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BLOWN TIRES ASIDE, FAST LANDING'S A GEM

By the time the trans-Atlantic flight reached Newfoundland, crew members knew they needed to land - and fast.

The Boeing 767's navigational instruments lost power over the Atlantic as the plane headed from Amsterdam, Holland, to Orlando, Fla.With help from air traffic controllers and manually operated equipment, the crew managed to land Tuesday at Boston's Logan International Airport. Tires were blown out on the plane but none of the 204 people aboard Martinair Holland Flight 631 was injured.

To find Boston, the three-member crew had to follow the coastline from Newfoundland, Canada's easternmost province. Air traffic controllers in Boston also could follow their course on radar.

The loss of electricity also meant they had no power for the plane's flaps, spoilers and automatic braking system. Operating the equipment manually, the crew made a perfect - if speedy - landing, coming in at about 190 mph instead of the normal 144 mph.

The pilot hit the brakes so hard that the landing gear caught fire briefly and eight tires on the landing gear blew out. The pilot pulled the plane off the runway and onto the usual taxiway before stopping.

"They'll take a couple of blown tires, but the point is to get that plane down and stopped," said Thomas J. Kinton Jr., the airport's aviation director. "I think the pilot's reaction was excellent."