Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hypoxia and Bends in F-22 Raptor Pilots: USAF and Congressional Inquiry Update

In the wake of new incidents of pilot hypoxia and bends in the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jet, CNN senior national security producer Mike Mount has filed an excellent report this week on the status of ongoing investigations. Choice quotation:

Last month, the two members of Congress released numbers by the Air Force that showed pilots flying the F-22 Raptor reported illness from oxygen deprivation incidents 10 times as often as pilots of other fighter jets. The data showed Raptor pilots have reported 26.43 hypoxia and hypoxia-like incidents per 100,000 flight hours. While that represents a mere fraction of total flight hours, it is far higher than incidents from other Air Force aircraft, including the A-10, the F-15E and the F-16.

See our May 7 post for the CBS 60 Minutes video that fueled this story. Today the US Air Force keeps 187 Raptors flying from bases in California, Alaska, Virginia, New Mexico, Florida, Nevada, and Hawaii, where the most recent problems occurred.

[Drawing: A.S. Paper Aircraft Lab]

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