Perhaps the single most complex, insidious, and long-lasting mechanical problem in the history of commercial aviation was the mysterious rudder issue that plagued the Boeing 737 throughout the 1990s. Although it had long been rumoured to exist, the defect was suddenly thrust into the spotlight when United Airlines flight 585 crashed on approach to Colorado Springs on the third of March, 1991, killing all 25 people on board. The crash resulted in the longest investigation in NTSB history, years of arduous litigation, and a battle with Boeing over the safety of its most popular plane. Flight 585 proved to be hardly alone; over the subsequent years, more planes crashed due to the same rudder defect, including USAir flight 427, which killed 132 people when it suddenly rolled over and crashed on approach to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1994. As it turned out, these were but two of the most serious of hundreds of incidents involving the rudder on the Boeing 737. This is the story of the origin of the defect, its consequences, and Boeings efforts to cover it up. Images sourced from The Seattle Times, the NTSB, Boeing, Tails Through Time, the Colorado Springs Gazette, The Times of India, Wikipedia, TribLIVE, The Flight 427 Air Disaster Support League, and Forbes. Video clips courtesy of Cineflix and the Weather Channel. Special thanks to the Seattle Times for its series of articles on the subject in 1996, which brought to light many of the details referenced here.