F-22 Pilots to Discuss Why They Won’t Fly the Jet

So there’s been a bunch of commotion this week because two F-22 Raptor pilots say they want to transfer to flying different jets. Now, the pilots will go on 60 Minutes this Sunday to discuss the matter. Naturally, everyone’s freaking out since the pilots are apparently going to blow the lid off the jets’ safety issues that we, and everyone else, have written about over the last year.

As you know, the Raptors where cleared to return to flight in September 2011 following a lengthy grounding so that service officials could figure out what was causing F-22 pilots to experience hypoxia-like symptoms in flight (the grounding came several months after an Alaska-based F-22 crashed in November 2010 when its pilot lost situational awareness while trying to activate his plane’s emergency oxygen system). The Air Force still hasn’t figured out what’s messing with the F-22’s pilots and in fact, Raptor jocks have reported 11 instances of hypoxia-like symptoms since the grounding was lifted.

This has apparently prompted at least two pilots to lose faith in the jet as a safe flying platform, with one, Maj. Jeremy Gordon  saying he’s “not comfortable flying the F-22 right now.”

The other pilot, Capt. Josh Wilson described an instance last year where he sensed the onset of hypoxia and reached for the plane’s emergency oxygen system — just like the pilot involved in the Alaska crash — but couldn’t remember how to find the system’s poorly-designed activation ring.

From the Newport News Daily Press:

It was … kind of a surreal experience,” he says, because it took great concentration to do simple tasks. He attempted to pull an emergency oxygen ring and couldn’t find it in the cockpit.

“I couldn’t remember what part of the aircraft it was in,” he said.

Wait, it gets better.

The pilots were asked if some Raptor pilots had taken out additional life insurance.

“They are. Absolutely,” Wilson says. “We are waiting for something to happen, and if it happens, nobody’s going to be surprised.”

Ouch. This is pretty incredible, that after more than a year of research into the problem, the Air Force still can’t find the cause of a major and potentially deadly problem with the world’s most advanced fighter jet.

  • Mitch S.

    This is huge.
    For active pilots to put their careers in danger by going public really underlines how serious this is (and they are asking to give up their seats in the F22 which one would think would be the most lusted after job in the AF).
    Another big black eye for the AF and Loc-Mart (how many billions have we given them for two fighters that still can’t do their job? )

    • Andy


    • Musson

      Going up against the AF brass worked out so well for Billy Mitchell.

      • Mark

        How is it possible for this to have been poorly designed when pilots where in the loop on designing the most pilot friendly layout of the environment?

    • Joev2v

      The path these two are taking is career ending. I am not sure they are making the best choice. If there is a problem ( which I am sure there is ) then be part of the fix not part of the problem. Pilots in the Air Force have alot of power if they use it right. F-4 pilots constantly put in complaints and ideas. With pilots who decide to go so called ” public ” are going outside the perimeters that they should go outside of. What purpose does it serve. It is self serving. If you get pushed in the military you push back but you do so within the UCMJ and keep your career and at the same time be effective.I don’t understand this new mindset to go the route that ends your military career and possibily end any chance at getting a civilian career. Well time will tell what will happen.

      • Mark

        Nope, not carrier ending. They had the protection of law and a congressman (Military whistle blowers act).

      • Watersisland

        Better ” career ending” than “life ending”. They’re doing what needs to be done. Unfortunately, these are among only the few that would put their integrity and their futures on the line for the benefit of others. Their selflessness is a virtue that should be followed by all who respect and believe in their fellow soldiers and airmen.
        The problem with the F22 and all other military waste boils down to corruption and incompetence. From Congressional representitives to Pentagon employees and military brass…..the business of wealth has taken precedence over the business of valuing our servicemen and women. Don’t leave your children as orphans and your wife as a widow only to sacrifice your life for some fat catter only interested in lining their pockets. Speak Up…..Speak Out. The bums that allow such failures belong in prison.

    • Chuck

      When has 60 Minutes not put out a hit piece on military equipment. Remember all that military equipment that wasn’t supposed to work during the Gulf Wars – oh wait, it worked just fine for the most part. Don’t ask 60 Minutes, ask an Iraqi. I think 60 minutes is a bigger threat to our defense that any weapon we ever developed.

    • Leon G. Easterly

      I agree, Mitch, our pilots did not sign up for suicide missions, which is what flying the raptor appears to be, dammit!!! find and fix the problem USAF, ground the damn things till it is, fine the manufactuer(s) the cost of finding, fixing the problem!!!!!! I’ll bet if you do, they will fix it in a hurry!!! I am former usaf jet mechanic, if I had an aircraft that had serious problems like this, I’d ground it every day!!!!!

    • desert

      Well….living proof for why its called the “Air Farce”!

    • John

      the sad part is the oxygen system is part of the plane clearly a defective part and in afine view of gov waste the military has issued a contract for someone to fix it ie paying someone to fix a design defect. thats like a toyota that explodes on you and you having to pay toyota to fix what is clearly a design issue so shouldnt the company that builds the fing f-22 fix it for free since it was bought broken?

  • DGR

    In other news, 2 Air Force pilots enter the civilian job market starting on Monday.

    • Richard

      flying a bus is better than flying a coffin

    • 5CCG

      Right on!!! Pilots use to get this stuff rung out in the shops….not wine on TV.

    • Still Waters

      exactly,,,going to 60 mins !?! They may as well gone to Pravda when the F-15 came out. Great Line DGR !!

    • Glenn57377

      These pilots are going to dork around and end up in Leavenworth. You go public with what the military says you can go public with. If they have a gripe, fine, the Air Force is run by multi-star pilots. You do not show your hand because you have a gripe, founded or not. This is very close to treason. You do NOT release information concerning your capabilities or lack, thereof. If the brass tells them to keep their mouth shut, they had better do it. The military owns them, as they should. This is a national security matter.

  • Kooch

    You used to hear F15 jocks brag about how the air force had to types of pilots, F15 drivers and pilots who wished they were F15 drivers. I guess the F22 doesn’t have that honor. I find it hard to believe they cant find/fix this serious issue.

    • Richard

      although we lost one this week

    • Goat Roper

      The F-22 didn’t have MG Ben Bellis and his cohorts leading its development as the Eagle did. That was over 40 years ago, but being an Eagle Hatcher was the proudest accomplishment of my life. The lessons that I as a very young Capt learned as one of “Ben’s Boys” carried me well through a 36 year career in weapons systems acquisition and management in both the Air Force and industry.

    • glenn57377

      Like any new aircraft, especially one put throught the paces by the military, there are going to be bugs to work out. Some aircraft go for years until the stamp of absolute approval are placed on them. If there is a problem here, it should be investigated tirelessly……and it will. The F-22 is a bad-a$$ machine. Google and see if you can find anything on a combat fly-off between the F-22 and the still mighty F-15.

  • Musson

    Exactly how is going on 60 Minutes and criticising the F-22 different from criticising your Commander and Chief on your FaceBook page?

    That Marine got kicked out of the service, just like Billy Mitchell, for critising his superiors.

    • CMSgt USAF (Ret)

      Especiallay going on 60 Minutes, representing fellow pilots and the USAF, with a mustache totally out of regulations. Is the Capt’s mustache a representation of his judgement as a pilot? If so, maybe it is pilot judgement? just sayin’

      • shawn1999

        Maybe that’s the source- the mask isn’t fitting correctly because of the mustache?

      • TerryMac

        Good point Chief! & thanks for serving!

        Sgt TLM, USAF Veteran

      • JMR AF vet military contractor

        Okay Chief you sound like some of the brown shoe types that got by on polotics alone, There is a catastophic life support issue with a key piece of equipment that is being played down by the military, a carbon filter??? That was just a white wash. You are worried about this pilots 35-10??? Get real Chief

    • Vaporhead

      If you don’t see the difference, then it’s your loss. Tell me where it says you can’t talk trash about a piece of equipment in the UCMJ.

