"Through the cockpit windows the lights on the ground were brighter now, much closer. McBroom could see strings of Christmas lights festooning the gutters and gable ends of the houses not far below. He searched for an empty street, or a dark spot that might be a city park or playground, anything but the cheerful rows of holiday-bedecked houses.
Then he saw it, a shadow in the carpet of lights ahead, an ellipsis that said “maybe” on a page covered in “no’s”. He had no power and almost no control of the aircraft except for the big DC-8’s cable drive. Now, with all his might and concentration, McBroom jammed the four engine throttles full forward in case there was anything left in them, and pulled back on the yoke, willing the jet toward his dark target. A flush of fear prickled across his scalp like hundreds of tiny bee stings as he struggled in a mixture of hope and despair to keep the plummeting plane level, its nose up, as the wings greeted the first surprisingly mushy tops of fir trees."