Aviation: Middle-Age Spread

Examining the wreckage of the BOAC airliner that crashed near Mount Fuji in March, U.S. and Japanese experts detected hairline cracks in the Boeing 707's shorn-off tail assembly. By last week the examination had spread to scores of Boeing jets around the world.

Though the cause of the Tokyo crash remains unknown, the Federal Aviation Agency as a result ordered foreign and domestic airlines to inspect and, if necessary, repair tail assemblies of 190 older Boeing 707s and 720s. So far, they have found 61 planes with tiny fissures around the bolt holes where the tail is fastened to...

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