      • Musson

        So, he can complain about the equipment. But, he cannot complain about his superiors? Is that truly the difference?

        And, if the pilots complain that the AF brass is ignoring the problem – have they just stepped over the line?

        • SJE

          That’s about right. Criticism of the equipment could be punishable if it revealed secrets, or there was a specific order against speaking. All said, I’d rather see pilots being able to give an honest assessment.

        • TMB

          If he says “The F-22 has problems, and it’s all General So and So’s or Congress’ fault.” Then he’s definitely in the same boat as that Marine. I’m curious how they’re going to criticize the equipment without casting any blame at their superiors. The Air Force can certainly ground them and give them BS jobs the rest of their careers without “punishing” them.

          • AdvancedGuard

            in one case its criticizing policy decisions… in the other its trying to bring to public awareness that you are being forced to use equipment that has serious, life threatening flaws.

            Is that really that hard to distinguish? I guess it is when every single event or issue you can’t help but try to tie back to ways to dislike Obama. The guy has serious problems, he’s a poor president. We can agree there. But use a little critical thinking.

        • tiger

          Yes, a huge difference…….

    • STemplar

      One is insubordination one is not, unless someone gave them an order to not talk service members aren’t under a total gag order. Of course no one has the marbles to order them to not talk because that would be worse than letting them.

    • Sev

      Obviously it’s the hypoxia that’s to blame for their actions

    • Dan

      The title is Commander in Chief, not Commander and Chief

    • PolicyWonk

      Exactly how? Hmmm. ONE is going POLITICAL in uniform when that is expressly forbidden, and the other is complaining about EQUIPMENT (and as the article points out, the stories about problems w/r/t the F-22 have been avidly followed by the press, and anyone interested in military affairs).

    • Jeff Thompson

      Yes Musson!
      I agree!
      Sometimes when things are not getting done and an officer, or enlisted person, has exhausted his/her chain of command, these folks fall back on the tactic of public whistle-blowing.
      While whistle-blowing does indeed attract attention to a given situation, I too feel certain considerations are not being made by the whistle-blowers, they fail to understand they are on a team that is run without democracy. And the very integrity of that team depends on solving problems as a team, and not as an “Us against Them” mentality.

      While I am a veteran and frown on folks who fail to see the big picture because of selfish concerns, this case is different. This case is immediate and dangerous and it’s sad that I am not alone in my bewilderment that this engineering problem hasn’t been solved.
      Someone needs to take responsibility and get ‘er done. Letting things slide and fall apart is NOT the mark of a great organization, but a symptom of a sickness.

    • DonW

      Billy Mitchell may been kicked out of the air force but he was vindicated and an aircraft was named after him which was the B-25 Medium bomber. It’s too bad that if everyone of us civilians can critisize the president, then any member of the armed forces should also have that right.

    • Craig

      You don’t understand the difference between a weapon and the chain of command?

    • Byrdie

      The Marine was expressing his PERSONAL opinion of the Commander In Chief; the pilots are identifying a SERIOUS deficiency in what is being touted as our newest fighter. These 2 pilots certainly have the experience, and apparently the documentation, to back up their decision. And they knew it would mean an end to their careers. But so would continuing to fly the F-22. And they have a better chance of walking away from a crashed career than a crashed aircraft, particularly if they are unconcious due to tainted oxygen when the plane makes a big, black hole in the ground.

    • recce1

      Musson, perhaps it was the manner in which the statements were said by the pilots and Sgt. Stein. Are you familiar with what Sgt. Stein actually wrote initially?

      The difference is that the 2 pilots didn’t use any derogatory words of criticism of the president or their any superior officers. Sgt. Stein initially said, “Screw Obama, I won’t obey all orders from him.” That was an UCMJ offense. Of course he corrected himself and said that he wouldn’t obey any ILLEGAL orders from Obama, which what the UCMJ requires.

      So the men’s conduct were radically different.

      I do wish Stein had received an Article 15 rather than a less than honorable discharge. As for the pilots, they had a Congressman with them on the set but I doubt will protect them. We have a president who is willing to go to great, and sometimes illegal, lengths to punish those he perceives as a threat. Think of Pres. Nixon.

      Gen. Mitchell, although correct, disobeyed direct legal orders from his superiors. He was posthumously exonerated. Then there was Gen. MacArthur who defied Pres. Truman. His offense was in trying to over the presidents head go to the public about how to fight the Chinese in Korea.. That he was tactically right was beside the point.

    • Ed. Cole

      A real man does what is right regardless of the conquences.Ed C USAF & USMM

    • joseph

      Because……when you go to the press about something you believe the Federal Government is covering up, you are protected from any retaliation by the Federal Whistle Blowers Act, and rightfully so. The Marine you speak of was not protected under this act.

    • mrmolotov

      You are so right! That was my first thought when I had just read the headline. A career guy gets discharged and ruined for life (less than honerable?) and these two guys go PUBLIC ON TV saying what problems there are AND that they do not want to fly this plane (would that be refusing to follow an order as well?) because they dont feel its safe or like it. Typical.

    • mrmolotov

      WOW. I had to ad one more thing. I cant believe all the morons on here that “conveniently” only address the part of “the danger” and “safety issues” and NOT ABOUT THE PART OF NOT WANTING TO FLY THE PLANE AGAIN!!!!! Does that not constitute refusing an order to do your job? When they are told to get in the plane and fly, will they say no way its not safe? OH SHIT, better kick them out of the military for refusing an order!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Andy

    Bunch of wieners….It the Pilots not the Plane….too powerful to handle…

    • JackBlack

      Now tape your nose and mouth with duct tape, wait 1 minute, play cards during, and stfu in the process of loosing your consciousness.

      • Brad

        all while flying a plane, that should end silly comments like Andy’s

    • BILL

      “Its the pilots – not the planes…”???!!! — for them to go to this length is almost unheard of. I seriously doubyt this is the pilots screwing up. Too bad they put them all (F22 fleet) back online w/o a solution..

    • So you are a qualified pilot? Or are you saying that with absolutely no basis in fact? Because I refuse to take the opinion of someone who can’t even learn how to use proper grammar on the subject of why pilots are experiencing hypoxia in the world’s most advanced fighter. Go back to kindergarten.

    • Jeff Thompson

      Only a person with no concept of the real world would say such a thoughtless thing.
      Or a person who failed to read the article.
      The only one being a wiener here is you Andy.

    • tiger

      68 thumbs down? Andy going for the record!!

    • Bob

      I take it that you are not a pilot. I flew F4 in Vietnam, I takes more guts than you have just to get through the pre flight classes.

      • Will

        Bob Thanks for your service. I was USAF 82-86 chair pilot Comms Sq. Still an arm chair comment though (no experience on the topic). On the documentaries about the Viet Nam era pilots they said a pilot would rather be in combat than land on a carrier at night! They monitored the heart rate of some apparently and it actually dropped when they crossed the beach heading into combat! Thank God for men (real men who take action not just words) like you! If a pilot is willing to risk everything he loves to do by saying he won’t fly a bird that he thinks is THAT dangerous, that pilot is also not just a talker! I don’t know the details of the Marine’s comments. Was he speaking out on a dangerous situation withouot first going through the chain of command? The young people (my nephew included) who joined the Armed services are persons of action not words also and deserve our respect. Point being I support the pilots but need more info about the marine. (Pages like this give “A” holes like Andy a voice when they normally woould just be home surfing porn and pullin thier puds, sorry to decend to profanity)

    • Byrdie

      So how long have you been flying the Tweet?

    • Kit

      Andy, you’re not being fair. Not every pilot can fly without oxygen. Like you.

