Science: The Case of Flight 476

At 11:36 on the morning of last Aug. 4, American Airlines Flight 476, a Convair 240 with two 18-cylinder engines, took off from Springfield, Mo. headed for St. Louis. Twenty-one minutes later, at 12:17, the pilot called on the radio: "Does anybody read 476?" American's radio at Springfield acknowledged, but got no reply. The ground station in St. Louis and two other American airliners heard Flight 476 reporting a fire in No. 2 engine. Three minutes later one of the airliners heard: "Springfield, are you reading 476? We have a bad engine fire." That...

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