Skeletons In Eastern's Hangar

Criminal charges of poor maintenance may be the final blow

Advertisements usually rely on persuasion rather than outright pleading. Not this summer's TV campaign starring Martin Shugrue Jr., the macho court- appointed trustee of bankrupt Eastern Air Lines. In the latest spot Shugrue, an intense Jack Nicholson look-alike, touts the airline's virtues and exhorts would-be passengers, "We're there! Try it!"

Getting people to fly Eastern became an even more daunting task last week when a federal grand jury in Brooklyn indicted the company and nine of its managers for a conspiracy that involved falsifying repair records and failing to maintain its aircraft. The 60 counts are the first criminal charges for...

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