USAF Still Lacks ‘Smoking Gun’ For F-22 Hypoxic Events – Aviation Week

Rising for an aerial demonstration at the 2007 Gathering of Mustangs and Legends show in Columbus. Photo: Mark Plumley - OPShots.net

The U.S. Air Force is narrowing its focus on new combinations of factors as it explores hypoxia events that claimed the life of one F-22 pilot and plagued the fleet for more than a year.

Service officials remain frustrated, that a “smoking gun” for the cause is still elusive despite an extraordinary effort to enlist scientists, the medical profession and fighter experts in a quest for answers.

The Lockheed Martin F-22 is the Air Force’s premier, twin-engine, stealthy fighter. It cost more than $200 million per copy to produce, including R&D. It entered service in 2005, and the 188th and final unit was delivered on May 2.

The problem came to light after a November 2010 crash that claimed the life of a pilot. The fleet was grounded for four months last year as officials scrambled to find a cause; flights resumed in September. Since then, Air Combat Command (ACC) officials say there have been 11 hypoxic events. The unknown nature of the incidents has rattled the service. “There is no startling similarity [in the incidents] other than . . . hypoxic-like indications,” says Gen. Mike Hostage, ACC commander.

via USAF Still Lacks ‘Smoking Gun’ For F-22 Hypoxic Events.

About the author

Chuck Slusarczyk Jr.

I started OPShots in June 2006 as a place to share and display aviation photos without the often restrictive policies of other aviation websites. I want to share my love of aviation with fellow aviation geeks and provide a spotlight on Cleveland Hopkins International airport in the process.

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