Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

meters. They have a similar requirement for distance within which a take-off must be made. Although the form of statement of those requirements is different from the form of statement we have developed here, they are roughly equivalent in stringency, and I think it is in general true that the maximum loads allowable under regulations in force in Europe are substantially the same as the maximum loads allowable here, except that our regulations are more elastic in respect to allowing an increase of loads when the aircraft is being operated from particularly favorable airports, taking into consideration the size of the airports or the nature of the terrain or any other exceptionally favorable conditions.

I cannot say positively that it is universally true that no Americanbuilt aircraft are able to qualify under the rules of any other nation to be operated at higher loads than are allowed here; but at least I do not know of any such case. When I flew to England a couple of years ago, I talked with the pilots who were operating the Douglas aircraft which were used in maintaining the service between Lisbon and England. At that time, even under war conditions, and when that was the only expeditious service out of the British Isles to anywhere, they were operating those aircraft at a maximum load about a thousand pounds less than the maximum being allowed here at that time for the same aircraft. That difference was not because they were more conservative, but because they had to use for landing some fields at which conditions were exceptionally unfavorable; but at least it goes along with what I had said about the general equivalence of American and European requirements; although I think that in view of their greater flexibility, and because they address the process of regulation more specifically to the actual conditions that govern safety, our present provisions are the best that have yet been devised.

Mr. CHẠIRMAN. We thank you, Mr. Warner.
Mr. WARNER. Thank you.

The CHAIRMAN. There is just one question that I would like to ask you. Has there been any complaint from the manufacturers that the restrictions imposed by your organization have been a restraint on research or development of aircraft?

Mr. WARNER. I do not recall any such complaint in general terms. I will answer that in two parts. There have been times when the manufacturers as a whole felt that this work of revising the regulations was going with painful slowness. I don't wonder that they thought so. I thought so myself; but it is a very difficult matter when you get into it, and we were unable to make the speed that we would all have wished, and still arrive at a satisfactory result. All the interested parties, the manufacturers and operators and pilots, and everyone else, wanted to be heard, and we wanted to hear them, and did so. We were striking into brand new territory. We were attempting a type of regulation which, although it seemed more logical than anything that had gone before, and I am sure that everyone thinks it an improvement over the regulations that preceded it, was certainly more complicated than any. thing that had gone before, and it took a long time to develop. We did it once, and as I have said, we found that we had been too hasty, and we had to do it over again. There was at times that general complaint of slowness, although I think that feeling was intermittent and that on the whole the manufacturers appreciated, and indeed they shared in, the difficulties.

There has also been occasional protest, as I have said, from individual engineers in the manufacturing industry that the requirements are still unduly restrictive, but that is a matter of opinion.

There are undoubtedly some engineers, and I presume there are some individual pilots who feel that the present restrictions to a maximum allowable stalling speed of 80 miles per hour could be raised to 90 or 100 without any harmful results.

We did the best we could to arrive at what seemed a reasonable result, after hearing from everybody.

The CHAIRMAN. Suppose that a manufacturer presents a plane with a new design or improvement, do your engineers say that it is imprac. ticable and too hazardous, or what will you do about that? Will you give him a chance to demonstrate it?

Mr. WARNER. The initial submission for certification of the new airplane is to the C. A. A., which deals with individual cases under the general regulations. There is a provision in the regulations covering the point that you mention. [Civil Air Regulation 04.00 provides : "That deviations from these requirements which, in the opinion of the Administrator, insure the equivalent condition for safe operation may be accepted in lieu of the requirements set forth in this part.”]

An aircraft of fundamentally new type, fundamentally different from the form for which and with respect to which the regulations were developed, can also be brought in as a special case, with a request for certification by special order.

We have general regulations; but in order to deal with very special cases it would always be possible to adopt a special order allowing certification outside of the terms of the regulation, or in spite of failure to comply with certain regulations. There has been only one such case in the last 5 years, and I do not think of any other case where such

such a case will be rare, because fundamental inventions are themselves rare.

