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AEROSPACE
One killed in US military helicopter crash in Maryland
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) April 17, 2017


Beechcraft contracted for T-6 program support
Washington (UPI) Apr 17, 2017 - Beechcraft Defense received a $60.5 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to support the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System.

The program is associated with the procurement of T-6 Texan II trainer aircraft, a platform used to train Air Force and U.S. Navy pilots. Services will include program management, engineering, sustainment, deficiency reporting, and maintenance.

The company will also provide diminishing manufacturing sources, technical manual updates, data management and mechanical structural integrity efforts.

Beechcraft will perform the services at its facility in Wichita, Kansas, and is expected to complete its tasks by the end of April 2021.

The enterprise received $9.2 million in fiscal 2017 operations and maintenance funds at the time of the contracting award. The project will be managed by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.

The T-6 Texan II is a single-engine, two seat aircraft initially produced by Raytheon Aircraft. It is based on the civilian aircraft Pilatus PC-9 Mk II. The unarmed plane is capable of flying at 320 miles per hour at a range of 900 nautical miles.

A crewmember was killed and two others injured when a US Army helicopter crashed at a golf course in the US state of Maryland on Monday, officials said.

The UH-60 Blackhawk was conducting a routine training flight when it crashed onto the golf course in St Mary's County in southern Maryland outside Washington.

The military initially described the incident as a "hard landing" but photos posted on social media showed the aircraft had been totally destroyed.

Three crew members were on board. Of the two injured crew members, one was in serious condition and one in critical condition, the Army said in a statement.

The Blackhawk was from the 12th Aviation Battalion, stationed at Davison Airfield, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Navy lifting ban on T-45 pilot trainer flights
Washington (UPI) Apr 17, 2017 - The U.S. Navy ban on T-45 pilot training flights is being lifted Monday but with a new altitude restriction in place, the Navy announced.

The pilot trainer will now fly below 10,000 feet to avoid the use of the aircraft's On Board Oxygen Generator System as authorities continue to investigate the causes of physiological episodes experienced in the cockpit by aircrew.

Air crew will also wear a modified mask that circumvents the OBOGS system.

"After briefings and discussions with our aircrew, their training wing leadership, the engineers, and aeromedical experts, we have identified a way forward to resume flight operations safely by limiting the maximum cabin altitude to below 10,000 feet in order be able to operate without using the OBOGS system," Naval Air Forces Commander Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker said in a press release. "We will be able to complete 75 percent of the syllabus flights with the modified masks while we continue the important engineering testing and analysis at PAX River [Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.] to identify the root cause of the problem.

"This will remain our top safety priority until we fully understand all causal factors and have identified a solution that will further reduce the risks to our aircrew."

Training flights using the T-45C from Naval Air Stations in Florida and Mississippi were canceled late last month amid reports from instructor-pilots on incidents of physiological problems while in the cockpit. A pause on operation was later imposed for a minimum of a week.

The Navy said instructor pilots will now initially conduct warm-up flights, after which they will brief the remaining pilots and students in their squadron on using the modified equipment.

The Navy is working with outside agencies, NAVAIR, flight surgeons, physiologists and toxicologists as it attempts to find the main cause of the physiological problems reported.

AEROSPACE
Iran shows off homemade stealth fighter jet
Washington (UPI) Apr 17, 2017
Iranian defense industry leaders presented the natively-built Qaher F-313 jet during a ceremony attended by high-ranking government officials. The jet is a stealth platform previously dismissed as a "hoax" by Western observers due to several aesthetic irregularities. It was showcased during an exhibition hosted by the Iranian Helicopter Support and Renewal Company. RT reports the plane ... read more

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