I WAS OVER the State of Georgia in a C-141 25 years ago en route to Charleston, South Carolina. On a common VHF frequency, I heard other aircraft chatting about the "major malfunction" represented by a distinct curling contrail in the sky several hundred miles southeast. Atlanta Center asked us whether we had anything to report from our position. We were free of cirrus cloud cover and saw nothing other than a curling wisp of white cloud and smoke. As a pilot, it was the kind of airborne pattern that looked well out of place.
CNN -- "Challenger Disaster Live" on January 28, 1986.