DISASTER: A Flash Like Lightning

At New York's La Guardia Field, there was a smear of haze across the half moon; the summer night air was warm and humid. Most of the 55 passengers who crowded into the belly of the big, silent, high-tailed DC-4 were vacation-bound. At Northwest Airlines' special night-aircoach rates they could fly to Minneapolis for $47, or to Seattle, the end of the line, for $111—and only over night. Youngsters, husbands and wives, stenographers and a Roman Catholic priest (who had boarded the plane at the last minute) fastened their seat belts as the four engines sputtered to life.

As Pilot...

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