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.
Airbus Defence and Space announces management, organisational changes in Military Aircraft, A400M Business Segment
by AIRBUS Defence & Space, 30 January 2015
Fernando Alonso was named head of Military Aircraft at Airbus Defence and Space.
Denel recognises young achievers who excel in maths, science
by Denel Corporate, 30 January 2015
Engineering students with bursaries from Denel were honoured at the Denel Young Achievers event.
Saab signs co-operation agreement with IBD Deisenroth Engineering
by Saab, 30 January 2015
The synergies in the companies' products will allow the co-operation agreement to provide advanced survivability solutions for land, sea and air applications.
High-power wideband jamming antennas
by Poynting Antennas, 29 January 2015
The Poynting Defence and Specialised's range includes the OMNI-A0201 and the OMNI-A0221, which are designed for vehicle-mount applications.
TH180 coming to HAI Heli-Expo
by Safomar Aviation, 28 January 2015
Enstrom will send the flying TH180 to the helicopter show in Orlando, USA, says Safomar Aviation.
South Tyrolean Tetra network for civil protection organisations to be expanded
by AIRBUS Defence & Space, 22 January 2015
The Tetra network in South Tyrol, Italy, will replace over 40 analogue communications systems currently used by the civil protection organisations.