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What Is Causing The Recent Spate Of US Military Crashes?

• by Duane Norman via Free Market Shooter blog

Recently it was revealed that the US Department of Defense issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) regarding air transit near a Chinese airbase in the East African country of Djibouti.  The notice was issued after pilots were allegedly targeted with lasers originating from the Chinese airbase:

On May 3, 2018, Dana White, the Pentagon's chief spokesperson, said lasers from China's base in the East African country had harassed American aviators on between two and 10 occasions, resulting in two, unspecified minor injuries to the C-130 crew. She also indicated that there had been an increase in these activities recently, prompting American officials to make a formal complaint. The issue had prompted the U.S. military to issue a formal warning to its own aircrews in April 2018, which did not specifically name who was responsible.

"I'd have to ask you [to] ask the Chinese about the motivation," White said. "But it's serious, we take it seriously, and that's why we demarched them."

It has been previously hypothesized that Chinese "hacking" played a role in a number of US Navy crashes last year.  As a result, some has speculated that "hacking" could be to blame for a recent increase in US aviation crashes.

However, it doesn't take much examination to come up with a far more plausible theory – lack of proper maintenance for older airframes, some of which can be attributed to the 2013 budget sequester.

For starters, let's take a look at the list of US military aviation crashes in 2018, as per Wikipedia:

January 21: A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache crashed during training at the base in the Mojave Desert, California. Both pilots onboard were killed.

March 14: A US Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet crashed roughly a mile off the end of the runway at Naval Air Station Key West in Florida. Both crew members died after they ejected.

March 15: A US military HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in Western Iraq, killing all seven aboard.

April 3: A U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier crashed in Djibouti shortly after take-off.

April 4: A USMC CH-53E Super Stallion crashed near Naval Air Field El Centro, killing all 4 crewmen.

April 5: A US Air Force Flight Demonstration Team F-16 crashed in Nevada, killing the pilot.

April 13: A United States Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter jet was damaged when it experienced an engine malfunction during takeoff. Apparently the left engine basically stopped working on takeoff, suddenly depriving the pilot of enough thrust to continue ascent after he had already raised the landing gear, forcing for a hard, belly landing that lasted for more than a mile.

April 24: A United States Air Force F-16 crashed during an emergency landing. The pilot ejected safely.

May 2: United States Air Force Lockheed WC-130H Hercules 65-0968, of the 156th Airlift Wing of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard, crashed on Georgia State Route 21 in Port Wentworth, Georgia while on climbout from Hilton Head International Airport and caught fire, killing all nine on board. This was to be the aircraft's last flight before retirement at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) base in Arizona.

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