On the second day of the hearing at Reading, Pa. a witness walked in with a handful of scored and pitted electrical fittings from the wreckage of the T.W.A. Constellation Star of Lisbon (TIME, July 22). By the time he had finished his testimony, the Civil Aeronautics Board had the answer to the most publicized of recent airplane crashes. The cause: a smoking short circuit in the forward baggage compartment of the sleek Connie, where wires from the generators are piped into the pressurized fuselage.

A whole array of other witnesses and experts double-checked the findings. From a bed in...

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