US Air Force continues to investigate F-22 Raptor



f-22.jpg

By now, all the F-22 Raptors at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton should have brand new handles that allow the pilot to more easily activate the aircraft's emergency oxygen supply.
Click on this link to see what it looks like.
The handles cost $47 a piece, a true bargain for a very expensive aircraft.
But the larger problem continues to elude the Air Force. Why does the life support system in the F-22 cause oxygen problems in the cockpit at a rate that is statistically rare, but still a concern?
At a briefing last week, Air Force leaders say they have confidence in the stealth fighter, billed as the most advanced in the U.S. arsenal. Still, from April 2008 to May 2010, F-22 pilots logged 14 "physiological incidents" where they experienced symptoms of oxygen deprivation.
Of those, the root cause of 10 incidents remains a mystery.
The degree of caution shown by the Air Force was evident on Monday, March 26, during an F-22 training flight at Langley.
At 10:06 a.m., the pilot declared an in-flight emergency due to a possible physiological incident. As it turned out, the problem was a false reading from a gauge that measured blood oxygen levels. The pilot never experienced symptoms of oxygen deprivation, but he saw the gauge, declared an emergency, cut short the exercise and landed the aircraft without incident.
That's according to Langley officials and Maj. Gen. Charles Lyon, among those who briefed reporters last week at the Pentagon about the Raptor.
Also briefing reporters was retired Gen. George Martin, who chaired a study from an Air Force scientific advisory board.
The aircraft has been thoroughly studied and returned to flight. Statistically, 99.9 pecent of Raptor missions go off without any problems.
Still . . .
"Despite those efforts, though, we do not have, this day, the root cause in hand," Martin said.
The scientific advisory board has made a number of recommendations. We've attached it below.
Included on the list: Establishing trained medical teams "to assist safety investigators in determining root causes for all unexplained hypoxia-like incidents."

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Monday, April 2, 2012

US Air Force continues to investigate F-22 Raptor


f-22.jpg

By now, all the F-22 Raptors at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton should have brand new handles that allow the pilot to more easily activate the aircraft's emergency oxygen supply.
Click on this link to see what it looks like.
The handles cost $47 a piece, a true bargain for a very expensive aircraft.
But the larger problem continues to elude the Air Force. Why does the life support system in the F-22 cause oxygen problems in the cockpit at a rate that is statistically rare, but still a concern?
At a briefing last week, Air Force leaders say they have confidence in the stealth fighter, billed as the most advanced in the U.S. arsenal. Still, from April 2008 to May 2010, F-22 pilots logged 14 "physiological incidents" where they experienced symptoms of oxygen deprivation.
Of those, the root cause of 10 incidents remains a mystery.
The degree of caution shown by the Air Force was evident on Monday, March 26, during an F-22 training flight at Langley.
At 10:06 a.m., the pilot declared an in-flight emergency due to a possible physiological incident. As it turned out, the problem was a false reading from a gauge that measured blood oxygen levels. The pilot never experienced symptoms of oxygen deprivation, but he saw the gauge, declared an emergency, cut short the exercise and landed the aircraft without incident.
That's according to Langley officials and Maj. Gen. Charles Lyon, among those who briefed reporters last week at the Pentagon about the Raptor.
Also briefing reporters was retired Gen. George Martin, who chaired a study from an Air Force scientific advisory board.
The aircraft has been thoroughly studied and returned to flight. Statistically, 99.9 pecent of Raptor missions go off without any problems.
Still . . .
"Despite those efforts, though, we do not have, this day, the root cause in hand," Martin said.
The scientific advisory board has made a number of recommendations. We've attached it below.
Included on the list: Establishing trained medical teams "to assist safety investigators in determining root causes for all unexplained hypoxia-like incidents."

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