Saturday, June 22, 2013

Taking The "Flight" Out Of "Test Flight"

The latest from the continuing "Officials keeping the public interest and the public's right to know foremost in their minds at all time" series of mindbenders:
All four engines on new reconnaissance plane stalled during test flight
Mainichi Shimbun

All four engines on a new reconnaissance plane stalled during a test flight earlier this year, it has been learned from a ministry source.

When the incident was announced by the Ministry of Defense at a press conference on June 20, a ministry official discussing the P1 plane engine failure had said, "We can only say that multiple engines stopped." Later, in an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun, it was learned that the ministry had not yet told municipalities near the base that the failure had affected all four engines.

According to the ministry's aircraft department, the engine failure took place on May 13 off the coast of Aichi Prefecture, after pilots from the plane's manufacturer, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, descended the plane from an altitude of 10,000 meters to around 8,000, and then regained flight posture while quickly lowering engine output. The maneuver was done to test an alarm on the plane for excessive speed. The crew was able to manually restart the engines, and execute a safe landing.


One senior Defense Ministry official said of the engine trouble, "We were prepared for it and it is not dangerous." However, another senior official noted, "The P1 is a purely domestically-made and developed aircraft," adding, "The ministry was probably worried that the damage (to the project's public image) would be great."

All four engines shut down...but of course "We were prepared for it and it is not dangerous."

Not that we are going to tell anyone about it, any time soon, mind you.

This report kind of makes the ongoing brouhaha about the Government of Japan purportedly lying to the public about the safety of the MV-22 Osprey flights seem misplaced and (in)advertently xenophobic, no?

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