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F22 strikes again!
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 7:00 AM
Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...
Quote:Military limits F-22 flights after oxygen issues
The military is taking new measures as it tries to determine the root cause of possible oxygen-supply problems in the F-22 fighter jet.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has mandated that all F-22 flights "remain within the proximity of potential landing locations" to ensure the ability to recover and land should a pilot run into "unanticipated physiological conditions," Pentagon spokesman George Little said on Tuesday.
In addition, the Air Force is speeding up the installation of an automatic backup oxygen system in all the fighters, Little also announced a Pentagon press conference.
Panetta also has requested a monthly progress report about the service's progress in finding the cause of the oxygen problems on the fighter jets.
The Air Force has been looking into a number of reports that pilots experienced "hypoxia-like symptoms" aboard F-22s since April 2008. Hypoxia is oxygen deficiency.
Even more mysterious, the Air Force has also been looking into a number of reports that mechanics have been getting sick as well.
The fleet was grounded in May 2011 so the service could check the hypoxia reports, but the order was lifted in September under a "return to fly" plan, with equipment modifications and new rules including daily inspections of the life-support systems.
Since then, five mechanics have reported hypoxia symptoms, according Gen. Daniel Wyman, command surgeon for the Air Combat Command.
The plane's manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, has started an online campaign to combat the negative publicity. http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/15/military-limits-f-22-flights-after-oxygen-issues/[/]
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