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Nancy Reagan's Plane Slips Off Atlanta Runway

March 20, 1986|United Press International

ATLANTA — A plane carrying Nancy Reagan slipped into some mud as it prepared to taxi down a runway today but the First Lady and the other passengers were not injured, officials said.

The plane, an Air Force C-9, made a sharp right turn as it prepared to takeoff from the Fulton County Airport, a small field used for corporate and private planes.

"The plane slipped off the runway and got stuck in the mud," an FAA spokeswoman said.

Sylvia Hayes, an administrative assistant at the airport, said officials at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, Ga., were sending in equipment to pull the plane from the mud, created by two days of rain.

'Visibly Shaken'

Elaine Crispen, Mrs. Reagan's press secretary, was sitting across the aisle from her when the mishap occurred.

"She was visibly shaken and her first comment was, 'Is everyone all right?' " Crispen said.

"A couple of people fell, but no one was injured, just badly shaken," she said.

"You could just feel this jarring motion and magazines and newspapers started flying across the plane and we realized we were listing to the right," she said.

"It happened so quickly I don't think anyone was aware of what was happening," Crispen said. "Some people were still standing in the aisles. It was fairly early in our takeoff. We'd just started rolling down the runway."

Mrs. Reagan "had just gotten to her seat and wasn't completely strapped in," Crispen said, "But she's fine. We're just waiting on another plane to take off."

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