February 28, 2018

News Briefs – February 28, 2018

U.S. sailor killed by helicopter blade was a flight surgeon

The military says a U.S. sailor who died after he was struck by a helicopter blade at a Southern California base was a flight surgeon from Florida.

Officials say Navy Lt. James A. Mazzuchelli died at a hospital Feb. 24 after being hit three days earlier by the spinning tail rotor of a Venom helicopter at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.

A statement Feb. 25 said the 32-year-old from Orange Park, Fla., joined the Navy in 2010. He was assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267, Marine Aircraft Group 39, at Camp Pendleton.

Col. Matthew Mowery called Mazzuchelli a talented physician who was well-liked for his enthusiasm and passion.

Officials did not release details on how the accident happened. An investigation is ongoing. AP

Trump reaches deal with Boeing on new presidential planes

President Donald Trump has reached an informal deal with Boeing to provide the next generation presidential aircraft, the White House says.

Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said Feb. 27 that the president negotiated a $3.9 billion “fixed price contract” for the new planes, known as Air Force One when the president is on board. It follows years of negotiations between Boeing and the U.S. Air Force — and Trump’s personal intervention since his election.

In December 2016, Trump tweeted that costs for the program were “out of control, more than $4 billion,” he added. “Cancel order!”

Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg met multiple times with Trump to discuss the Air Force One contract according to the White House, most recently last week.

Gidley said the agreement would “save the taxpayers more than $1.4 billion.”

Boeing, in a statement, said it is “proud to build the next generation of Air Force One.” The company added: “President Trump negotiated a good deal on behalf of the American people.”

The agreement includes the two 747-800 aircraft, and the cost of modifying the commercial planes with the equipment needed to support the president, including external stair, large galleys, and a secure communications suite. AP

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