In general, the history of airplane design has been a history of gradual evolution and study and improvement, but with very few sudden revolutionary changes such as would so change the basic assumption, or the basic method of treatment of the design problems, as to take them out of the realm with respect to 'which the regulations were devised.

Mr. WARNER. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. O'Brien.

STATEMENT OF WILLIAM C. O'BRIEN, REPRESENTING THE POST

OFFICE DEPARTMENT

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. O'Brien, you may proceed. Mr. O'BRIEN. Mr. Chairman, for the record, my name is William C. O'Brien. I am an attorney in the office of the Postmaster General, or the Bureau of the Postmaster General.

May I say, Mr. Chairman, that the opportunity to appear before this committee was conferred upon me only a very short time ago this morning in fact—so that what I have to say will be necessarily brief and if the Chairman desires, or any member of the committee

desires, additional information we would like to have the privilege of furnishing that later on in written form.

The CHAIRMAN. We will be glad indeed to have you submit anything you think pertinent to the situation in addition to what you may say here.

Mr. O'BRIEN. Mr. Chairman, my position here is appearing for the Post Office Department limits me, as I understand, more to the supplying of factual information and to making comments on the bill which so far we have not submitted to the Budget to determine whether it is in accord with the program of the President or not. Therefore, we cannot take a position one way or the other.

The CHAIRMAN. I appreciate under the practices you cannot take any initiative in suggesting changes, but understand that the rule does not prohibit suggestions on the request of a committee of Congress.

So if you feel that there is something that you would like to recommend with reference to this legislation, we will be glad to hear it.

Mr. O'BRIEN. I will take advantage of that Mr. Chairman.

So far as the opening section of this bill is concerned, covering the reports to Congress by the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Postmaster General after an investigation, as to the feasibility of transporting all class of mail by air, the Post Office Department, I believe, feels that it can furnish that information; if this bill becomes a law, it can undertake that survey. I assume, although I do not have any information yet, that it might involve some additional expenditures, but that has not been ascertained so far.

There are a few other features of the bill to which I desire to refer. One is the declaration of policy by the Civil Aeronautics Board, of the Civil Aeronautics Act, which is commented upon or explained by Mr. Tipton in his analysis of H. R. 1012. Mr. Tipton kindly supplied me with a copy of that analysis and I find in here an explanation of the proposed provisions which would indicate particularly on pages 13 and 14 of the analysis that we may face the situation in which the fixing of rates of compensation for the transportation of mail will be entirely under a subsidy basis. As near as I can gather from the explanation, there will be no appreciable relationship between the cost of the operation or the needs of the service from a postal standpoint, or the allocated cost of postal service, or

which may be assessed as compensation to the carrier.

The Postmaster General, of course, in a situation of that kind would find himself unable to carry out the intent of the act so far as will readily appear from the 1938 statute.

In other words, the Postmaster General cannot very well petition the Board and to set up any reasonable basis for requesting, for instance, a reduction of rates, if the rates are fixed upon consideration of matters many of which will not appear in the record so far as I can tell. In other words, if a route is purely noncommercial, and in effect nonpostal, but purely for emergency or national defense purposes, that such route should be established and maintained, of course, I do not have any doubt; but I think that the feeling is that if there was some way by which the route could be maintained without leaving us in a position of paying an unestimable sum of subsidy that cannot be related to compensation, we would feel somewhat more com

war.

fortable about it. Or to put it plain, if the Civil Aeronautics Board would fix the rates of compensation for the actual service performed in the transportation of air mail not including any subsidy in such rate, and the Board or some other agency of the Government were to dispense the subsidy, we would know better where we stood, and better preserve the economics of the Postal Service.

The CHAIRMAN. Is it the idea that the Post Office Department would rather have greater liberty in reporting on the advisability of a route and rates based on economical conditions?

