Not cleared for take-off: Biden’s new chopper gets the thumbs down

White House military office yet to approve a first flight after Pentagon tests find the aircraft isn’t ‘operationally effective’

23 November 2021 - 19:25 By Tony Capaccio and Jennifer Jacobs

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...

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