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A passenger slides down an escape chute assisted by co-pilot Mimi Tompkins, in doorway, and another passenger just after a heavily damaged Aloha Airlines jet landed precariously but safely at the Kahului Airport. Passenger Robert Nichols, 61, of Kailua, Hawaii, was carrying a camera for business use Thursday on the flight from Hilo, on Hawaii Island, to Honolulu. He said that when he saw the upper fuselage of the Boeing 737 blow away, he took a piece of paper from a magazine and began writing. "I didn't know how long I had," said Nichols, but he started keeping a log, pouring out his heart to his wife, Jan, for what he was sure was the last time. Nichols, an executive of Tropical Rent-A-Car, was uninjured in the jet incident but was held overnight at Maui Memorial Hospital because he is recovering from a heart attack. See related stories on page A5.

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