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Diagnosing an engine failure by sound

In the summer of 1987, I watched a DC-3 take off from a paved runway south of Atlanta, where I was working to add fuel and oil to airplanes. I heard an inrush of air as a “waa – waa” sound. This was recurring at a noticeable but slowing rate. I interpreted this slowing repetition as an engine inlet manifold splitting open behind a supercharger.