Then something happened to the Constellation that interrupted its flight course...
The Constellation had two accidents in the first 6 months of service, temporarily curtailing its career as a passenger airliner.
- On June 18, 1946, an engine of a Pan American Constellation caught fire and fell off. The flight crew made an emergency landing with no loss of life. The same aircraft made a return flight across America in 11½ hours for repairs using only three engines.
- On July 11, 1946, a Transcontinental and Western Air Star of Lisbon fell victim to an in-flight fire, crashing in a field and taking the lives of five of the six on board.
The accidents prompted the suspension of the Constellation's airworthiness certificate until Lockheed could modify the design.