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If You Begin to Feel Faint, Please Land Your F-22 Raptor Immediately

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John Boyd is rolling in his grave…

A U.S. Air Force scientific advisory board is urging the service to create specialized medical teams to focus on pilots with hypoxia-like symptoms and form a medical registry for F-22 pilots exposed to cabin air or on-board oxygen gas.

The set of recommendations are a part of the board’s study, which did not determine a root cause for the oxygen problems plaguing the fifth-generation fighter. The findings and recommendations were announced Thursday, two days after a Raptor pilot made an emergency landing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., because of hypoxia-like symptoms.

The advisory board study, which was directed by Air Force Secretary Michael Donley in June, found that the testing for the Raptor’s Life Support System and thermal management were insufficient, the F-22’s life support system does not automatically activate breathable air, and that contaminants have been measured in the breathing air.

The plane also has no mechanism to prevent the loss of the aircraft if a pilot is impaired and there is insufficient feedback to the pilot about the partial pressure of oxygen in the air. But the board could not identify what is causing the problems…

ACC has also implemented a “911 call” approach to flying the F-22, urging pilots to immediately land if something is not right, Lyon said.

See Stephen Trimble for an account of how this problem led to the loss of an F-22 over Alaska.

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