After halting F-22 flights, US Air Force examines other jets for oxygen faults
Written by defenceWeb, Tuesday, 10 May 2011
A deadly F-22 crash on November 16 last year prompted the Air Force to begin investigating the On-Board Oxygen Generation Systems (OBOGS) aboard the F-22, F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and other tactical aircraft and trainers. The service last week stood down all F-22s after a spike in incidents potentially related to hypoxia.
"No other airframes have been stood down due to this investigation; however, a parallel investigation is taking place on the on-board oxygen generation systems on the A-10, F-15E, F-16, F-35 and T-6 aircraft," said Captain Jennifer Ferrau, an Air Force spokeswoman for Air Combat Command (ACC).
Since January, Raptors have been kept at altitudes below 25 000 feet during the ongoing investigation in order to lessen the risk in case their oxygen systems malfunctioned. If the OBOGS failed at 25 000 feet pilots would have time to recover to lower altitudes where there is enough oxygen in the atmosphere. This is not the case when the aircraft flies at its 50 000 feet ceiling, as the pilot would only have ten seconds of consciousness.
As the Air Force could not say when the F-22 would be flying again, the entire fleet is standing down indefinitely.
"We are still working to pinpoint the exact nature of the problem. It is premature to definitively link the current issues to the OBOGS system," Ferrau said. "The safety of our airmen is paramount and we will take the necessary time to ensure we perform a thorough investigation."
There have been nine suspected cases of hypoxia during F-22 operations since mid-2008, and recently there have been 14 recorded OBOGS incidents.
"Over the last week, we have experienced five additional F-22 'Physiological-Hypoxia Like' events across the Air Force, which led Commander of Air Combat Command to establish the current F-22 stand-down," Ferrau said. Ferrau reports "increased frequency of pilot reported physiological incidents such as hypoxia and decompression sickness."
F-22 manufacturer Lockheed Martin has deployed a team to assist the Air Force during its OBOGS investigation, according to company spokesperson Stephanie Stinn.
Top stories this week
- Mapisa-Nqakula doesn’t pass muster in DA Cabinet report card
- UAE unveils N35 vehicles
- Saab Grintek Defence wins 2016 South African Exporter Award
- Denel improving Inkunzi
- New wide area surveillance system in Kruger is another poaching deterrent
- CSIR partnering with US-based company to produce long endurance UAV
- Former SADF veterans look to be left out of defence industry charter
- S.Africa watchdog says police commissioner should be dismissed
- Denel partners with specialist geospatial intelligence operation
- DoD takes Sandu to task for grandstanding on wet rations issue
Saab Grintek Defence wins South African Exporter Award 2016
by Saab, 9 December 2016
The SA Premier Business Awards is organised by the DTI, in partnership with Proudly South Africa and Brand South Africa.
Denel partnership with European manufacturer producing results
by Denel Corporate, 9 December 2016
Denel PMP and Nordic company NAMMO will produce niche products that meet the specialised needs of the SANDF.
Denel joins forces with global leaders to market geospatial products
by Denel Corporate, 6 December 2016
Denel Integrated Systems and Maritime will team up with Hexagon Geospatial and Geo Data Design to market geospatial products.