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More hypoxia incidents have occurred since the F-22 returned to the skies

The USAF's premiere air superiority fighter, the F-22 Raptor, had a rough year in 2011. There were several incidences of pilots exhibiting hypoxia-like symptoms that led to the aircraft being placed on stand-down for months while an investigation took place into the possible causes of the issue.
 
Fingers were pointed at the onboard oxygen generation systems and the OBOGS failure was thought to have contributed to the fatal crash of a Raptor pilot in 2010. That fatal crash was instead ruled pilot error.
 
On January 13, a report from the Pentagon's top tester was published on the grounding of the F-22 Raptors last year. According to the report, the Raptor stand-down last year was due to "suspected contamination problems with the aircraft environmental control system and associated onboard oxygen generation system from later April through late September 2011."
 
The report was penned by chief operational tester J. Michael Gilmore and confirms that toxins entering the cockpit of the F-22 had cause over twelve incidents that were similar to hypoxia. The USAF lifted the grounding before a hard answer to the cause of the problems was found. Since the grounding was lifted, the Raptors in the fleet have flown over 6,000 times. Defense News reports that more incidents of the hypoxia-like symptoms have occurred despite the precautions put into effect to install charcoal filters and have pilots wear pulse oximeters.
 
[Source: Lockheed Martin] 

Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Ferrau said, "There have been approximately 90 events of interest and 15 are being investigated for potential physiological incidents -- 8 involving pilots and 7 involving aircraft maintenance personnel. This translates to a 1.8 percent event rate since the return to flight in September."
 
In USAF parlance an "event of interest" is an indication of a malfunction in a system or a data point that has not caused hypoxia-like symptoms. A "physiological event" is one that has produced hypoxia symptoms.
 
Ferrau said, "Any event involving hypoxia-like symptoms may be categorized by Air Force Instructions as a physiological incident following an investigation."

Source: DefenseNews



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RE: The smoking gun that wasn't loaded
By Deaks2 on 1/17/2012 9:36:41 AM , Rating: 2
As per: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2011/07/defense-...

quote:

Toxins found in pilots’ blood include oil fumes, residue from burned polyalphaolefin (PAO) anti-freeze, and, in one case, propane. Carbon monoxide, which leaves the blood quickly, is also suspected.

“There is a lot of nasty stuff getting pumped into the pilots’ bloodstream through what they’re breathing from that OBOGS [On-Board Oxygen Generation System]. That’s fact,” one former F-22 pilot said. “How bad it is, what type it is, exactly how much of it, how long — all these things have not been answered.”

The blood tests were performed after each of the 14 incidents in which pilots reported various cognitive dysfunctions and other symptoms of hypoxia. One couldn’t remember how to change radio frequencies. Another scraped trees on his final approach to the runway — and later could not recall the incident.


RE: The smoking gun that wasn't loaded
By Amicus Curiae on 1/17/2012 12:16:22 PM , Rating: 2
"That’s fact, one former F-22 pilot said..."
Who is this guy? Why does he know more than the people who are looking at all the measured data? He speaks with certainty and authority. Why can't we know who he is?


By geddarkstorm on 1/18/2012 2:54:41 AM , Rating: 2
Explain how seven maintenance personnel also experienced the hypoxia like events when they -aren't flying the planes-, just working on them. This suggests that something nasty is being produced by the plane, not simply a lack of oxygen, which is abundant when on the ground.


RE: The smoking gun that wasn't loaded
By FaaR on 1/18/2012 8:34:59 AM , Rating: 2
What's up with all the irrelevant questions? And your blatant trolling?


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