Friday Jun 15, 201211:51 AM GMT
F-22 Raptor oxygen problems may be worse than previously disclosed
Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:49AM
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The Air Force’s F-22 Raptor stealth fighters poison or suffocate their pilots nearly 27 times per 100,000 flight hours - a rate at least nine times higher than other fighters and far worse than anyone outside of the military previously realized.


That shocking revelation comes from two lawmakers, Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who have been aggressively pursuing the cases of Air Force pilots that are getting choked on the job.


Despite the damning figures, the Pentagon insists that temporary measures - including altitude limits and revised flight suits - have made the $377-million-a-copy F-22 safe to fly.


The announcement is the latest for the controversial F-22, the world's most expensive fighter jet, which was made by Lockheed Martin Corp. and has never been used in combat since entering service in 2005.




In early May two Virginia-based F-22 pilots, Capt. Josh Wilson and Maj. Jeremy Gordon, blew the whistle on the Air Force. Wilson and Gordon told 60 Minutes that a “vast, silent majority” of Raptor pilots believe the jet is unsafe to fly. CBS


F-22 pilots have reported dozens of incidents in which the jet's systems weren't feeding them enough oxygen, causing hypoxia-like symptoms in the air. Hypoxia is a condition resulting from a deficiency of oxygen reaching tissues of the body that can cause nausea, headaches, fatigue or even blackouts. LA Times


Apparent oxygen shortages, or hypoxia, have plagued the high-flying Raptor for years, and may even have contributed to a fatal crash in Alaska in 2010. Daily Mail



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