Walking across the plant toward Hangar 5, Richman said, "Marder seemed pretty worked up, didn't he? Does he believe all that?"
"About the DC-10? Yes. One crash finished the aircraft."
"It was an American Airlines flight from Chicago to LA," Casey said. "May, 1979. Nice day, good weather. Right after takeoff the left engine fell off the wing. The plane stalled and crashed next to the airport, killing everybody on board. Very dramatic, it was all over in thirty seconds. A couple of people taped the flight, so the networks had film at eleven. The media went crazy, called the plane a winged coffin. Travel agents were flooded with calls canceling DC-10 bookings. Douglas never sold another one of them."
"Why did the engine fall off?"
"Bad maintenance," Casey said. "American hadn't followed Douglas's instructions on how to remove the engines from the plane. Douglas told them to first remove the engine, and then the pylon that holds the engine to the wing. But to save time, American took the whole engine-pylon assembly off at once. That's even tons of metal on a forklift. One forklift ran out of gas during the removal, and cracked the pylon. But the crack wasn't noticed, and eventually the engine fell off the wing. So it was all because of maintenance.