    • joe hudson

      There is always a smart ass who thinks he knows everything about everything. Have you ever flown one? or anything for that matter.

    • Marcus

      Are you a Pilot??

  • Black Owl

    How the heck did we get here? America has lost the ability to make fighter aircraft that are flyable. All of our new aircraft are simply not suitable for the things they were designed to do. The F-22 for the Air Force slowly kills the pilot. The F-35C for the Navy can’t land on a carrier. The F-35B for the Marines can’t take off without breaking apart. Seriously, this is ridiculous and something has to give.

    • Dfens

      You pay us more to f you and then you wonder why we did it. You can educate the ignorant, but you can’t fix stupid.

      • ltfunk

        Dont forget the contractors who dont care how many pilots get killed just as long as they get thier bonus.

    • JackBlack

      No, it just lost the ability to pick an excellent YF-23 over the lobbied garbage such f-22 is.Had they made the decision to do otherwise, we would not be writing this now, but awing whenever we see it.

      • Dfens

        If they’d picked the F-23, at least then we’d have an airplane worth fixing. It doesn’t really matter which contractor you pick to build it. As long as you pay them more to f’ up, they’re going to f’ up. It’s the way the game is played. Hell, if the USAF wanted to, they could flesh out the F-23 design themselves. They know what it will do, despite the campaign of misinformation. They’d rather play Who Wants to Become a Millionaire with the contractors. It takes a lot of poor moral choices by a lot of people for a system as screwed up as this to continue.

        • William C.

          You two are both clueless. The YF-22 and YF-23 were both outstanding designs that met or surpassed requirements. Both had their advantages and disadvantages over the other. In the end the YF-22 won out because it was somewhat less risky, looked better from an industrial standpoint (at the time), and better matched the USAF’s existing air-to-air combat doctrine.

          • WRG01

            …and comes from Lockheed Martin. Navy has a crush on Boeing, USAF on Lockheed…everyone at school knows it.

          • Mike

            Wrong – The Navy liked McDonnell Douglas & Grumman – the only two companies that could build naval aircraft. The Air Force liked Lockheed because of their sleek designs and reputation for building maneuverable aircraft. When Boeing wanted to get into the military aircraft production, they went and bought McD/D and inherited the F-15, F-15E, and F-18E/F.

      • blight_

        The F-23 would likely have used the same OBOGS. Might even have used a similar ejection seat setup as well. Perhaps it would have had different bugs based on which engineer realized that the aircraft had issues crossing the IDL on lunch break, then rushed back to debug and recompile.

        As mentioned by everyone else, bugs happen. However, some bugs have spectacular effects and make people crazy.

        • TAG_DET5

          Hmmm…And the F/A-18E’s aren’t having an issue…So at least one American Company can still build jets that don’t try to kill their drivers…

          • blight_

            Others have already mentioned that Hornet pilots have reported similar OBOGS issues, but what distinguishes the Hornets is that they haven’t killed pilots the same way as the Elmendorf pilot. Alternatively, Hornets fall out of the sky, but often for different reasons than OBOGS. For instance, the recent crash in Virginia Beach…

          • PMELDick

            The B-1 has logged many a flight hour with MSOGS. Maybe it is time to go with what works?!? We at Tinker, along with Mother Boeing (then ‘Rock-Oh-Well’) fixed the LCL issues’ and she was back dropping tonage. As long as we keep sending OO/ALC the “Fighter” tickets, stuff will STAY broke……. BRAC the Mormons out-a-here!

    • Tad

      Same with the ships. San Antonio, LCS, Deepwater, etc…. Seems like the US has lost much of its engineering ability and more than that of its manufacturing / technical ability. It’s almost like the US has become a “service-based economy” that depends on other nations to do the manufacturing of high-tech goods. Yay, we’re such a success because “we think, they sweat” (for those old enough to remember hearing such phrases that one seldom hears anymore).

      • Nmate

        I think a lot of it has to do with education, or a lack of it. They don’t teach science and math in this country anymore. When you have state legislatures mandating that science curriculum include a manufactured controversy because the theory of evolution offends their religious views, when you have grown adults that will freely admit to not knowing how to calculate the area of a circle without shame, there is something wrong.

        Obviously they don’t teach grammar anymore either, because that was one hell of a run on sentence.

        • Dfens

          We have a service based economy because we allowed foreign countries like China to buy “most favored nation” trade status from our supposed “representatives” in Congress, and if you think they only bought from one side of the aisle or the other, you’re wrong. We have defense contractors that don’t do engineering, because our procurement system awards f’ ups and penalizes companies that produce good weapons on time and on budget.

          The solution to our economic problems are tariffs. The solution to our defense problems is that the DoD go back to paying for results, not process. It appears obvious to this engineer that neither of these problems is scientific, but rather a lack of common economic good sense. You can criticize the engineers all you want, but until this country gets an ounce of economic sense, engineers won’t be able to save you from yourselves.

        • blight_

          Oh they teach tech and science. That just kids don’t want to be scientists or engineers anymore. They want to be doctors and nurses and lawyers and /serve/, not engineers that /build/.

          • tiger

            Why crack a book when you can be the next MTV star? Can you picture the “Jersey Shore” team in a calculus class for 5 mins?

      • Black Owl

        I think it has to do with the obsession of high tech toys and forgetting the simple things in the past that worked perfectly well.

    • SR25MK4

      I have a feeling that the only ‘something’ that has to Give will be the TAXPAYER who will foot the $BILLIONS$ to get these birds FIXED. ‘Loc-Mart’ is NOT the same company that built the SR-71 and other ‘Greats’ – BUT – the Services are asking them for aircraft that can do every mission well and remain in service for 25 years. NOTHING can do EVERYTHING well. NOTHING based on the ‘high’ technologies of today may even be RELEVANT in 25 years. Impossible.

    • Joev2v

      The F-22 Raptors have done tons of excellent work. There are always problems with newly designed aircraft. Mostly supersonic. To publicly ridicule your branch of service is only going to make the matter worse. These 2 pilots have no idea what is an isn’t being done. Out of all the pilots what is it that these two pilots think they can achieve that the rest can’t? No matter what you do accidents will always happen. That’s why they are called ” ACCIDENTS “. You can do more good working within a system than outside it.

      • AFVet

        You go to 60 Minutes when your Generals ground an aircraft for safety issues, only to return the aircraft to flight status without ever figuring out why they were unsafe OR how to fix them. These pilots are trained to fly functioning fighters, not kamikaze rides. If Abrams tanks were killing their crews for some unexplained reason, isn’t it fair to expect the boys at the Pentagon to figure it out before they tell everyone to climb back in and have a great day?? ACCIDENTS are preventable. Putting a pilot in an aircraft with a known problem and no known fix is just wrong, if not criminal.

      • tiger

        Tons of excellent work??? Doing what exactly?

    • Dick Trickle

      Ah Shut Up Black Owl,,Same thing they were crying about the F-15/16 projects and the M1 Tank. Look, when they really NEED oxygen those little face masks drop down. Until then Shut To F up and get us drinks…jeesh get a clue.

    • cascot

      There is a history of manufacturing bad planes…I worked on the 1F-111D in ’73. The avionics I worked on were the most sophisticated in the world at the time, but the D model never became OR (Operation Ready). It was the first plane to have the TFR (Terrain Following Radar), among other avionic firsts. BUT, the TFR would fail in altitude (it checked-out fine on the ground) and several pilots/navigators gave their lives… We continued to work on this “failed” aircraft and eventually the bugs were figured out and worked out. The D model NEVER became OR, but those perfected avionics ended up in the 1B-1 Bomber. Hope they can get these things worked out. I don’t blame the pilots not wanting to give their lives…it’s not right. They must have felt powerless in addressing this within the AF and thought the media was a last-ditch (pun intended) effort. Been there, done that. I applaud these guys risking their careers to get this talked about OUTSIDE the AF command, which was obviously going to let more pilots die…

    • As a former design engineer, I can tell you design flaws are very normal and are most often dealt with during flight testing and suitability trials. Those issues that do not become apparent during these tests are usually discovered soon after a new plane goes into service with the customer. It’s just like buying a brand new, never bult car like the Chevy Volt. Just like the Chevy Volt, economic cost issue can sometimes get in the way of enacting proper engineering fixes in a timely fashion. These things happen with any highly complex machine. It is very unfortunate that Pilot’s have died as a result of design flaws. But, believe me. No one feels worse because of these design flaws than the engineers who designed, developed and built the product.

