British military officials are especially sensitive to potential
safety issues, in the wake of the September loss of a Royal Air Force
Nimrod reconnaissance plane in Afghanistan... so many
are concerned with the inelegant, but effective, fix another
Nimrod crew recently used to block a hatch gap on their plane.
In its Probable Cause report on the November 27, 2004 loss of a
CASA 212 turboprop in Afghanistan, the National Transportation
Safety Board said that lax oversight of private companies
contracted by the Defense Department to fly military missions
contributed to the crash that claimed the lives of six people.
It was designed to be a significant leap forward in affordable
fighter plane technology... but the money required to develop the
upcoming Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II may mean significantly
fewer orders down the line for the advanced aircraft.