Mr. O'BRIEN. No; we do not want to have any report on the advisability of a military or national defense route which involves considerations such as here set forth. That is a subject upon which we have no information. That is a report on the route from the emergency or national defense standpoint and, so far as I know, so far as my recollection serves me now, in the previous cases before the Board, where some factor of national defense has entered into the considerations of the Board, when it came to fix a rate, I have heard of no witness being called, or of anything going into the record upon which they could come to some conclusion. Certainly nothing that I have seen. That is before we actually got into the

There are now, of course, arrangements with the military forces which we can appreciate; but before, in time of peace, there was no expert testimony in any record that I can recollect, or that I can recollect of ever having heard mentioned saying that “this or that is a national defense route; this is important to the military and naval service." And, how the Board, without the advice of an expert or some information other than their own judgment, can come to a conclusion as to what factor of compensation rate should be allowed to national defense purposes, I do not know. It is one of the mysteries of rate-making that I have not solved.

I just point these things out. I am not trying to state what conclusions I would except the committee to reach.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you have the opinion that the Post Office Department should be given broader authority in the recommendations as to these sections ?

Mr. O'BRIEN, No, sir; I do not. I am trying to convey the thought that these sections will enable the establishment of rates of compensation for the transportation of mail as the old law provided, which will have no relation, to compensation; to compensation for the transportation of mail, and, therefore, will not be subject to any yardstick measure by which we could say to the Board, “We think you are unfair or unreasonable” and so have the right to petition the Board for a change in that rate would be an empty worthless thing to us.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, is it not about this, that in fixing the rates, the economic value or cost is a proper consideration, but not the sole consideration in fixing rates by the Board ?

Mr. O'BRIEN. I think so.

The CHAIRMAN. So, if the Department were interested purely from the standpoint of, say, reasonable costs, the Board under the existing law has a right to consider the value of that air line for national defense purposes.

Mr. O'BRIEN. It has that right now, yes.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes. So, I recognize that the difference in the standards that might be applied to carry out that policy of taking care of national defense was through the development of aviation. There is that necessity of giving something beyond the economic cost of transportation. Well, we thank you for your suggestions.

Mr. O'BRIEN.. I have not quite finished on that, if the Chairman please.

I want to read this statement on page 14 of Mr. Tipton's analysis in which he says:

The effect of this provision is to require the Board, in passing upon applications for certificates of public convenience and necessity, to authorize the inauguration of service to any place in which the United States has an interest without regard to the commercial importance of the operation unless the Board should find that the inauguration of such service is impossible. In addition, after the service is inaugurated, the Board would be required to support the operation financially by providing an adequate subsidy through mail payments.

Mr. HARRIS. What page are you reading from?

Mr. O'BRIEN. At the bottom of page 14. There again we have the situation which I have been talking about with respect to another part, the declaration of policy.

On page 49 of H. R. 1012, we find under section 48 the amendment proposed to section 1005 of the Civil Aeronautics Act, providing for a new subsection captioned “Reconsideration." This subsection (g) of the proposed section 1005 appears to me either to be unnecessary or if it is necessary for the Board to have this section passed, then it is my judgment, from this previous study, that the Board has been asserting this authority, without having had this language in the cur

one case it did-and we argued before the Board that it did not have that authority to reverse itself or change its order unless it found that the original opinion or finding of fact incorporated a material mistake of fact or law, and that such rights as were created under the original order of the Board in that case could not be destroyed by a reversal order unless accompanied by such a finding that there had been a material mistake of fact or law upon which the original order was based.

The Board, however, did not agree with that view and took the position that it had adopted the new policy which was inconsistent with the terms of the original order and incorporated some other consideration with respect to the history of the case dating it back some 8 years.

*Mr. BULWINKLE. Mr. O'Brien, just to clear this thing up in my own mind, and for the record, too, here is what you are driving at, that under this supervision here, which you have cited, the Post Office Department would have to pay a subsidy regardless of the rate, would it not? Is that what you mean?

Mr. O'BRIEN. Yes. It will be paying subsidies in the case of these purely national defense routes which,

Mr. BULWINKLE. And that would be a subsidy from the Post Office Department.

Mr. O'BRIEN. We would be paying a subsidy without any postal need.

Mr. BULWINKLE. Yes.

« PředchozíPokračovat »