    • Stymey

      Da, Comrade–Da

    • Julie Andras

      I am NO expert, doctor, or scientist, nor am I in the military, but I have an intense fascination an majestic awesomeness of these sophisticated jets. ……………………From a layperson’s perspective:…. WHY can’t scientists develop some kind of PRESSURIZED SUIT that stimulates BLOOD CIRCULATION throughout the entire body, thus greatly enhancing the blood flow to the brain? HYPOXIA=an oxygen starved brain that causes the pilots to pass out.

  • John Moore

    Whats the difference between these men going on 60 min and that other soldier who criticized Obama on Facebook?

    Both are using a public forum when I taught just a while ago it was stated armed personael can’t do that or something along those lines?

    TX if I’m wrong I’m wrong!

    • Vaporhead

      They are critizing a piece of equipment, not the Command in Chief you moron.

      • Musson

        If you complain that AF brass are disregarding pilot safety – have you stepped over the line?

        • STemplar

          But have they? Maybe watch the interview. The article says they aren’t comfortable flying it at the moment. That’s not the same as saying my boss is a douche.

        • recce1

          Musson, evidently yes. I was severely reprimanded for asking if Wing staff would prevent the punishing of crew members who overrode bad decisions by aircraft commanders that would have resulted in the loss of planes and crews in a peacetime environment.

    • Vaporhead

      and it’s no different the all the Army/Marine folks who critisized the dangers of the HMMV in Iraq.

    • LanceKant

      The other guy didn’t think he should respect the commander-in-chief as an active duty soldier. This is different.

    • JackBlack

      Depends if they got green light to do so, or not.

    • tiger

      Your wrong….

    • Byrdie

      By the book, you are probably correct. However, the difference I see is that the Marine was giving his personal opinion of the president; these two pilots are identifying a problem that will cost lives, aircraft, and dollars. And they have the experience and the documentatin to back up their position. Pathetic thing is that the AF is aware of the problem and this is the SOP for any bureaucracy – CYA and ignore it until it goes away – or until you are out of the line of fire. The lives being put in danger do not matter. What matters to the decision makers is the careers and retirement benefits of the people who staked THEIR careers on this aircraft – Guess they figure the drivers are just another interchangeable part of the aircraft. They can always be replaced. Saw it myself time and time again – human life was always a pale second to a promotion or an ORI rating. They knew EXACTLY what they were going to go through. And they chose NOT to lose their lives for someone’s promotion. They are to be commended.

    • FosterBDAV1766

      The UCMJ does not allow for members of the Armed Forces (not armed personnel) to make derogatory comments about anyone in the chain of command, which includes the President who is also the Commander in Chief, publicly. Now, talking trash in the NCO club with friends who won’t rat you out, over some beer, is one thing, but posting on Facebook what he did, that got him in deep trouble. And I’m willing to say that he was going to get an Art 15, demotion and loss of pay, etc. for 30 days, but he chose a General Court Martial instead. Though, with 9 years of service, it’s a good bet that an ART 15 would have forced him out anyways for time in grade and service. There are too many factors that we don’t know.

    • glenn57377

      You are on the right track. You may NOT be overly critical of your officer in charge, your commander all the way up to the Commander-in-Chief. You can be charged with a violation of the UCMJ. Many military are given a slide…….not guaranteed. When I was in the AF, we received a message from command stating there will be NO Clinton jokes. The President is the “highest ranking officer,” or civilian….and as the United State is run, as chartered, by civilians. The military, although a worthy profession, is the purest form of communism there is. You are told what you can say, can’t say, what your job is, how you may act, how to speak, what to wear, when to wear it, your pay, where you live (on base), how long the grass in your yard can be………EVERYTHING. When you enter the military you forfeit rights. There is no other way to field an effective force.

  • Rohan

    The pilots were asked if some Raptor pilots had taken out additional life insurance.

    • Mastro

      Who would issue that policy ? Lloyd’s?

      • halcyon_

        I bet nobody will cover them after this 60 minutes piece airs

        • STemplar

          They probably will, government probably tells providers if you deny any service member you aren’t allowed to do business with all of them.

          • halcyon_

            oh! good point.

      • JCC3

        SGLI, when I was in. Buy as much as you wanted.

  • Uranium238

    I guess flying several tons of awesomeness with thousands of pounds of thrust and stealth can get scary sometimes. I really hope they fix the OBOGs soon.

    Today’s pilots don’t have to deal with the issues past pilots did on the Century Series. They neglect to realize that as well. The F-22 is perfect when compared to past contraptions. Every new jet has problems. People need to get that. This is why there are improvements to the airframes and electronics, i.e. A,C, etc designations.

    • TMB

      The F-22 might be the best fighter in the galaxy as far as performance, but if it has a flaw that causes the pilots to get sick and pass out, it doesn’t work. Whether the plane was built with slide rules and aluminum or CAD and composites, there’s still a human in the cockpit. “Every new jet has problems.” Seriously? Keeping the plane’s O2 system from killing the pilot should not have to be an “improvement.”

      • Uranium238

        I don’t understand how everyone neglects to realize the F-18 had the same problem with OBOGs before, which was fixed. The F-22 seems to be on everyone’s target list thanks to the haters in the media.

        IT WILL GET FIXED!!! Even if they have to completely redesign it!

    • blight_

      You forgot the U-2 and SR-71, which killed a fair number of their pilots but continue to be held up as fairly awesome aircraft.

      Pilots have the right to choose based on their perceived risks whether or not to fly a particular aircraft. We will continue to have a significant legacy force to fly for some time.

    • Bob

      Remember, they use to call the F22 “the THUD” when it first came out of production, because that was the sound it made when it hit the ground.

  • Justin

    I’ll gladly fly one. I’ll go put in my two weeks notice.

    • Uranium238

      Me too! I’m not afraid of the damn thing! Just give me some flight training.

  • Joe

    Kind of glad they decided NOT to reopen the line. F-22 the Edsel of the skies.

    • Uranium238

      Kindly elaborate what other problem has plagued it LATELY other than the OBOGs issue, and I’ll agree with your statement.

      • JackBlack

        There is no lately, it is a coffin:
        rusting ejection seat rods 2010,
        OBOGS 2011-still,
        30 hours of maintenance for every hour in the sky – $44.000,
        Skin problems — often requiring re-gluing small surfaces that can take more than a day to dry,
        ordering and using coatings that were defective,
        “vulnerability to rain”
        defects in titanium booms connecting the wings to the plane,
        making of parts that we machined and installed by hand that are non interchangeable,
        canopy’s lifespan not beyond about 18 months of flying time,
        canopy opening problems,
        canopy integrity problems,
        canopy visibility and coat degradation,
        fatal crash on high-speed test run with weapons-bay doors open when Lockheed test pilot died.

        Need more?

        • Uranium238

          Look up the problems with the F-117 during it’s young years. Oh and do the same for the F-14, F-18, F-104, F-105, F-100, F-102, A-6, A-4, F-111….

          Every plane has problems. I’m not trying to lighten up the OBOGs issue here, but the F-22 isn’t the only thing in the world that has/had issues. And, I agree on fixing the oxygen issues ASAP. It may very well be something Honeywell did related to the filter and the atomization of particles. They did use some new element in their filter that theoretically improves filtration.

