Science: The Crash Detectives

On the floor of a cavernous hangar at New York's Idlewild Airport, the ghost of a dead jetliner is slowly taking shape.

Around small cardboard signs reading "Right Wing," "Left Wing" and "Tail," a group of purposeful experts are arranging what is left of the American Airlines' Boeing 707 that crashed on take-off into Jamaica Bay, killing all 95 aboard (TIME. March 9).

Last week, as police recovered the last of the bodies (all but one have been found), the most vital piece of wreckage was dredged from nine feet of water—the 7O7s flight recorder,...

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