Oxygen System Didn’t Cause F-22 Crash

This is interesting. The crash of an F-22 Raptor out of Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska late last year was not caused by problems associated with the plane’s oxygen system,  Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz told Air Force Magazine yesterday.

The onset of summer in Alaska allowed investigators to get their hands on  “hardware and computer memory that made a more comprehensive analysis possible,” wrote John Tirpak of Air Force Magazine. This analysis apparently led the investigators to decide that problems with the oxygen system didn’t cause the crash. The investigation had been delayed by harsh winter weather that kept investigators from recovering all the evidence from the crash site.

The service began investigating the Raptors’ on-board-oxygen-generating-system after the fatal crash in late November 2010. The investigation has been looking at whether carbon monoxide and other toxins are seeping into the system, called OBOGS, that provides pilots with air to breath at high-altitudes. 14 Raptor pilots at six bases around the United States have reportedly experienced hypoxia-like symptoms after using the OBOGS system.

Suspected problems with the oxygen system  famously led to the grounding of the entire F-22 fleet in early May — a grounding that remains in effect. (Schwartz also told AF Mag that the F-22s will be flying soon and that the Raptors’ flight to flee Hurricane Irene last weekend was the start of a phased plan to get them back in the air.)

Via: Air Force Magazine.

  • DUDE

    So what are other possible causes of the AK crash?

    • Roy Smith

      Maybe it was HAARP.

    • jumper

      Could be good ‘ol pilot error… or this could just be some misinformation being put out by Gen. Schwartz. Hard to tell, the entire fleet being grounded is bad PR, I could see the Air Force clearing them for flight with a non-disclosed ceiling restriction until they fix the O2 system.

    • JRL

      Obama, of course. He’s responsible for every bad thing that happens.

  • Chops

    I wonder how much Lockheed Martin is getting charged for each day the Raptor is grounded because of a manufacturing defect.I thought I saw somewhere that w/ the 155 F22s in the current fleet the cost of each bird is @450mil.–that’s quite a bit for a plane that can’t fly without making the pilots sick.These defense contractors are getting away with fleecing the military and taxpayers and not one of our paid-off politicians is doing a single thing to stop it.

    • Chops

      ADD—This is at least a 30yr. life span plane–at 450mil. per copy that translates to $41,095 per plane per day value.That makes the cost of the 150 plane fleet at $6,164,384 per day for something that can’t fly.

      • ziv

        On a more positive note, the airframes aren’t aging on the ground and now the newest aircraft in the fleet will be able to fly until July or September of 2041 instead of being retired in January of the same year. ;-)
        When you only have 186 of them, and a quarter aren’t combat coded, every month of service is a godsend.

    • misionpilot

      Um don’t you think that they could just upload an auto pilot and turn these into UAVs?

  • Lance

    Why dont they just use the F-15s oxygen system and fix it so F-22s can fly again.

  • Roy Smith

    This whole episode with the grounding of our F-22’s all of a sudden reminds me of the premise of the movie “Apollo 18” & why we haven’t returned to the moon. I’m very sure that the Air Force knows exactly why the F-22 crashed. I’m also sure they don’t want us to know or it will cause a panic. I half heartedly joked about it earlier with my “HAARP” explanation. I bet it was the same thing that caused the crash of that B-2 bomber in Guam years ago(& you could probably include the Challenger Space Shuttle in that),& no,I DON’T believe space aliens or UFO’s were involved,nor do I believe it was a “Fringe(as in the TV show Fringe)” event. Russia & China aren’t exactly the Dilbert nation of “Elbonia.”

  • Roland

    Its possible The oxygen become unusable because of cold temperature.

  • Roland

    The F-22 jet probably needed some insulaition on it’s frame and check and double check the oxygen system design and the problems of F-22.