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AIRBUS INDUSTRIE REPUDIATES MAGAZINE SURVEY, CHARGES WIRE SERVICE STORY IRRESPONSIBLE

 WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- A much-publicized story on airline safety in the Conde Nast Traveler magazine is a distortion of the first magnitude and one based on a flawed, minute survey of commercial pilots, Airbus Industrie charged today.
 Airbus joined the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) in repudiating the survey.
 Airbus characterized the survey as non-representative of the views of U.S. pilots, and a Conde Nast press release on the story and the resulting Associated Press story are irresponsible.
 Airbus said the exceedingly small survey returns from only 245 pilots, out of a total U.S. commercial pilot population of more than 60,000, rendered the exercise totally invalid.
 One of the purported results indicated one Airbus aircraft and one McDonnell Douglas airplane were the least safe. There are fewer than 100 of the Airbus model in operation by U.S. carriers, and the manufacturer said it questions if any of the survey respondents are active, qualified pilots of that model.
 The magazine article based on the survey did say, "Many pilots, of course, have not flown all the aircraft they were asked to vote on," and the Airbus airplane was a newer model currently in operation with only two U.S. airlines and "few could have flown it."
 The magazine's press release on the story dropped that important qualifier, as did the AP. The wire service compounded the distortion by saying "you're really living on the edge" if you fly either Airbus or McDonnell Douglas aircraft into Washington National or New York's La Guardia airports. "There is not a trace of truth in that charge," an Airbus spokesman said.
 According to an ALPA statement, Phil Comstock of the Wilson Center for Public Research, Inc., said: "With any type of self-selected sample there is a strong likelihood of bias. When few people respond, those who do tend to have strong or even extreme views." He highlighted the fact that the non-participation of those "polled" as the "most significant thing learned by this survey."
 Further, Airbus said the 4,000-plus pilots worldwide flying the particular Airbus model report full satisfaction with the airplane which ranks as one of the most reliable of all commercial aircraft flying today. Based on the industry standard the dispatch reliability of the Airbus airplane performance is 98.9 percent worldwide. The 400 aircraft in service have flown over 1.25 million hours and carried more than 125 million passengers.
 Neither Conde Nast Traveler nor the AP contacted Airbus Industrie about the survey or its results, Airbus said.
 -0- 9/2/93
 /CONTACT: David Venz, VP-communications, Airbus Industrie, 703-834-3400/


CO: Airbus Industrie; Conde Nast Traveler; Air Line Pilots Association ST: District of Columbia IN: AIR SU:

IH-MH -- DC010 -- 8373 09/02/93 11:12 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 2, 1993
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