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Senate votes to build 10 C-17s

WASHINGTON — In a rebuff to both President Obama and his former presidential opponent, Republican Sen. John McCain, the Senate on Wednesday rejected an effort to kill $2.5 billion for 10 new C-17 cargo jets and devote the money to military readiness accounts.

Although the Pentagon says its fleet of C-17s is large enough, the Senate voted 34-64 to keep the funding for the additional jets. While Obama has employed veto threats in his efforts to kill the F-22 fighter and the way-over-budget VH-71 presidential helicopter, he has not been as strongly opposed to the C-17.

Kansas Republican senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts voted to keep the funding.

The cargo jet has sweeping support in Congress. The planes are assembled by The Boeing Co. in Long Beach, Calif.

Plane crashes after pilot passes out

ALBANY, Ind. —A single-engine plane crashed into an Indiana cornfield Wednesday after the pilot, who was seen slumped over at the controls, lost consciousness and the aircraft flew out of control, officials said.

Military officials do not believe the crash was terrorism-related but instead said the pilot may have had a health problem or been suffering from a lack of oxygen. F-16s under direction of U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command intercepted the plane and followed it for about an hour until it crashed.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Rod Russell said the pilot, who was the only person aboard the plane, died in the crash. No one on the ground was injured when it crashed.

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