Banking officials swooped out of the sky and into seven North Carolina cities Tuesday to ease public anxiety over the year-2000 bug.

No, they didn't have big S's on their chests. Instead, they used an airplane to spread the word that the nation's depositories have the glitch under control and that customers can rest easy with their money in the bank. "We did the tour by plane just to put the press and in turn the public at ease," said Ernie Roessler, chairman of the North Carolina Bankers Association.

"I think it was very successful. We had 13 television stations represented at those stops and a lot of papers."

The modern-day whistle-stop touched down in Charlotte, Asheville, Wilmington, and four other cities. Frank A. Hartigan, Y2K program manager for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and Hal D. Lingerfelt, North Carolina's bank commissioner, were along for the ride.

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