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Resource ID: #19873
Subject: Transportation
Source: Associated Press
Date: 2002-06-18



"An Associated Press investigation of the nation's aerial firefighting program found that many of the aging planes should never have been flying in the first place. It found a spotty safety record by a contractor who had the wings snap off two airtankers in mid-flight last summer, and that no single registry or agency keeps track of accidents involving so-called public service aircraft. The series traced the use of the airtankers to an apparently illegal transfer of military aircraft, showing that the investigation of one of last summer's crashes was hampered because the plane once was used to fly spy missions for the CIA. It found that there is poor financing and supervision of the crucial program, findings echoed in a report by a special government commission."

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