According to the Los Angeles Times, some air force pilots are complaining of hypoxia-like symptoms while flying the world’s most-expensive fighter jet: the F-22 Raptor. Fighter pilots are now facing two risks – the risk of dying or the risk of being discharged from the Air Force. But either way, some fighter pilots are turning down the chance to fly the jet.
Although the Air Force did not reveal how many pilots have declined to take their assignment orders, over the years, F-22 pilots have reported incidents where the jet’s system were not giving them enough oxygen, hence causing dizziness. Since the F-22 returned to service in September, there have been 11 incidents where pilots reported feeling hypoxia-like symptoms. Hypoxia is a condition that has symptoms of nausea, headaches and fatigue.
The Air Force is currently handling the investigation but so far, the Achilles heel is yet to be found. “Obviously it’s a very sensitive thing because we are trying to ensure that the community fully understands all that we’re doing to try to get to a solution,” said Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command. In November 2010, F-22 pilot Captain Jeff Haney crashed in Alaska after his ECS (Environmental Control System) and OBOGS (On-Board Oxygen Generating System) shut down.
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