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Some answers in mysterious 1961 UN crash

September 14, 2011, 09:29 pm

As the Federal Aviation Administration continues to work toward stricter regulations to combat the effects of pilot fatigue, the syndrome, which aviation experts call the equivalent of drunk driving, is being blamed in a mysterious 1961 crash that killed the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold, according to an article in the Washington Post.

According to records, the flight crew waited 12 hours for Hammarskjold to arrive at the airport in what was then Leopoldville, Congo. The flight itself was slated to take seven hours. The plane crashed several miles short of Ndola Airport in what is now Zambia.

At the time, a number of conspiracy theories floated around the crash, as Hammarskjold was in the Congo negotiating a peace treaty for the country, in the grips of a civil war. Several nations had significant interest in the country, which had significant, untapped natural resources.

"A 12-hour wait would be considered excessive by today’s standards," Gideon Evers, a spokesperson for the international airline pilots association told the source. "You don’t get any rest sitting on the plane or an uncomfortable crew room waiting for your next flight."

As safety regulations improve along with technology, the risk of accidents like this one decreases, but there will always be a certain set of risks that go along with flying, and aviators should seek the proper pilot insurance policy to ensure they have the proper coverage.

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