Safety, 1950s style

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This YouTube find from 1955 might be quaint – we no longer talk about ‘the man and the machine,’ – but its lessons are still true in 2015 – for those who can handle its slightly condescending tone.

The Flight Decision was a joint production between the US Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the US Civil Aeronautics Administration, the National Safety Council and the US Weather Bureau. It compares and contrasts the attitudes, decisions and fates of two VFR pilots who find themselves confronted by deteriorating weather –a familiar story even 60 years later. ‘Turn back, land, and live,’ is as good advice now as it was then.

The movie is a treat for vintage aeroplane enthusiasts with shots of Beech 18s, Piper Cubs and V-tail Bonanzas in action. Overall the film is an unselfconscious look at 1950s aviation and attitudes. Much has changed, but unfortunately, a few hazards have stayed the same.

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