Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Amarillo Osprey makes precautionary landing in field ...

Photo courtesy Dean Muskett
AMARILLO, TEXAS -- A V-22 Osprey helicopter, made in Amarillo, made a "precautionary landing" Wednesday afternoon just before 2:00.

According to Bill Schroeder, a representative from Bell Helicopter, the V-22 Osprey made the landing near Amarillo only as a precaution. Scanner traffic indicated the landing happened three miles west of Interstate 27, southwest of Loop 335 near Greyhawk.

Schroeder said the aircraft was being tested when it made the landing. He used the analogy of someone test driving a new car and pulling over because of the "Check Oil" light coming on.

"The pilots elected to land the aircraft as a precaution due to a suspected non-emergency maintenance problem which is undetermined at this time," said Schroeder.

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, according to Boeing, is the first aircraft designed to meet the needs of the U.S. Defense Department's four armed service from the ground up. It takes off and lands like a helicopter but can be rotated to convert into a turboprop airplane that is capable of flying at high speeds in high altitudes.

"Bell Helicopter puts all aircraft through a robust series of maintenance flight tests prior to delivery to the US Government," Schroeder added. "There were no injuries and no damage to the aircraft. "

MV-22 Osprey crashes in Morroco - two dead.

A New River-based MV-22 Osprey crashed Wednesday during a military exercise resulting in the death of two of the four military personnel on the aircraft, according to military officials.

The MV-22 Osprey was assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 261, according to a commander’s release.

The MV-22 Osprey was operating from the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) when it crashed in a Royal Moroccan military training area southwest of Agadir, Morocco, while participating in the bilateral Exercise African Lion, according to information from Headquarters Marine Corps.

Four U.S. Marine Corps personnel were on the aircraft at the time of the incident. Two personnel died as a result of their injuries sustained in the crash. The two other personnel were severely injured in the crash and are being medically evacuated for further treatment, the release states.

The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group with the embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, are participating in Exercise African Lion, a bilateral exercise conducted with Royal Moroccan military forces. The annual exercise is scheduled to be conducted April 8-17, 2012, in a designated military training area southwest of Agadir, Morocco, the release states.

Exercise African Lion is a theater security cooperation exercise led by U.S. Marine Forces Africa and is conducted annually between the U.S. military and the Kingdom of Morocco to further develop joint and combined capabilities. The exercise focuses on building capacity, capability and interoperability in field and aviation training, humanitarian civic assistance, amphibious landings, intelligence capacity building, and command post and peace support operations.

Specific information on the crash was not available at press time because the crash is still under investigation, said Capt. Kendra Hardesty, public affairs representative with Headquarters Marine Corps.

Hardesty said names of those killed are being withheld until next of kin has been notified.

NORAD scrambles F-15s - bomb threat on Korean bound airliner

SEOUL — US fighter planes escorted a Korean Air jet carrying 146 passengers and crew to a Canadian military base due to a bomb threat against the flight, officials and the airline said Wednesday.

Korean Air flight 72 from Vancouver bound for Seoul was diverted to the Comox base on Vancouver Island on Tuesday after an anonymous caller said a bomb had been planted on the plane, the South Korean flag carrier said.

The call was made to the carrier's US office 25 minutes after takeoff, the airline said in a statement, adding the Boeing 777 plane had 134 passengers and 12 crew members on board.
The aircraft landed at the airbase around 110 kilometres (70 miles) northwest of Vancouver without incident and was undergoing safety checks, it said.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said two US F-15 fighters were scrambled out of Portland, Oregon to intercept the plane "due to a potential threat associated with the aircraft".

"The Korean Airliner was intercepted, diverted and the aircraft was shadowed until it landed at Canadian Forces Base Comox," NORAD said in a statement.

North Korea fuels rocket - tensions rise.

AP) PYONGYANG, North Korea - North Korea was injecting liquid fuel Wednesday into the rocket it intends to send into space soon, a launch that the West deems provocative but that Pyongyang considers a peaceful centerpiece to celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the nation's founder.

The final preparations at the west coast launch pad were taking place as North Korea's ruling Workers' Party convened for a special conference. Delegates are expected to further elevate new leader Kim Jong Un by giving him new titles, including some held by his father, the late Kim Jong Il.

The events come as North Korea celebrates the April 15 centennial of the birth of Kim Jong Un's grandfather, Kim Il Sung, a major milestone in the nation he founded in 1948.

North Korea has thrown open its doors to a select group of journalists and visitors from abroad for two weeks of celebrations in what might be the largest influx of foreigners in years. North Korea also marks the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Army, another key event, on April 25.

Space officials call the launching of the Unha-3 rocket, mounted with an Earth observation satellite, the crowning glory in a week of events meant to celebrate Kim Il Sung's birthday.

The United States, Japan, Britain and others, however, see it as a provocation and violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions banning North Korea from developing its nuclear and missile programs.

Experts say the Unha-3 carrier is similar to the type of rocket that could be used to fire a missile mounted with a nuclear warhead to strike the U.S. or other targets.

Paek Chang Ho, chief of the North Korean space committee's General Command Center, denied Wednesday that the launch was anything but a peaceful, civilian bid to send a satellite into space. He said the satellite would send back images and data used for weather forecasts and agricultural surveys.


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