Pilot error blamed for California Navy jet crash
Pilot error is being blamed for the fatal crash last year of a Navy fighter jet near a Central California air base.
Navy investigators say the plane’s pilot, 33-year-old Matthew Lowe, and weapons officer, 28-year-old Nathan Williams, did not execute a maneuver at the correct air speed and angle just minutes after taking off from the Naval Air Station in Lemoore for a training flight on April 6.
The investigators’ report was obtained by the Visalia Times-Delta Jan. 30.
Both men died. Nobody on the ground was injured.
The maneuver they were performing in the F/A-18F Super Hornet is referred to as a loaded roll and involves the plane doing a barrel roll while veering upward.
According to the report, Williams was able to eject but was too close to the ground for his parachute to deploy safely. AP
Gay California veteran sues over denial of benefits
An Army veteran from California is suing the federal government because she and her wife are being denied military benefits granted to heterosexual couples.
The lawsuit was announced Feb. 1 in Washington. It involves Tracey Cooper-Harris, who served in the Army for 12 years and married Maggie Cooper-Harris in California in 2008.
In 2010, Tracey Cooper-Harris was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and she has received disability benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. But her application for additional money and benefits that married veterans are entitled to was denied.
The couple’s lawsuit argues that a federal law and the Department of Veterans Affairs policy that requires the disparate treatment for same-sex couples are unconstitutional.
The lawsuit is being filed in Los Angeles. AP