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COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
CARL VINSON, Georgia, Chairman
L. MENDEL RIVERS, South Carolina
O. C. FISHER, Texas
PORTER HARDY, JR., Virginia
CHARLES E. BENNETT, Florida
J. T. RUTHERFORD, Texas
LESLIE C. ARENDS, Illinois
BOB WILSON, California
FRANK C. OSMERS, JR., New Jersey
FRANK J. BECKER, New York
CHARLES E. CHAMBERLAIN, Michigan
ROBERT T. STAFFORD, Vermont
A. FERNÓS-ISERN, Puerto Rico
ROBERT W. SMART, Chief Counsel
SPECIAL SUBCOMMITTEE, RICHMOND AIR CRASH, NOVEMBER 8, 1961
DANIEL B. BREWSTER, Maryland
PORTER HARDY, JR., Virginia, Chairman
JAMES E. VAN ZANDT, Pennsylvania
ROBERT W. SMART, Chief Counsel
DEPOSITED BY THE
ED STATES OF AMERICA
HEARINGS BEFORE SPECIAL SUBCOMMITTEE, RICHMOND AIR CRASH, NOVEMBER 8, 1961
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES,
SPECIAL SUBCOMMITTEE ON AIR CRASH AT RICHMOND, VA.,
Washington, D.C., Monday, January 8, 1962. The subcommittee met at 10:12 a.m., Hon. Porter Hardy, Jr., chairman of the subcommittee, presiding.
Mr. HARDY. Let the committee come to order.
I want to make a brief opening statement for the purpose of putting the inquiry into proper perspective.
On November 16, 1961, the chairman of the full committee, Mr. Vinson, appointed this special subcommittee to make inquiry into the crash of an airplane near Richmond, Va., on November 8, 1961, which tragedy took the lives of 74 Army recruits. The chairman also directed this subcommittee to make inquiry into the entire matter of transporting military passengers in commercial aircraft, including, but not limited to, the method of awarding transportation contracts to commercial air carriers and the airworthiness of aircraft carrying military passengers.
So, it is obvious that the scope of our responsibility and authority is quite broad. It involves all of the military departments, as well as the Department of Defense. Since the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Federal Aviation Administration have the legal responsibility for the certification of both scheduled and nonscheduled civilian aircraft, including the one involved in the crash near Richmond, those agencies must necessarily be involved in our inquiry.
The subcommittee fully recognizes that it has no legislative jurisdiction over the Civil Aeronautics Board or the Federal Aviation Administration On the other hand, the committee has a continuing responsibility for the safety and welfare of all of our military personnel. Under the present circumstances, it is abundantly clear that a complete inquiry into this subject could not be conducted by this subcommittee without interrogating the responsible officials of both FAA and CAB as to the manner in which they have discharged their legal responsibilities in certifying and supervising the opeartions of civilian aircraft in which military passengers are transported.
After the chairman had appointed the subcommittee on November 16, we began assembling information pertinent to the inquiry. Conferences were held with representatives of the Army, Defense Traffic Management Service, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Materiel), Military Air Transportation Service, Department of Defense, Federal Aviation Administration, and the Civil Aeronautics Board. The conferences resulted in numerous requests for statistical information which has now been compiled and will be made available during the course of our hearings.
Some criticism has been made because the hearings did not begin earlier originally we had hoped to begin hearings in December, but no date other than today was ever set because the subcommittee has been more interested in thoroughness than speed. In this respect it is pertinent to note that some of the essential information requested was not received until Friday of last week.
The subcommittee has received requests from various associations and companies representing various segments of the civil aviation industry to testify during these hearings. The subcommittee is aware of the fact that serious criticism has been directed at the supplemental air carriers as a group. As matters now stand there is unfavorable reflections upon both the good and bad among them.
I am informed that the evidence, which, of course, must speak for itself, will show that some of the supplemental carriers have been flagrant violators of the rules and regulations of both CAB and FAA, resulting in revocation of their certificates, and that others among the supplementals are considered to be marginal operators in some respects.
On the other hand, a number of the supplemental air carriers insist that their record of performance, in all respects, has been good. It is only natural that these carriers would like to testify in a public forum such as this in order to relieve themselves of the stigma which now seems to attach to the entire supplemental air carrier industry. Undoubtedly, a substantial number of the supplemental air carriers can demonstrate good records of performance, but in my judgment this is not the forum before which such facts should be submitted. As a consequence, I do not intend to schedule any of the associations or individual companies in the civil air carrier industry. This subcommittee will confine its efforts in this area to a consideration of how civil air carriers' contracts are obtained for the movement of military passengers and the degree to which CAB and FAA have discharged their legal responsibilities to insure that such air carriers provide timely, economical, and safe transportation.
It will be the purpose of this subcommittee to find answers to the many pertinent questions in connection with the air crash at Richmond and to the more general subject of the transportation of military passengers in civil aircraft. In an effort to determine these answers, the subcommittee has scheduled as witnesses the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Mr. Paul H. Riley; Maj. Gen. Joe Calvin Lambert, the Adjutant General of the Department of the Army; Maj. Gen. I. S. Morris, Executive Director, Defense Traffic Management Service; Hon. Joseph S. Imirie, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force; Lt. Gen. Joe M. Kelly, Commander of the Military Air Transportation Service; Hon. Alan S. Boyd, Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board; and Hon. Najeeb E. Halaby, Administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency.
