which, owing to the interest generally taken in aviation, and to its novelty, make a far greater impression than motoring accidents, for instance. To this must be added the fact that our generation, which has witnessed the particularly unremuncrative early years of aviation, has not yet come to consider it as one of the indispensable routine items of everyday life. There is consequently some excuse for the sensation made by every report of an accident, which strengthens existing misgivings, and creates the impression that aerial transport is not making any progress in matters of safety; and it is only to be regretted that such complaints are made without taking into consideration that many accidents happen at sports displays, in the course of training, or in countries where aviation is still in its infancy, and that the considerable increase of the mileage flown, of the number of flights and of passengers transported, is completely left out of account. The purpose of this pamphlet is to show the actual facts, without partisanship or attempts at pleading extenuating circumstances.
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