Feeds

Pilots asking not to fly F-22 after oxygen problems

Take my breath away

Website security in corporate America

Some of the US Air Force's top pilots are asking not to fly the highest-tech aircraft in the fleet over fears about the safety of the oxygen system built into the F-22 Raptor.

"It's shocking to me as a fighter pilot and former commander of Air Combat Command that a pilot would decline to get into that airplane," retired four-star General Richard E. Hawley told the LA Times, adding that he'd never heard such a request in his 35 years in the service.

The F-22 is America's latest generation fighter aircraft, and the most expensive to date with a price-per-plane of anywhere upwards of $300m. But it has been plagued by problems, ranging from its stealthy outer shell being defective or its initial inability to cross international date lines. But over the last few years there have been persistent reports of oxygen problems.

In November 2010 an F-22 piloted by Captain Jeff "Bong" Haney crashed in Alaska after his Environmental Control System (ECS) and On-Board Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS) shut down automatically. After Haney's death all aircraft were restricted to a ceiling of 25,000 feet, and eventually grounded briefly.

The report found three problems with the emergency oxygen supply system and recommended a rethink. The aircraft's emergency oxygen handle has since been redesigned to make it easier to activate in flight, but Haney's widow is suing the manufacturers Lockheed Martin over the case.

F22 over mountain

In the event of a loss of oxygen, tug the emergency lever until you crash

Fighter pilots are known to be keen to have the latest, fastest kit and competition to become a test pilot is fierce. For some of the Air Force's most fearless fly-boys to turn down the chance for a go in the superfighter suggest very high levels of concern on the front line.

"We are generally aware of a small number of pilots who have expressed reservations about flying the F-22, and each of those cases will be handled individually through established processes," said Air Force spokesman Major Brandon Lingle. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.