Your morning jolt: An F-22 crashes in California

One of the Air Force’s top-of-the-line F-22 fighter jets crashed Wednesday in the high desert of Southern California, killing a 49-year-old test pilot for Lockheed Martin Corp.

It was the second crash of one of the Marietta-made stealth fighters. The previous one occurred in December 2004.

Nearly every news organization noted the crash comes as the Pentagon considers whether to order more than the 183 fighters to which the Air Force has already committed.

Lockheed is trying to convince the Department of Defense to buy as many as 20 more F-22s. The military is expected to signal its intentions when the 2010 Pentagon budget is released next month.

Writes the Wall Street Journal this morning:

Though it has flown overseas, it has not conducted missions over Iraq or Afghanistan and has been criticized by Defense Secretary Robert Gates for not being useful in current combat missions against insurgents.

Lockheed says there are 95,000 jobs at 1,000 companies connected to the F-22. About 2,000 of those jobs are at the company’s plant in Cobb County.

Also found while perusing this morning:

  • An hourly DHR worker hired as a consultant earned $126,500 a year by billing the state 48 hours a week. Every week.
  • House and Senate are talking past each other on transportation.
  • The Senate passed “superspeeder” legislation, and sent it to the governor. Since its his bill, he’s expected to sign it.
  • The Senate also okayed tax incentives to boost hiring, but the House failed to increase the state homestead exemption.
  • Tourism is down 16 percent in Atlanta.
  • Some opinion:

  • Jay Bookman opines on how a “socialist” Obama has bailed out capitalism.
  • Do Georgians gain from the PSC vote to approve more nuke plants? Stan Wise says yes. Angela Speir Phelps says no.
  • Elsewhere in Georgia:

  • PeachPundit: Erik Erickson jumps on U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson for supporting the “Serve America Act.” He declares it a “hill to die on.”
  • And the nation:

  • WP: The Obama administration declares the war on terror over. It’s now the “Overseas Contingency Operation.”
  • Reuters: Recession in the United States will last for at least a few more months, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart said Thursday in Paris.
  • AP: Lawmakers in at least eight states want recipients of food stamps, unemployment benefits or welfare to submit to random drug testing.
  • NYT: The economy and anti-Mommy bias.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    2 comments Add your comment

    Chris Broe

    March 26th, 2009
    11:13 am

    The crash may have been as a result of slow, low flying to see how well the jet can support ground troops in a surge. The jet’s configuration wont allow for safe low speed trawling for insurgents. What’s wrong with using those tank-killer A-10 planes? Those are perfect to support ground troops. Aren’t they?

    The F-22 is for the future. There’s not supposed to be a war in iraq or afghanistan. Not in 2009. We should be long gone from both those theatres.

    We are stuck in Baghdad on Afghan time again.

    Just Fading Away

    March 27th, 2009
    5:10 pm

    It might have been shot down by Martians. It’s weapon systems are known to be ineffective against Martian blastrificators.