Nation: Wet Landing

Tugboat Captain Glenn McDonald was lost in the dense fog shrouding Florida's Escambia Bay last week when he saw a National Airlines 727 jet make a "perfect landing" in the water 300 yards away. "Oh, my God! Look what's over there!" he yelled, and in moments he and his lone crew member were scooping up 55 survivors. Because of their quick action, only three others drowned. Weather was probably a factor in the misplaced landing; visibility in the Pensacola, Fla., area was close to the required one-mile minimum, and three Eastern Airlines pilots diverted to Mobile, Ala., that evening.

The wreck could...

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