3 JANUARY 1936, Page 6

Air-Travel Perils The cause of the tragic disaster to the

Imperial Airways liner, 'City of Khartoum,' must remain a mystery for the moment, though the fact that the pilot happens to be the one survivor of the thirteen inmates of the flying-boat suggests that more light may be cast on the crash when he recovers from his seven hours' immersion. The ex- planation first proffered, that all three engines cut out, is difficult to accept, for no common cause short of some accident to the pilot himself could account for this triple failure—unless indeed the machine had run out of petrol, which in the case of an Imperial Airways machine is scarcely credible. No regular line in the world has a better safety record than Imperial Airways, which has rightly put safety before speed, while at the same time endeavouring to work to a time-table which will enable it to compete with rivals who set more store on swiftness of transit Railway disaster* like the collision Which wa.4 responsible for the loss of thirty-three lives in Germany last week, are a reminder that travel risks are not confined to the air. Statistics, indeed, would no doubt show that Imperial Airways has a safety record that compares well with that of many railways.