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NTSB won`t overturn 1967 midair collision findings
11 February 2007

After looking at an amateur historian`s work, the NTSB will stand by its findings from a 1967 midair crash near Hendersonville, NC. Paul Houle of Spartanburg had studied the crash between a Piedmont Airlines Boeing 727 and a Cessna that killed 82 people. He has said the NTSB wrongly said the Cessna pilot was at fault. Houle argued that air traffic controllers had given confusing instructions, the
737 pilot had strayed from his specified course, and that the plane`s crew was distracted by a fire in a cockpit ashtray less than a minute before the collision. Houle also noted that the NTSB`s chief investigator at the time was the brother of a Piedmont vice president. The NTSB said there was no evidence the connection affected the case. It
also said the fire was deemed inconsequential and that it isn`t clear what the Cessna pilot told the control tower because the tape was garbled. (AP)