Our Troubled Skies (Contd.)

Radar failures, Eastern's glitches and more bad luck for Delta

The air-traffic controllers stared intently at the glow on their radar monitor. Suddenly, without warning, the screen went dark. In an instant, the controllers had lost their all-important ability to track dozens of jets carrying hundreds of passengers.

This potentially scary scene occurred not just once last week but twice. At 9:34 a.m. on Tuesday, a primary computer at the control center at Leesburg, Va., which handles flights in the greater Washington area, lost electrical power for 30 seconds. Another brief outage, lasting 1 minute 40 seconds, occurred at 9:08 that night in the New England control center at Nashua, N.H....