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Allegiant Air, with ultra-low fares, draws FAA's attention over safety concerns

Foto: Genre/arkiv Foto: Seth Wenig/AP

Just over a year ago, Allegiant Air pilot Jason Kinzer was sitting in the cockpit of a 24-year-old McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft bound for Hagerstown, Maryland, having just taken off from St. Petersburg, Florida.

As the plane climbed through 2,500 feet, a cabin attendant alerted Kinzer to a strong burning smell. Alarmed, Kinzer turned Allegiant Air Flight 864 back toward the airport. Fire and rescue crews met the plane on the runway as smoke wafted from an engine. Kinzer told the 144 passengers to disembark. He then helped a flight attendant carry a paraplegic passenger to the exit...

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