DISASTER: Flight 410

With the routine efficiency of a precision instrument, Capital Airlines' Flight 410 took off from the Pittsburgh airport and headed east for Washington toward a soupy sea of cloud. It was 5:20 p.m. (E.S.T.). Aboard the DC-4 were 50 people —the crew of three, a baby and its mother, a honeymoon couple, Government and Red Cross officials, businessmen, a schoolgirl on a holiday.

Up front, on the left side, sat one of the best airline captains in the business: Horace Stark, 46, who had logged 2,500,000 miles and 14,000 hours in the air. He had invented the Stark Direction Finder used...

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