          • JackBlack

            I fully agree, all have problems, will have problems, and the problems should be ironed out BEFORE the aircraft EVER reaches operational use or approval.
            That is the main issue, a rushed operational use of an untested aircraft costing precious human life, as well as training of unique individuals.
            At the end of the day you have a death toll of your own troops due to malfunctioning machine, not the enemy, not from a dogfight.
            This plane is starting to remind me of F-104 The Widow maker, yes only the nickname is missing, flying coffin is reserved for B-26, wonder what will be its nick.

          • Nadnerbus

            Yeah they “rushed” that 15 year development between the winning of the flyoff and its IOC.

            We are getting a lot less for our money these days. Whiz bang stealth, and basic stuff malfunctioning or difficult to use. Can we bring Fairchild or Grumman back and have them design the next plane? It might not be stealthy, but at least it will be a tank.

          • tiger

            When I pay that many tax dollars, I don’t want to hear jack crap about “issues.”

        • Chuck

          LOL, consider the number of pilots that have dies in crashes of any other plane besides possibly the B-2, and I believe you will find it has a stellar record. USAF and Saudi F-15s crashed just last week. More pilots have died in any given year in F-16s than F-22s over all the years the F-22 has been flying. The plane isn’t perfect, but it does more than any other fighter has in history. Most of the issues you mentioned do not make the plane a “flying coffin.” Most amusing was your vulnerability to rain, as you confuse what was really a none issue for the B-2 with the F-22. How many F-22s have you worked on JackBlack? I presume you understand what they mean when they say, “don’t believe everything you read.”

      • Vaporhead

        The F119 engine that’s in this thing has a known defect in it’s compressor. The low speed compressor blades are known to develope cracks. The OEM did not calculate the correct pressure the LPT blades would be subject too. This defect has already costed us MILLIONS in repairs.

    • DGR

      Ahh come on man, the “Edsel of the skies” was the B-1. If were going to give unflattering nicknames to aircraft they need to at least be halfway original.

      • tiger

        The B-1B is a fine plane. There are planes that deserve that title like the, F7U or B-58.

        • kim

          But on the other hand the B-58 looked a helluva lot better than the B-1. Flew faster too….

          • tiger

            22.4% of a total production of 116 B-58’s were lost in service. Or how about the F-104? the Germans alone lost 42 F-104’s during 20 years of training at Luke AFB. With 22 pilots.

            No, there a worse planes than the “Bone.” But yes, the Hustler was sexy & fast as hell. Crappy cockpit desigh though…..

          • Chuck

            Seems the German F-104s suffered from sabotaged blueprints by the commies from what I heard. Don’t think the plane was meant to turn and burn with those stubby wings either. Great interceptor though, not that Russia had any real bombers.

      • Joe

        And the f-22 is like a chick with a nice rack and daddy issues…sexy, fast, and high maintenance.

        just upsets me that billions were spent on a silver bullet aircraft. too expensive to risk etc. We will see the same arguments when it comes time to use the f-35 for CAS.

        Seems like in 20 years time the US will have an air force that will only be useful for reducing air defenses to nothing and cyber warfare.

        • Chuck

          Joe, heard that the Norht Korean leaders hide in bunkers when the planes are at Kadena. I imagine the nut cases in Iran are freaking out now also. Twenty years on, and only prototypes of PAK-FA and J-20 are around. Imagine the problems they are having now. I doubt they have even managed to get the stealth formula right yet. The Chinese still can’t even built there own engines.

  • Kole

    The F-22 will only perform well if the pilot actually has to breathe like everyone else on the planet, as air is important. Why does the brass ignore it?

    • DGR


      Read the headlines, they are doing everything they can to fix the issue.

      • Uranium238

        Thank you! The other 85% of imbeciles on this board neglect to READ AND COMPREHEND!

      • tiger

        A year later, still not done… That is not doing Everything. Instead the said go back flying till we think of something.

      • Kole

        I think that 2 years of “investigation” is quite pathetic. They need to make it a top priority.

    • John

      Do you know what is a Military lobby, it is very similar to free masons, only if you tell you are gone.

    • Mark

      The reason they can’t find and fix this is because the engineers do not know how each of the systems involved work together.

      • passingby

        how comforting. thanks a lot.

    • Pretty sure he was being sarcastic. By the way.

    • jeffscism

      Theya re pushing for remote piloting, remember?

    • Byrdie

      Well, the “fix” ended up lining the pilots’ lungs with charcoal. And I can guarantee you they are NOT ignoring it. They are doing everything possible to cover it up, deny it and pretend there IS no problem. Why? Because people want to get promoted and contractors want to be overpaid.

  • Dfens

    This has been a long time coming. There are a lot more problems with the co ckpit of that airplane than just the oxygen system. The environmental system is inadequate and keeping the temperature of the avionics just right trumps taking care of the pilots. The flight station itself is poorly laid out so it is very uncomfortable, especially on long flights. The displays and controls are not well integrated. All you’re seeing with this oxygen system is the tip of the iceberg. The F-22 is famous throughout the USAF for it’s badly thought out accommodations. Don’t worry about them, though, Lockheed stands to make billions more fixing what they screwed up in the first place. After all, they never forget who they’re working for.

    • passingby


    • Nadnerbus

      Do you carry your lunch around in an empty brief case too? Love that movie.

      The bitterness of your experience drips from your every post, but I find it hard to to nod in agreement with most of the things you say.

      • tiger

        LOL…… I’m Sorry Sir it’s lunch. We have stop serving breakfast.
        Solution? A Uzi!!!!
        Yes, I love that flick too.

      • Nadnerbus

        that was supposed to be hard *not* to agree. I usually like Dfens’ positions.

        • Dfens

          It’s just the truth. I mean, hell, who could make this s hit up? If people only knew part of the sordid story that was ATF… Perhaps when archeologists uncover the remains of our civilization they will use it as an example of the hubris that lead to our tragic end. On the other hand, I suppose the space shuttle program would be the more obvious choice.

    • Chuck

      So, where were the pilots that are supposed to complain abou the cockpit layout when the plane was in development. You blame LockMart like they didn’t receive any imput from pilots along the way? Really. You usually get what you ask for. I’m just an observer, not a LockMart engineer by the way.

    • Mike

      “The environmental system is inadequate and keeping the temperature of the avionics just right trumps taking care of the pilots.”

      Outside of whatever the oxygen supply issue is, the ECS is more than adequate to keep the pilot comfortable. The prioritization of avionics cooling by the ECS is common among all modern American fighter aircraft.

      “The flight station itself is poorly laid out so it is very uncomfortable, especially on long flights.”

      I disagree. The cockpit is significantly more comfortable than that of the F-15. Any single seat fighter cockpit is going to become uncomfortable on long flights.

      “The displays and controls are not well integrated.”

      I disagree. The displays and controls are significantly better integrated than those of the F-15.

      “The F-22 is famous throughout the USAF for it’s badly thought out accommodations.”

      Not in my part of the USAF.

      Are you actually at all familiar with the F-22 or do you just repeat what you’ve read on message boards?

      • HighDesertHusker


    • HAT1701D

      Oh, then comes the F-35…even more screwed up. Ahh, if only Clarence “Kelly” Johnson were still alive. He once said that ( I’m paraphrasing ) in the future, aircraft would be designed by comittee. He dreaded the day that it would come to be. He was right and he died before the true results happened.

    • HighDesertHusker

      Well, back in “89” (if I remember right), the A/F opted for the Lockheed version over Northrops, so they must of thought it could/would do the job fine as of that time. With that in mind, the A/C HAS performed just fine up until recently. It has been referenced that as time goes by, pilots love to push the envelope to the extreme and loose oxygen via excessive g-forces. They have checked, double checked and then some, the oxygen system and SIMPLY can not find a problem. Honestly, what is Lockheed to do???? Other then simply continue to work with the A/F in search of said problem.

