We're Going Down, Larry

Cockpit tapes show that the doomed jetliner was icing up

As the snow swirled down on Washington that Wednesday afternoon, the drivers creeping past National Airport could barely see their way. Some even parked on the road and stepped out into the blizzard to clean their windshields of the sticky snow before driving farther. On the runways at National, the snow and ice were just as bad. Several of the idling jetliners returned to their bays more than once to be cleared of snow and ice and swabbed with glycol antifreeze.

The crew in the...

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