Diving From the Heavens

A 747 Drops Six Miles Within Two Minutes

William Peacock had just finished a breakfast of Chinese beef and noodles when he felt the plane "shudder, like we were going into a mild stall." His first instinct was to return to his seat just ten feet away, but even that proved a chore. "The aircraft had started to turn a very hard left, and there was this incredible horizontal pressure pushing my entire body to the right." China Airlines Flight 006 from Taipei to Los Angeles, with 243 passengers and 25 crew members aboard, was going down. "Dishes crashed against the walls and floor," Peacock recounted. "The baggage compartments...

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