It is our hope that by the time we have concluded with these witnesses we will have met the responsibility assigned to this subcom
At this point I wish to offer for the record Mr. Vinson's letter of November 16, 1961, creating this subcommittee and setting forth its jurisdiction. Without objection, it will be included.
I don't believe there is any necessity for reading it?
(The document referred to is as follows:)
Hon. PORTER HARDY, Jr.,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. HARDY: Pursuant to the authority granted me in Committee Resolution No. 5, adopted February 16, 1961, I am appointing a special subcommittee to make inquiry into the recent air crash near Richmond, Va., which took the lives of 74 Army recruits as well as other accidents or incidents involving commercial aircraft carrying military passengers. The subcommittee will also make inquiry into the entire matter of transporting military passengers in commercial aircraft, including, but not limited to, the method of awarding transportation contracts to commercial air carriers, and the airworthiness of aircraft carrying military passengers.
The subcommittee shall consists of three members as follows: Porter Hardy, Jr., chairman; James E. Van Zandt; and Daniel B. Brewster.
The designation of the above-named minority member is made with the concurrence of Mr. Arends, ranking minority member.
The subcommittee is directed to file its conclusions and recommendations upon completion of its inquiry and as early in the 2d session, 87th Congress, as may be consistent with a full and factual consideration of the subject.
CARL VINSON, Chairman.
Mr. HARDY. We are now ready for our first witness, Mr. Paul H. Riley, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Installations and Logistics. Mr. Riley, will you take a chair, please, sir.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. Mr. Chairman, may I make a statement at this moment?
Mr. HARDY. Surely, go ahead.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. Is it not proper or correct for me, Mr. Chairman, to say that this subcommittee was ready to meet on several occasions but because of the material the departments were assembling we found it necessary to await the assemblance of same?
Mr. HARDY. The subcommittee, as far as the members of the subcommittee are concerned, could have met right at the beginning of the month of December.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. Right.
Mr. HARDY. But to have done so, would have meant that we would have had to proceed without adequate staff work and without the assembly of information which is absolutely essential to any sound evaluation of this subject.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. Thank you.
Mr. HARDY. Mr. Secretary, we appreciate your presence with us. I believe you have a prepared statement.
Mr. RILEY. Yes, sir; I do.
Mr. HARDY. Well, now, Mr. Secretary, we are going to try to proceed, or follow the procedure, of permitting an uninterrupted presentation of your statement, after which there will be some questions.
Mr. RILEY. All right, sir.
Mr. HARDY. Now, if you will just proceed, if you will, sir.
Mr. RILEY. Thank you.
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I am Paul H. Riley, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Installations and Logistics.
I appreciate the opportunity to appear before the subcommittee to discuss Department of Defense policies concerning transportation of personnel on commercial aircraft.
Before starting my discussion, I would like to state that all of us in the Department feel deeply and share the sorrow of the families. and friends and the general public over the tragic deaths of the young servicemen in the unfortunate crash of the Imperial Airlines plane near Richmond, Va., on November 8, 1961. Maj. Gen. James B. Lambert, of the Department of the Army, will testify subsequently and present to the subcommittee detailed information about the accident.
Along with other duties, I am the principal deputy to Assistant Secretary of Defense (Installations and Logistics) in the field of transportation. My office assists the Secretary of Defense in establishing the transportation policy guidance to be followed by all elements of the Department of Defense. Briefly stated, our policies provide the following:
1. Commercial transportation service will be used within the United States for the movement of personnel or things when such service is available and capable of meeting military requirements satisfactorily.
2. The transportation facilities owned and operated by the Department of Defense will not be employed in such a manner as to adversely affect the economic well-being of the commercial transportation industry.
3. In view of the reliance of the military services during periods of mobilization or war on all modes of transportation, preferential consideration in the routine procurement of transportation will not be accorded one mode as against another.
4. Each mode of commercial and military transportation will be employed to meet our requirements in such a manner as to realize the inherent advantages of each.
5. No administrative procedures will be promulgated, nor actions taken, which will result in an assumption of statutory responsibilities vested in transportation regulatory agencies.
Our transportation policies are based on the national transportation policy declaration of the Congress in 1940 and the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, and have as their objective the development and support of adequate transportation systems and facilities which we need for national defense.
Three transportation single managers have been established to direct and operate our strategic transportation system and to provide effective traffic management service. The Military Sea Transportation Service operates a nucleus fleet of cargo and passenger vessels and contracts for commercial sealift to augment its nucleus fleet capability.
In air transportation, the Military Air Transport Service is the principal operating agency, also operating its own nucleus fleet of aircraft and contracting for supplementary commercial airlift as needed to meet requirements established by the military services and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Military Traffic Management Agency does not operate its own transportation equipment, but rather provides a management service. to all elements of the Department of Defense in arranging commercial transportation within the United States. With respect to other