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U.S. drone crashes increase overseas

December 1, 2012
from The Washington Post

The U.S. Air Force drone, on a classified spy mission over the Indian Ocean, was destined for disaster from the start.

An inexperienced military contractor, operating by remote control in shorts and a T-shirt from a trailer at Seychelles International Airport, committed blunder after blunder during a six-minute span April 4.

The pilot of the unarmed MQ-9 Reaper drone took off without permission from the control tower. One minute later, he yanked the wrong lever at his console, killing the engine without realizing why.

As he tried to make an emergency landing, he forgot to put down the wheels. The $8.9 million aircraft belly-flopped on the runway, bounced and then plunged into the tropical waters at the airport’s edge, according to a previously undisclosed Air Force accident investigation report.

The drone crashed at a civilian airport that serves a half-million passengers a year, most of them sun-seeking tourists. No one was hurt, but it was the second Reaper accident there in five months — under eerily similar circumstances. …

Read on: www.heraldnet.com/article/20121201/NEWS02/712019936

Japanese Sue U.S. Government

Prensa Latina News Agency

Okinawa residents accused the U.S. government on Friday of responsibility for health problems arising from the presence of Kadena Air Base.
About 140 citizens brought a lawsuit against the White House in Naha District Court on the grounds that the takeoffs and landings of U.S. planes have led to insomnia and hearing problems.

The plaintiffs are demanding a ban on flights at night and early morning hours and also the payment of $2,600,000 dollars to compensate for damages and losses caused by the practices of the U.S. military.

The residents’ spokesman, Shusei Arakawa, wants to bring the U.S. government to justice in order to recognize the burden on Okinawa imposed since the end of World War II.

The aforementioned prefecture returned to Japanese jurisdiction in 1972 after almost 28 years of being occupied and controlled by Washington, although more than 70 percent of the U.S. bases in Japan are located in that southern territory.

From: www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=760431&Itemid=1