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April 5, 2013

News Briefs April 5, 2013

Pilot dies in U.S. fighter crash in Afghanistan

An Air Force F-16 has crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing the pilot, according to the NATO command that oversees day-to-day operations in Afghanistan.
The crash happened April 3, the ISAF Joint Command announced in a news release. The pilotís body has been recovered, and the crash site has been secured.
ìWhile the cause of the crash is under investigation, initial reporting indicates there was no insurgent activity in the area at the time of the crash,î the news release says.

The pilot has not yet been identified pending next-of-kin notification.

Lagardere to sell off stake in aerospace and defense giant EADS by July

Lagardere has confirmed its intention to sell its stake in European aerospace and defense giant EADS by the end of July.

The French multinational company has made no secret of its wish to get rid of its 7.5 percent stake in EADS, the parent company of plane maker Airbus and archrival of U.S.-based Boeing.

In a statement April 5, Lagardere says a “substantial portion” of the proceeds will be distributed to its shareholders. No further details were disclosed.
The opportunity to sell the stake came last year when France and Germany agreed to shake up EADS’ shareholding structure to reduce government influence. AP

Some galleries in national Air Force museum in Ohio to close due to federal budget cutting

The national Air Force museum in southwest Ohio is closing some galleries starting next month due to federal budget cuts.

The director of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton says the presidential and research and development galleries will be closed until further notice beginning May 1.

Museum Director Jack Hudson said Tuesday popular exhibits in the affected galleries include President John F. Kennedy’s Air Force One and the high-altitude 1950s bomber the XB-70 Valkyrie. He says museum officials hope to reopen those galleries as soon as possible.

The budget cuts also will end weekly tours of the museumís restoration area after April 26 and cancel some lectures and all of the summer aerospace camps.
The museum has canceled staff training and travel and is deferring non-emergency maintenance. AP

U.S. Navy relieves four from grounded minesweeper

Four officers of a U.S. Navy minesweeper that ran aground on coral reef in the Philippines are being relieved of their duties.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement April 3 that initial findings indicate all four sailors failed to adhere to standard navigation procedures at the time of the Jan. 17 grounding of the Guardian.

The sailors are the commanding officer, the executive officer and navigator, the assistant navigator and the officer of the deck. They’ve been reassigned.
Workers recently finished dismantling and removing the minesweeper from Tubbataha National Marine Park.

The park’s superintendent has said the grounding damaged about 4,000 square meters, or nearly 5,000 square yards, of reef.

The U.S. could face a fine of more than $2 million for the damage. AP

Boeing 787 testing more than half done

Boeing said it has finished more than half of the testing on its proposed battery fix for the 787, with the rest of the ground and flight tests coming in the next several days.

The test results so far have been in line with the testing Boeing did when it was developing the fix, spokesman Marc Birtel said April 3.

Smoldering batteries – including one fire on the ground – prompted air safety authorities to ground the world’s 787s in mid-January. Boeing has developed what it believes is a permanent fix, including more heat insulation and a system for venting battery gases outside of the plane.

The tests under way now are aimed at demonstrating that the fix worked. Ultimately, the Federal Aviation Administration will have to certify the changes before the planes fly again.

Ground testing is continuing at Boeing labs in Seattle. Boeing is giving results to the FAA as they are finished.

The testing has been taking longer than Boeing had originally suggested when it announced the fix for the 787’s smoldering batteries on March 15. AP




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