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February 22, 2013

News Briefs: February 22, 2013

Valve stopped fuel flow in F-16 crash

The Air Force says an F-16 flying from Japan to Alaska last July crashed at sea because a valve stopped fuel from reaching the engine.

An accident investigation report released by Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii Feb. 19 says the jet’s main fuel shut-off valve was partially closed for more than three minutes and fully closed for three minutes.

Investigators weren’t able to determine why the valve closed because vital pieces of evidence weren’t recovered from the ocean floor.

The F-16 with the 35th Fighter Squadron at Misawa Air Base crashed July 22 about 250 miles off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island.
The pilot ejected safely and was retrieved after about six hours by a combined Japanese-U.S. rescue mission. He wasn’t injured. AP
Pentagon checking story for bin Laden raid secrets

The Pentagon says it is reviewing an Esquire magazine article on a Navy SEAL’s account of his role in the May 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden to determine whether the account disclosed any classified information.

A Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Steve Warren, disclosed the inquiry Feb. 19, saying officials are trying to determine whether the SEAL, whose identity is not revealed in the Esquire article, broke any secrecy rules.

The article was published online Feb. 11.

The account is not the first to portray details of the raid. Former SEAL Matt Bissonette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen, described the operation in his book, “No Easy Day,” published last September. The Pentagon objected to what it called his unwarranted disclosures but has not announced any legal action against him. AP

Fighter jet makes emergency landing in Utah

An Air Force fighter jet is grounded at a tiny Utah airport after making an emergency landing on one engine.

Officials say the A-10 Thunderbolt was being flown from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz., Feb. 20 when one of the two engines failed and couldn’t be restarted in mid-flight.

The pilot landed at a rural air strip outside Price, Utah, about 120 miles short of his destination at Hill Air Force Base in Layton, Utah.
Officials say maintenance crews from Hill are arriving to inspect the fighter jet.

The Thunderbolt belongs to the 75th Fighter Squad at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Ga. It was being flown to Utah for maintenance.
Lt. Meredith Kirchoff of Moody Air Force Base says Thunderbolts can fly on one engine, but the pilot landed for safety reasons. AP

Lockheed to pay $19.5 million to settle lawsuit

Lockheed Martin will pay $19.5 million to settle a lawsuit claiming that the defense contractor misled investors.

The company disclosed the settlement in a filing Feb. 19 with the U.S. District Court in New York.

Lockheed denied violating any securities laws or misleading investors but said it settled because of the cost and uncertainty of going to trial.
The city of Pontiac, Mich., employee retirement system sued Lockheed and top executives including CEO Robert Stevens in July 2011, claiming that the company misled investors beginning with upbeat statements about its financial results for the first quarter of 2009. The executives commented about rising sales in Lockheed’s information-systems business.

The retirement system said the comments were false; that there were problems with some projects in the information-systems unit and that its growth was slowing as contracts were lost.

The company issued disappointing results for the unit when it reported results for the second quarter of 2009 in July of that year. The stock fell 8.5 percent, to $75.13, the day that the second-quarter results were reported.

The Pontiac retirement system won class-action status for its lawsuit, representing investors who bought Lockheed stock between April and July 2009.
Lockheed asked the court to dismiss the case, but the request was rejected. In December, the two sides began negotiations mediated by a retired judge, and those talks led to the settlement. AP




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NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

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NASA completes LADEE mission with planned impact on Moon’s surface

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Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler telescope discovers first Earth-size planet in ‘habitable zone’

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