A faulty jet-fan blade is to blame for the Oct. 25 crash of a Hill Air Force Base F-16C on the Bonneville Salt Flats, according to an investigatory panel.

Following a three-month investigation, Air Force experts have concluded the blade broke off and stalled the engine. Their report said the malfunction also caused the series of violent bangs and a grinding sound Capt. Miguel Torrealday heard two minutes and 41 seconds before safely ejecting.The panel found no relation between the October crash near Wendover and another just 35 days earlier. That accident occurred when a $20 million Fighting Falcon of the Hill-based 388th Fighter Wing went down in a corn field near Hooper.

The panel's report also confirmed there was no mistake on the part of Torrealday of the 4th Fighter Squadron. He had been transferred to Hill from Osan Air Base in Korea and had 1,224 flying hours, including 317 hours in F-16s.