It’s Officially Over

Baghdad—Pentagon leaders officially ended the US military mission in Iraq Thursday in a solemn ceremony here that recognized the sacrifices of Americans and Iraqis throughout the nearly nine years of war. “On this very historic occasion for both the Iraqi...

Pilot Issues Cited in Fatal F-22 Crash

Air Force investigators determined that an F-22 pilot's "failure to recognize and initiate a timely dive recovery" was the most direct cause of his fatal crash in November 2010 in Alaska, according to the newly released summary of their findings. "Channelized attention, breakdown of visual scan, and unrecognized spatial disorientation" caused this condition, states the document. On a three-ship night training sortie from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Capt. Jeffrey Haney's Raptor suffered "an engine bleed air leak malfunction" that deprived several systems—including his oxygen system—of power, according to Pacific Air Forces' accident investigation board report (full document; caution, large-sized file). Haney cut the engine to idle power and initiated a shallow dive from approximately 41,000 feet to a lower altitude, states the report. Several seconds later, he sharply increased the dive angle and rolled the aircraft inverted. At roughly 5,500 feet, Haney initiated a 7.4-G pull-up, impacting the ground at a 48-degree angle at a speed greater than Mach 1.1 about 120 nautical miles northeast of the joint base. The board cited issues such as training deficiencies and "personal equipment interference" as contributing factors. "Due to the extensive damage and limited evidence recovered, the cause of the bleed air leak could not be determined," states the report.

AEHF Satellite Progresses Through Orbital Checkout

After executing an extraordinary effort that saved the Air Force’s first Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite from loss, a service-led space team has completed more than 200 on-orbit tests of the sophisticated spacecraft as part of its checkout process,...

AEHF Lessons Learned

Air Force space officials are applying the lessons learned from saving the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite from failure as they prepare the second AEHF spacecraft for its scheduled launch next April, said a senior Space and Missile Systems...

Defense Policy Bill Goes to President

The Senate on Thursday approved the conference version of the Fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill by a vote of 86 to 13, clearing the legislation for President Obama’s desk for signature. The Senate’s vote came one day after the House...

F-35 Dominos?

Japan’s decision to buy the F-35 strike fighter—the formal announcement of which is anticipated next week—is a huge development for the F-35 program because Japan could be the first of many “dominos” to fall in a flurry of F-35 orders,...

JSTARS Flies with New Engines

The E-8C JSTARS test bed aircraft flew for the first time with the production-standard Pratt & Whitney turbofans that Northrop Grumman has proposed retrofitting across the Air Force’s entire JSTARS ground-surveillance fleet, according to the company. “After three years of...

Russians Peer in on Minot Bombers

Russian nuclear arms inspectors visited Minot AFB, N.D., for the second time under the New START agreement, this time reviewing the B-52s of the 5th Bomb Wing. Like the September inspection of the Minuteman III ICBMs of Minot’s 91st Missile...