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Entertainment Briefs for April 9, 2010

| April 9, 2010 9:00 PM

Bristol Palin to teens: 'Pregnancy can wait'

NEW YORK - Bristol Palin says that if girls knew how tough it was to be a mom, they'd think twice about having sex.The 19-year-old daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says she has chosen to practice abstinence herself, until marriage.

Bristol Palin, who once said it was unrealistic to ask young people to abstain from sex, said in an interview with The Associated Press that it's realistic for her personally."I know it's realistic to ask myself that, because I know I'm not going to until I'm married," she said.

Palin gave birth to a son, Tripp, in December 2008 and says she "wasn't prepared at all" for the dramatic changes in her life since then."I don't think anyone realizes how difficult it really is until you actually have a screaming baby in your arms and you're up all night," said Palin.

"It changes literally every aspect of your life, and if girls realized how hard it was to be a teen mom, they would think twice about having sex without the proper education and proper knowledge."Birth rates for teen mothers dropped 2 percent in 2008 after an increase from 2005 to 2007 according to a numbers released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Palin hopes to help the decline continue by educating her peers. Last year, she was named an ambassador for The Candie's Foundation, a division of the apparel brand Candie's, which has been raising awareness about teen pregnancy since 2001. She'll appear in a new public service announcement called "Pause Before You Play."Neil Cole, founder of The Candie's Foundation, says it was a no-brainer to tap Palin to help bring awareness to the problem of teen pregnancy: "Bristol comes from a high-profile family and it's amazing the amount of coverage she has gotten because of this issue."

Palin also recently taped a cameo on "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," about a high school student who unexpectedly got pregnant and is now a young mom.In the interview, Palin said she works full-time and takes night classes when she can. Sleeping in and hanging out with friends like other teens? Such downtime is a thing of the past.

She credits her family for helping her get through."I'm very blessed to have an extremely supportive family and just a good support system, which other girls out there - most of them - don't have," she said.

Despite the challenges of being a teen mom, Palin hopes to have more kids."Eventually," she said. "Long down the road, though."

Tires cited in crash involving Blink 182 drummer

WASHINGTON - Under-inflated tires - a problem that may be widespread on business jets - caused a Learjet crash 18 months ago that killed four people and seriously injured Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker and the celebrity disc jockey DJ AM, federal safety investigators said Tuesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board also said that a design flaw in the Learjet 60 and a decision by the flight's captain to abort takeoff in Columbia, S.C., were also at fault in the accident.Investigators told the board they found that operators of air charters often aren't aware how rapidly the tires of some business jets can lose pressure and aren't checking tire pressure frequently enough.

"This accident didn't have to happen," said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. The crash, she said, should be a warning to everyone in the aviation industry that "there are no small maintenance items because every time a plane takes off lives are on the line."

The board also said the Federal Aviation Administration and Learjet Inc., a subsidiary of Bombardier Aerospace of Canada, didn't take aggressive enough action to correct a design flaw involving the Learjet 60's thrust reversers despite knowing that the flaw played a role in a similar 2001 accident in Alabama in which two people were seriously injured.Barker and DJ AM, also known as Adam Goldstein, had just wrapped up a concert in Columbia and were taking off from a local airport in their chartered jet with two of Barker's staff members and two pilots on Sept. 19, 2008.

As the plane hurtled down the runway at about 150 mph, all four tires of the plane exploded only seconds apart. Pieces of the tires, hurled at high speeds, damaged the plane's hydraulic system, causing the brakes to fail.The flight's captain, who had only 35 hours of experience flying a Learjet 60, made a split-second decision to abort the takeoff even though the plane had already exceeded the speed at which the takeoff could be safely rejected, investigators said. Pilots are trained not to halt a takeoff after reaching a certain speed as long as the plane is still capable of flight.

Adding to the problem, and eliminating all ability of the pilots to stop the plane, was damage to an electronic sensor that caused the plane's computers to conclude the plane was airborne when it was still on the ground. This automatically closed the thrust reversers - which can be used to slow a plane - and increased the power propelling the plane forward.The jet hurtled off the runway, crashed through a fence, crossed a five-lane highway, hit an embankment and was engulfed in flames.

Barker and Goldstein were the only survivors. Goldstein died of a drug overdose a year after the accident.The charter company that operated the plane, Global Exec Aviation, estimated the last time the pressure in the plane's tires had been checked was three weeks before the accident, investigators said. However, the type of tires on the plane lose about 2 percent of their pressure a day and, if not maintained, would need to be replaced after eight days, investigators said.

A pilot would be unable to tell that the tires were under-inflated simply by looking at them, investigators said. FAA regulations also prohibit commercial pilots from using instruments to measure tire pressure, they said.The board said there was no problem with the design or manufacture of the tires. However, they faulted Global Exec Aviation for not maintaining proper pressure, and issued a series of recommendations to the FAA regarding tire pressure, including requiring that all commercial passenger planes have tire-pressure monitoring systems.

The board also recommended FAA require Learjet to fix the flaw that caused the problem with the thrust reversers. The plane involved in the accident was manufactured in 1993. However, FAA didn't require that model - whose original design was approved in 1966 - to be updated to meet more modern safety requirements that aircraft designs be evaluated for what kind of impact the failure of one system might have on the aircraft's other systems.Barker and family members of his bodyguard, Charles Monroe Still Jr., and his assistant, Chris Baker, who were killed in the accident, have reached legal settlements with several companies, including Global Exec Aviation, ITAS Inc., which owned the plane, Learjet Inc. and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

Global Exec Aviation and ITAS have filed their own lawsuit against the plane's manufacturers.

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