Not cleared for take-off: Biden’s new chopper gets the thumbs down
White House yet to approve a first flight after Pentagon tests find the aircraft isn’t ‘operationally effective’
US President Joe Biden’s first flight on the new presidential helicopter built by Lockheed Martin is being delayed after a report by the Pentagon’s testing unit warned that it’s not yet “operationally suitable” or sufficiently reliable — especially in an emergency.
The Biden administration hasn’t yet determined if the helicopter can be put into operation because it’s still assessing its safety, according to a US official who asked not to be identified discussing the internal deliberations. The White House military office will determine the timeline.
The helicopter is “failing to meet the reliability, availability or maintainability threshold requirements” set for it, according to an internal summary prepared for senior defence officials by the Pentagon testing office...