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July 27, 2012

News Briefs – July 27, 2012

Pilot killed in Nevada crash was low on gas

A fighter pilot on a Navy training mission told air traffic controllers he was running out of gas before he crashed and died at Fallon Naval Air Station in March.

Retired Capt. Carroll LeFon had been playing the enemy in an Israeli-built F-21 before attempting to land at the base 60 miles east of Reno.

The National Transportation Safety Board hasn’t ruled on a cause but raised the fuel issue in a preliminary report July 25.

The NTSB said LeFon abandoned two initial attempts to land at Fallon and diverted to Reno but found the same snowy and windy conditions there. Headed back to Fallon, he told controllers he was in “a critical fuel state” before he maneuvered toward one runway, then another and crashed into a concrete building. AP

 

China denies using stolen U.S. copter technology

Allegations that China used stolen U.S. technology to develop a modern military attack helicopter were “severe deviations” from the facts, the Chinese Defense Ministry said Thursday.

A division of United Technologies Corp. pleaded guilty in Bridgeport, Conn., in June to crimes related to the illegal export of software that U.S. officials said was used by China to develop the helicopter. The United States has barred the export of defense articles to China since 1989.

The Defense Ministry said in a website posting that it relied solely on homegrown know-how in developing and manufacturing the helicopter, including its engine.

U.S. attorneys said the subsidiary – Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. – violated the embargo when it exported controlled technology to China, knowing it would be used to develop a military attack helicopter.

PWC, another subsidiary, and UTC agreed to pay more than $75 million in fines in connection with the export violations and for providing misleading information to the U.S. government. AP




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Northrop Grumman photograph

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NASA photograph by David Olive

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