  • tribulationtime

    Meanless to pilot a computer-flying which your “skills” are remenber the combinations of buttons and lights, thats is pilot-meanless

    • Mike

      Your grammar and syntax are terrible. I can’t even figure out what you’re trying to say.

  • John

    OBTW, the F-22’s OBOGS (oxygen generating system) is the same piece of equipment that’s installed in the Navy’s F-18 Super Hornets. The SH’s pilots have experienced several dozen hypoxia incidents similar to those that have plagued the F-22s. So why hasn’t 60 Minutes and others been similarly all over the Navy long before this? The answer is that the F-22 is a convenient whipping boy for the “anything that isn’t built to fight terrorists is a waste of money” crowd. As for the F-22s capabilities, no one claims that it isn’t the finest air superiority fighter on the planet. Perfect? No, but name an aircraft that didn’t come off the assembly line only to discover improvements that only the accumulation of flight hours and real-world line experience can reveal…..

    • coolhand77

      Maybe the F-18E/F fighters have enough room in the co ckpit to get to the emergency O2 pull ring, while the F22 was layed out in such a way that its more difficult? Just a thought. They might have the same systems, but the pits are layed out differently…which from a human engineering standpoint is moronic.
      Who are the idiots who set it up so the emergency O2 is difficult to get to in the first place?

      • John

        My understanding is that the onset of hypoxia is what made the pilots confused as to the location of the emergency O2 pull ring. I’m not saying that it couldn’t be better placed, but the pilot’s didn’t just “forget” where it is or how to reach it–particularly after all the training following these incidents.

        The larger point is that the Navy has been experiencing the same hypoxia problem from the same oxygen equipment for several years–far longer than the AF–and they haven’t figured out the cause either. Why isn’t everyone focused on the Navy’s failure rather than piling on the AF?

        • Krieg

          The Superhornet is now made by Boeing.

        • dan

          a .50 fix. Put a lanyard on the pilot’s wrist to the ring. Like an ignition kill switch on an off-shore boat.

      • Guest A

        Naval Aviators also fly with HEEDS bottles or whatever they’re calling them these days on thier flight vests. Maybe they were taking a few hits off of them to keep their faculties while they figured out what was wrong with the OBOGS? I’m not sure if the Air Force uses those regularly or not, just speculation on my part.

        • blight_

          Wasn’t that pin the pilot at Elmendorf supposed to pull his spare O2 bottle? It sounds like the Navy put their spare in a more accessible place.

          That said, someone in the military has access to reliability reports? Maybe they’re being buried. A FOIA might be in the making…

          • tiger

            Yep. Thus they called it pilot error. Since redesigned.

    • Black Owl

      Please provide a source for this.

      • PMI

        “The U.S. Navy, meanwhile, has been dealing with a post-2000 spike in hypoxia-related Class A mishaps (causing the loss of the aircraft or pilot or more than $1 million in damage) in the Hornet fleet. A 2005 article in the Navy aviation-safety publication Approach noted that the rate of such incidents in 2001-04 was almost 10 times that in 1980-2000, and that Obogs-equipped aircraft were suffering from hypoxia events at four times the rate of liquid-oxygen-equipped types.

        A further analysis of 2002-09 data showed 64 hypoxia events in F/A-18s, with Obogs failure being the largest single cause (29%). Two events resulted in fatal accidents.

        One factor appears to be that Obogs can result in “mask-on hypoxia” due to contaminants or other partial Obogs failures. In August 2005, the Naval Safety Center released a message that warned of “a remote possibility of contamination by gases such as acetylene, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.””

        • blight_

          Jesus. Honeywell, get your game on. Now.

    • tiger

      We in the V-22 Fan club are happy to pass the torch of airplane criticism to the F-22 & F35.

    • USN AVN Maint

      John, and others replying below: the Onboard Oxygen Generating System used on the F/A-18 is of the same technology, but not the same design and same components used on the F-22. This isn’t about whipping boys, it’s about aviation systems engineering and design issues of the F-22 OBOGS. That’s why they were grounded and F/A-18s were not. A search of the public domain will back up what I’m saying here. Navy has risk assessment and risk mitigation. While true that F/A-18 has had aircrew hypoxia events, in the context of over a million flight hours (E/F/G) and many more for C/D with OBOGS, the event frequency & severity is not anywhere near F-22 events.

      It’s not the same components, manufacturers, design, installation and use. F-22 will have to figure it out.

  • ltfunk

    The problem is that we have a degenerate contractor culture that says make the pilots fly and risk thier necks rather then embarrass us.

    Lets hope this scandle lets the whole of America see what a bunch of greedy lazy incompetent scumbags Lockheed are.

    • Dfens

      It’s not just the contractor at fault. The USAF has built a huge bureaucracy around the F-22. Their reputations are at stake if the airplane is a piece of crap too. So they’re they ones who whitewash every problem the program has. They are the airplane’s biggest cheerleaders. This is a system that needs every part to be corrupt to work like it does. Don’t forget, the USAF could go back to their old ways of procuring aircraft at any time, if they wanted to. What happens if suddenly they don’t need a huge bureaucracy to watch the contractor? Suddenly a whole bunch of shiny blue suits show up in hell holes like Afghanistan, that’s what happens.

      • ltfunk

        When the Mafia was buying judges and politicians, what was the root cause ? Did we replace the judicury and government or did we go after the Mafia ?

        • Dfens

          Yeah, true enough. It wasn’t just Lockheed that bought off the DoD on this one, though. All of the defense contractors joined together to lobby for the current “profit on development” funding. Once everyone saw how well that worked out for Rockwell on the shuttle program, it was like trying to hold back a pack of drooling dogs.

    • Uranium238

      If you think you can build a better plane, put down your legos, go get an aeronautical engineering degree and create some designs yourself.

      • DVK

        They threw away the better plane. Two of them sit in museums as you read this.

        • Krieg

          The best NFL QB is always the guy sitting on the bench.

        • blight_

          How would NG have avoided the OBOGS problem if they would’ve bought ’em from Honeywell too?

    • tiger

      Not that is uncalled. “Degenerate contractor?” Those are people. your next door neighbor. Hell, My dad. They are thousands of employees who work everyday & earn a check building these things. My Dad spent 30 years At GE & Lockheed working on spacecraft projects from Apolo to The GPS system. So. ease off.

      • Dfens

        He said, “degenerate contractor culture”. Perhaps before you call anyone out, you should ask you dad what he thinks of the military industrial complex culture right now. Personally, I think calling it “degenerate” is going a bit on the easy side.

        • Krieghund

          There are a lot of us in the Defense Industry that are: 1) former military and only want to make the best possible stuff to provide to our brothers and sisters in arms who are still in, 2) have family members currently in the military, or 3) have friends who are currently in the military. We are not out to screw anybody. Advanced technology is hard and because it is hard it is expensive. Look at the margins earnings reported by the Defense Companys and you will see the profits they make are minimal.

          • Dfens

            Advanced technology is not anywhere near as hard as we in the contractor community make it. When I did my year on F-22 I redesigned the same pieces of structure 3 times. Tell me where the value added was in that. And all of that stuff I redesigned was redesigned many more times before the jet was “operational”. They actually went so far as to eliminate revision letters from drawings until after the jet’s design was deemed “stable enough” so that at the point the jet was operational all the drawings wouldn’t be on revision ZZ. That’s pure bs. Maybe you’re not out to screw anyone, I know I’m not, but none the less I was part of what went on. I had no choice in the matter — except to get another job doing something else. I guess WalMart still needs greeters.

