World

May 21, 2012

News Briefs May 21, 2012

Bird strike caused Marine helicopter crash

A Marine Corps investigation has found that a bird strike caused a helicopter crash at Camp Pendleton, Calif., last year that killed two Marines.

The report, obtained by U-T San Diego, says the AH-1W Cobra attack helicopter collided Sept. 19 with a red-tailed hawk that had a wing span of about 4 feet.

According to the report, the hawk hit the top of the helicopter and damaged the pitch change link. Almost immediately after impact, vibrations in the main rotor caused the rotor and top of the transmission to separate from the aircraft.

The helicopter fell in three pieces to the ground and the wreckage ignited a brush fire that burned more than 120 acres.

Investigators say both pilots on board were killed instantly. AP

 

Pentagon sees Chinese military expanding its reach

The Pentagon is telling Congress that China’s increasingly sophisticated military is pursuing “new historic missions” that go beyond its traditional role of defending the homeland.

In a report released May 18, the Pentagon says these new missions include humanitarian aid, combatting piracy and counter-terrorism operations. The Pentagon cited as an example China’s evacuation last year of 36,000 Chinese nationals from Libya during the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi.

The Pentagon report is an annual presentation to Congress on China’s military capabilities.

The report says the main focus of the People’s Liberation Army remains preparing for the possibility of hostilities in the Taiwan Strait. That includes deterring the U.S. from effectively intervening in the event of conflict with Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province.

China, however, rejected the report.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said May 19 the report made irresponsible comments about China’s legitimate and normal defense development, and demanded that the United States stop issuing the annual report.

Hong said China’s military development is only for self-defense and targets no country. AP




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Navy photograph

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