Aviation: Fear of Flying

Fear of Flying

Alarms about the airworthiness of aging U.S. airliners, which erupted after part of the roof of a 19-year-old Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 peeled off in midflight last April, sounded again last week. Eastern Flight 251, bound from Rochester to Atlanta, was forced into a terrifying emergency dive, plunging 21,000 ft. in just one minute after a sudden rupture tore a 14-in. hole in the fuselage, depressurizing the cabin. Though the rapid descent caused some of the passengers excruciating ear pain, no one was seriously injured, and the 22-year-old Boeing 727 landed safely in Charleston, W. Va.

A quick inspection of Eastern's...

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