Print 22 comment(s) - last by voodoochile123.. on Dec 19 at 12:02 AM

Despite bleed air failure and multiple system shutdown, bleed air system not blamed in crash

Now that its investigation is complete, the USAF has come back and handed down its decision on what caused the pilot of an F-22 Raptor to crash his aircraft in November 2010. According to sources and other pilots, the issue that led to the death of Capt. Jeff "Bong" Haney was a malfunction of the Raptor's bleed air intakes.
The report has now been issued and according to the USAF Accident Investigation Board, the cause of the accident was Haney, not the malfunctioning bleed air system in the stricken Raptor. The AIB found that while the bleed air system on the F-22 had failed, Haney didn’t react quickly enough to save the aircraft.
President of the AIB, Brig. Gen. James Browne wrote in the AIB report, "I find the cause of the mishap was the MP's [mishap pilot] failure to recognize and initiate a timely dive recovery due to channelized attention, breakdown of visual scan and unrecognized spatial disorientation."
Fingers were pointed early on at a failure of the On-board Oxygen Generating System or OBOGS as a cause of the accident. The accident report has determined that the OBOGS was functioning and was not a contributing factor to the accident. However, the OBOGS did shut down due to the bleed air problem the F-22 encountered.
The report read, "The MP most likely experienced a sense similar to suffocation." Despite that statement, the report also rules out hypoxia as a contributing factor to the accident. The report continues, "Due to the high affinity of oxygen to hemoglobin, the MP would have had adequate blood oxygen supply after the OBOGS failed. It was concluded that the late recognition of the MA's [mishap aircraft's] unusual attitude and appropriate corrective actions attempted by the MP demonstrates that hypoxia was not a factor in this mishap."
Defense News cites a source that claims that Haney would not have succumbed to hypoxia fully, though he would have had symptoms. The source notes that the hypoxia would have been a contributing factor even if the pilot were still conscious. Along with the OBOGS system on the stricken Raptor, the environmental control system, air cycle system, and On-board Inert Gas Generating System as well as cabin pressure were also shut down.
The recovered aircraft memory unit reportedly showed that the "partial pressure to the MP's [mishap pilot] oxygen stopped shortly after 19:42:37 L, which would lead to severely restricted breathing."
Haney was conscious enough to attempt to recover from the steep dive his Raptor was in right before the crash. The F-22 hit the ground three seconds after Haney first attempted to recover. The report notes that for 39 seconds Haney did nothing to address the flight condition of his aircraft.
The report reads, "The fact that the [mishap pilot] went from a controlled flight regime to an unusual attitude and did not take corrective actions for 30 seconds suggests he had unrecognized spatial disorientation. At 19:42:24L the [mishap pilot] recognized the [mishap aircraft's] position and attempted to perform a dive recovery."
This was the second F-22 lost in service since the aircraft went operational. In March of 2009, another Raptor crashed killing the pilot. This accident was a contributing factor to the Raptor stand down that lasted months.
This week the final F-22 Raptor rolled off the assembly line and will replace the aircraft lost in the fatal crash that took Haney's life.

Source: Defense News

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i guess
By Bubbacub on 12/16/2011 8:53:07 AM , Rating: 5
its not allowed for the machine to be responsible for a crash.

ffs the poor pilot had a restricted oxygen supply (how restricted and the depth of an individual's response is arguable) due to mechanical error.

no mechanical error means no reduction in o2 supply = no "loss of spatial awareness" = no crash

the key error appears to be mechanical in my eyes. the AF need to admit this and correct it - not paper over the cracks and blame the pilot

RE: i guess
By Brandon Hill on 12/16/2011 9:11:55 AM , Rating: 3
the key error appears to be mechanical in my eyes. the AF need to admit this and correct it - not paper over the cracks and blame the pilot

You should watch the HBO TV movie "Afterburn" about wire chaffing in the F-16.

RE: i guess
By bigdawg1988 on 12/16/2011 9:34:23 AM , Rating: 5
the AF need to admit this and correct it - not paper over the cracks and blame the pilot

I've heard that when the pilot dies, the pilot is to blame, especially for new aircraft. Maybe that has changed, but somehow I doubt it. You think the AF is going to say the aircraft they spent billions developing and testing actually has potential flaws that lead to a pilot's death? Not on this planet.

RE: i guess
By Reclaimer77 on 12/16/2011 8:51:11 PM , Rating: 1
The F-22 is NOT fatally flawed though. Oxygen generation systems have been used for a LONG time. There's nothing mysterious here or a conspiracy. This was just a malfunction which could happen in ANY system.

RE: i guess
By fteoath64 on 12/18/2011 12:51:03 AM , Rating: 2
You are right!. With the amount of secrecy involved with each sub-contractor, there is UNLIKELY any redundancy because that would compromise their precious security protocols. Then, how can they eject a single sub-con from the project ???. None, Zilch!.
You can see the weakness because of that stupid secrecy. Besides, every sub-con will not disclose any limitations of their systems for fear of being singled out. So expect holes upon holes of bugs in those systems. A human who cannot compensate for those will die.

You see, they live by the sword and will die by the same sword!. Hey, blaming a dead human is easier si they did.

RE: i guess
By MrBlastman on 12/16/2011 11:29:56 AM , Rating: 3
This whole incident reminds me of the Ted Harduvel F-16 incident where the Air Force blaimed it all on him for the jet crashing rather than an electrical system malfunction (which was later proved) to have been the cause. What a fiasco.

The Air Force has to save face and is also protecting their own interests from a potential lawsuit here, that is all. Unfortunately, the incident in 1982 lead to a precedent from the courts (after his wife won a judgement against General Dynamics and the Air Force) which stated that the contractors that did work for the Military were an "extension" of the US Government which gives them immunity from being sued.

I'm not a fan of lawsuits at all but in this case, just thought I'd share for the younger readers who might not know the history behind these sorts of things.

RE: i guess
By Brandon Hill on 12/16/2011 11:44:32 AM , Rating: 2
See my post above ;)

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