  • crazy

    These guys appear to forget there’s a reason for mandatory physiological training. Their slowness in recognizing and reacting to hypoxia symptoms is easily correctable. The aircraft’s sporadic and unrepeatable breathable air problem is taking longer than anyone would like to identify and correct. If these guys don’t feel safe they don’t belong in the air. There are plenty of non-flying jobs for pilots like them. Going on TV won’t find and fix the OBOGS any faster. They’d make much better use of their passion and talent by volunteering to work with maintenance and the contractor to find a solution than complaining to 60 minutes. One big missed opportunity.

    • David

      I’ve been through that physiological training. The fact that it’s a slow onset is what makes it so dangerous! If/when you finally identify it, you’re already well into the danger area.

    • tiger

      History is full of whisle blowers. It works. They may even make a movie about you.

    • lber1568

      The combination of hypoxia, lack of training,(aircraft grounded for months) and the stresses of flying coupled with the location of emergency ox combine for a deadly mix. Why doesn’t the Aircraft have an emergency signal, light etc for a deadly malfunction? They have Master Warning Light and dozens of warning lights to assist pilot, even when he can determine from other sources that malfunction exists.
      This is a known problem with no known fix, yet they have resumed flying. Is avoiding the embarissment of a faulty plane more important than human life? I think NOT!

    • Bee Settles

      Fighter jocks want to fly the bird, not work in maintenance; that’s someone else’s job. I applaude these Raptor jocks for daring to stand against a system that will not effectively respond to the problem until a bunch of folks die.

      Bee Settles, former F-4 Phantom jock http://trustthecaptain.blogspot.com

      • jeffscism

        I am a former ( Phantom II and later) Life Support tech. If you guys tell us whats wrong we bend over backwards to get it fixed, period. The environmental guys who work on the a/C system are the same way. Believe me anything YOU do that means you stay alive, IS your job too. I know a LOT of pilots, RSOs, WIzzos, and not very many have that attitude. Yes they want a code 1 bird, with no X’s Dashes, or deferred repairs. But its up to the pilot to fill out the 781A and let the maintenance guys know EXACTLY what the problem is.

        Fighter Jock Primadonna-ism is something that has its place, but not when it comes to walking away alive , or throwing an multimillion dollar aircraft down the toilet. THAT can sure mess up a career. I have seen it happen MANY times.

        And just for your edification, i worked for the 18th, the 43rd, and the 80th TFS on F-4D and F-4Es., 80th TFS on F-16s, 25th TFS on A-10s., and the SR-71 and U2 program, the B-1B, B-52s and also the MAC side.

    • jeffscism

      I used to give pilots that training, and one thing I know for a fact is that hypoxia sneaks up on you. You can be WELL in oxygen starvation before you realize anything is wrong, and then you may not be able to act accordingly.

      Changing the emergency o2 actuator from a large GREEN APPLE ball to a small red ring is a DANGEROUS change. Hypoxia takes away your color vision. RED goes FIRST. and peripheral vision is lost. everything is seen down a long dark tunnel. 60 years of training and procedure gets violated when you change the cues. Also the emergency oxygen should be in the parachute or on the ejection seat. Usually by your right hand. Its what you breathe until you fall to 14,000 feet. There is about an 8 minute supply. I am not familiar with the F22 system, but I am certain it is “pretty standard” although not interchangeable.

      Seems to me there should be an oxygen sensor in the system and an alarm/ automatic switch-over. Sounds like a regulator problem. Could be a silicone diaphragm, or a pressure plate. Perhaps installing a vacuum aneroid, like what is used in space helmets, would work, when atmospheric pressure drops, they either open or close(depending on design) and either pressurize or stop the flow.

      The normal procedure in the past was to pressurize ambient air and feed it at 70 PSI, with a 70% ambient mix with 30% oxygen. with an manual emergency switch to go to 100% oxygen. Sounds like they changed it. Is there a CWD filter in the Intake system?

      They are getting ambient instead of pure oxygen? something in the air intake? something that impedes air flow at certain attitudes? Is the ****pit over-pressurized? Is it the exhalation valve on the mask? Is the Pilot “rebreathing”? Is he pulling in cabin air instead of O2 supply? How about the O2 hose emergency disconnect? O-rings?

      Carbon Dioxide or Monoxide? It is something to do with G-suit usage? How HOT is the crew compartment during operation?

    • joe

      they’ve been doing that for months. you have no idea what is going on.

  • Mark

    The Sopranos …

    What ever happened to Gary Cooper? … the strong silent type.

    Once they got him in touch with his feelings … they realized they couldn’t shut him up.

  • Matt Holzmann

    maybe the Air Force can turn the F-22’s into drones. “We don’t need no steenking oxygen”.

  • Jayson

    Since the pilots are so disgusted with the f22, they should trash them. Blame hypoxia, they felt they were about to black out, couldn’t find the ring so they ejected over some non-inhabited location.

    It’ll weed out the flawed/defective designed plane eventually or at the least get some fire under the engineers to get the redesign done. Or maybe give a second look to the runner up design in the competition.

    • John

      People, as mentioned earlier, the F-22’s OBOGS (oxygen generating system) is the same piece of equipment that’s installed in the Navy’s F-18 Super Hornets. The SH’s pilots have experienced at least 20 hypoxia incidents similar to those that have plagued the F-22s, and the Navy has been unable to fix the problem for far longer than the AF has been working on it. So why hasn’t 60 Minutes and others been similarly all over the Navy long before this? The answer is that the F-22 is a convenient whipping boy for the “anything that isn’t built to fight terrorists is a waste of money” crowd.

      • blight_

        Mostly because getting in a row about OBOGS sounds so boring. But when super expensive jets start falling out of the sky, that’s what it takes to motivate people.

        • SJE

          Of course, pulling the ejector lever without a good cause would be both grounds for court martial and a risk to the pilot. Ejecting is hell on the body.

      • Mitch S.

        How many SH crew were killed due to OBOGS failure?

        An F22 pilot died, the AF grounded the plane to “fix the problem” and then announced “the problem is fixed” and put it back in the air.
        Now the pilots are saying it’s not fixed and they don’t have an effective procedure to deal with it, and they are concerned enough they’d rather go public and kill their careers than fly the plane.
        That’s newsworthy.
        Perhaps the Navy has come up with procedures to safely handle such situations. Maybe it’s due to the better configuration of the SH, maybe it’s due to admitting there’s a problem and doing things differently. Maybe the Navy has an answer the AF doesn’t want to know about. but I seriously doubt it’s because the AF pilots are too wimpy to take on acceptable risk.

        • tiger

          You just made the Black Owl happy….. Here comes Mr. Buy Super hornet I bet.

          • Black Owl

            I am actually not happy about this. If you read some of my earlier posts you would see that I also think the F-22 is a great plane. It is ideal for air-to-air and the other services usually give air superiority missions to the Air Force so they can focus on the other things. I just never argue support for it because it’s so popular I don’t need to say anything. The fact that this jet has a flaw that makes it just as deadly to the pilot as it is the enemy only makes me extremely mad at Lockheed Martin and whoever else designed it. The F-22 was supposed to make our lives here in the Navy a lot easier and less worrisome during combat. You are correct though that this does make the Super Hornet much more appealing to buy for other services and I am happy about that, but I am not a happy about the lost capability of the F-22 or the danger to Raptor pilots’ lives.

        • crazy

          Actually the AF said they have an acceptable workaround while they continue to try and find the cause. These pilots appear to disagree. We’ll have to see how valid their objections are after we hear what they have to say. In the meantime the workaround seems to be working for the rest of the force unless there’s is a much greater objection to flying the F-22 among the force than we know.

        • PMi

          “How many SH crew were killed due to OBOGS failure?”

          There were two fatalities attributed to hypoxia events in the F/A-18 fleet from 02-09.

