ACCIDENTS Reaping a Clue In a Cornfield

Notes ACCIDENTS Reaping a Clue In a Cornfield

When Iowa farmer Janice Sorenson turned up a huge, windmill-shaped hunk of titanium while harvesting corn last week, she knew exactly what she had found. General Electric had distributed photos of the disk in its search for the cause of the crash of a United Airlines DC-10 last July in Sioux City. The crash, which killed 112 passengers, has been blamed on the explosion of the jet's GE-made aft engine, which severed the aircraft's hydraulic control lines.

The disk was the most sought-after part because it served as the hub for the engine's turbine blades. Metallurgists who inspected the disk last...

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