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News Link • Transportation: Air Travel

Letter from Mojave

•, By Patrick Smith
 It lies upside down in the dirt amidst a cluster of desert bushes.  The flaps and slats are ripped away, and a nest of pipes sprouts from the engine attachment pylon like the flailing innards of some immense dead beast.  Several yards to the west, the center fuselage has come to rest inverted, the cabin cracked open like an eggshell.  Inside, shattered rows of overhead bins are visible through a savage tangle of cables, wires, ducts, and insulation.  Seats are flung everywhere in smashed-up units of two and three.  I come to a pair of first class chairs, crushed beneath the remains of a thousand-pound bulkhead.  In the distance, the plane's tail sits upright in a gesture of mutilated repose, twisted sharply to one side.  High on the fin, the blue and white logo remains visible, save for the vacant portion where the rudder used to be.

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