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Diana's View: A Travel News Story (8/31/2001)

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Coming up in the show, family learning trips. First though, a travel news story that gave us quite an education. Two weeks ago, a Canadian charter plane was about 900 miles off the Portuguese coast when both engines went dead. Passengers, eating breakfast at the time, were panicked. Air Transat flight 236 was going down. Two very lucky things were on their side. One, the Azores islands were not far away. Also, the pilot, Captain Robert Piche, had 30 years experience as a bush pilot. What was news to us was that big aircraft can coast like a glider. Air Transat 236 rode the wind for nearly twenty minutes!

So we called a pilot and professor of aircraft design at Embry Riddle Aeronautic University, Chuck Eastlake, to talk about the unlikelihood of this plane making it to safety. He told us that Robert Piche's prior work experience was a big factor in making this a survival story, instead of a fatal crash...

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