Disasters: Four Minutes Out

As jet-age schedules go, Trans World Airlines' Flight 529 out of Boston is strictly a commuters' local; before arriving in San Francisco, it makes stops at New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Last week, one of the aging Constellations assigned to the all-coach economy flight got only halfway before its flight ended in disaster.

At 2:04 a.m., four minutes out of Chicago's Midway Airport, something—Civil Aeronautics Board investigators are trying to discover what it was—went seriously wrong. Pilot James Sanders, 40, veered north from his southwest heading as he...

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