That 309 people could evacuate a torn and mangled flying machine in 2 min. with only 43 injuries was hailed as a "miracle" by the thrill-a-minute mass media. The people who built, certificated and flew the A340 knew better. The Aug. 2 runway overrun accident of Air France Flight 358 at Toronto Pearson International was a dramatic, real-time demonstration that hard lessons learned over the past 20 years finally bore "ground truth." Things like 16g seats, fire-blocking seat cushions, ...

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