          • blight_

            And that assumes that every accident reported is correctly attributed. Or if an aircraft crashes into the sea and a data recorder is not recovered, how do you know what failed or not?

    • passingby

      +1 LOL

    • tiger

      Moot issue. Production is over…….

      • Dfens

        What he is saying is the next time a pilot is flying over a nice snow covered field on a clear sunny day, just slow down to full flaps stall+5kts at 8,000+ ft AGL and blow the canopy. Who’s to say they weren’t suffering from hypoxia? If Lockheed’s not going to fix them, leave the pieces of crap in smoking holes, while the pilot floats back to earth on wings of silk. If they smoke the careers of the pilots who go to 60 Minutes, perhaps this is something for the rest of the F-22 pilots to give some serious thought to.

        • Chuck

          Ok, so you seem to think destroying the most capable fighter ever is a good idea? I agree it’s not perfect, but wasting billions of dollars of equipment seems quite ignorant. I imagine you also don’t realize that any ejection at any speed and altitude is far more dangerous than a life time of flights in an F-22. If you disagree, try becoming an ejection seat tester.

        • passingby

          Good idea

    • jeffscism

      They cancelled all the alternate suppliers.

  • Lance

    Its a sad shame. The USAF high leadership wont address this problem. By adding the older oxygen system from the F-15 to the F-22 would fix this problem but no General listens, so here we are.

    • tiger

      This not “This old House” or “Pimp My Ride.” You just can’t “add stuff” like a new oxgen system. The point of the OBGAS is that you don’t need tanks of liquid O2 to limit you.

      • Lance

        Have to do something Tiger men are dieing in those things need to fix the problem than just complaining or like USAF brass ignoring the problem.

        • tiger

          I hear you man. A plane that costs this much should have a basic system like life support be faulty. The Alaska crash was the Canary in the coal mine. Pilot error my butt.

          • However, the fault could be something as trivial as airhoses getting clamped by the seat during certain attitudes. Or catalysts shifting in mounts under G.

            Or it might be someone forgot that under G you need a certain minimum pressure to get air into lungs that are not fully expanding. Older cruder systems gave you pressure whether you needed it or not all the time. New systems are probably designed to be more comfortable and tire the pilot less. But forget to ramp pressure up quickly during G….

          • Throwing out a system is generally because you found the problem and its cannot be fixed within current physical limits of the system.

            Tossing a system where you don’t know the problem is a bad idea because any alternative system installed may when fitted to this particular aircraft end up having the same issues.

            My point being all of the above possibilities I named are easily fixed within the existing system once discovered. Other problems may have already been found and fixed before this during development and testing.

            If you can find or design a new system to replace the current one, you get to start all over looking for bugs not just the big problem you had before. Its is not automatically working fine. Its problems “unknown” land.

    • Fran

      what old systems are you talking about (LOX) @ 99.5% PURITY or OBOGS (on board oxygen generator system) @ 94% or the latest technology Absorption Swing Technology @94% purity, amazing how the purity is not being mention.

    • Pat

      The F-22 oxygen system was built for more stealth than the F-15, so that wouldn’t work because the F-22 was built to be a more stealth oriented fighter.

      • Dfens

        Yeah, it’s that stealth oxygen that’s causing all the hypoxia.

    • Except of course simple answers are often wrong.

      Its not like changing air filter brands on an automobile — not interchangeable.

      Most such military aircraft systems are custom designed SIZES and shapes since jet fighters came about. Its all about tightly packing stuff inside a certain shape and around other systems like guns etc. This sometimes happens within different major block releases of the same aircraft model.

      The greater the technology change the less likely ANY parts can move from one model of aircraft to another. Early jet fighters could swap a few instruments and radios without totally reworking aircraft…now even that is unlikely.

  • Benjamin

    I think people should wait on judging these guys either way until the story has run. We really don’t know if these guys have other motivations. They could be the best people in there unit or the worst.
    I am more inclined to defer to there side because of the past issues with the jet though.

  • oli

    I guess there going to have to make them unmanned since no one wants to fly them.

  • Eric

    US Military should look into any of the F-22’s electronic components first if any was made in China regardless how insignificant it seems to be. I wont be surprised if chinese electronic components have been planted with bugs to sabotage western weapons systems and steal top secret information.

    • cs4

      Oh great, blame the Chinese for everything bad happening in the US.

    • USS Challenger

      I agree with you 100% Infact the Chinese said so. Look in the news, the leadership of china told the US that they are not responsible for the poor quality of the stuff they make. They even said that if we wanted better stuff we ashould go somewhere like India or Japan and pay the high price for better goods. Such high handedness! but than angin who gave the Chinese that power THE US! we sold ourselves to the Chinese and now as so -called Rev. Walker stated “America’s chickens are coming home to roost!”

  • 50 cents bridgade

    A lot of comments about the Chinese J20 is a crap flying machine, and what a better surprise, the American is making an even better crap jets. It look like a flying coffin like the Indian MIG21. Made In USA is not what it claims to be, I guess, its military hardware is only good in the Hollywood and maybe against some 3rd world countries.

  • tee

    To bad the Air Force doesn’t have any money left to fix this problem, every penny they get goes to the ( cough ) New JSF. They are even getting rid of all their New C-27’s and scraping most of the schedule “Upgrade ” programs for the rest of their fleet to fund this monstrosity. It’s got to cut back some where.

    With the original price of a F-35A of $60 Million, which is out the window, and with the current numbers in the neighborhood of F-35A Cost: $172 Million. Makes one wonder if this is a ” Smoke Screen ” to take the ” Heat of the F-35 ” with all the bad press coming out of Canada about the “Pricing Cover Up ” and Australia going to wait 2 years before deciding if they really want any more. I smell a “Smoke Screen” they have to make the F-22 look bad because they “Canceled it because it was to Expensive”, but now looks like it’s going to be much cheaper than the F-35A .

    • Chaostician

      reasonable theory….

    • tiger

      Different plane with a different mission.

    • blight_

      Considering that the OBOGS goes into the JSF as well as present legacy aircraft, it won’t matter if the F-22 gets cancelled or not if the problem is not fixed.

  • MGC

    B-29 engines had a tendency to catch fire and burst into flames pilots are paid to risk their lives no sympathy for these losers. How long do you think these babies would have lasted in 104’s, Chuck Yeager they ain’t.

    • Dfens


    • Mastro

      The 104? Another deathtrap- the German ace Erich Hartmann actually got into trouble with the Luftwaffe for saying so-

      I’ll take Hartmann’s and the F22 pilots’ assessments over some 14 year old in a basement.

    • bob flora

      All the jets I flew in my 22yrs as test pilot had a 100% Oxygen switch with in reach of the pilot. We used stored pure oxygen. Why on earth would some idiot engineer use 5th stage compressor exhaust and filter it to get what is really CO or CO2. Most planes i flew and also airliners use this 5th stage exhaust to heat pressurized cabins.
      How difficult is it to go to a stored pure oxgen system? I would appreciate a comment from Lockheed. They do build good aircraft but having worked in the maintenance field these problems do come up. Beleive me there is an answer and the USAF needs to correct this. I am proud of these pilots to tell the truth.

  • Roland

    I think the pilot were concern about the oxygen system the F-22 have. It’s very obvious safety comes first. The designers of F-22 should re-examine the oxygen system of F-22 and should adopt the F-35 oxygen system to make it 100% safe to fly it.

    • William C.

      Looking beyond the vast amounts of Lockheed derangement syndrome in the comment section, the issue here is that OBOGS is a common subsystem in many aircraft. There is no reason it should be causing problems just for the F-22, but supposed to the Super Hornet used to have problems in this regard too.

  • For what ever reason a jet has problems. Let them be reminded they have a security clearance, alot of politics in many countries have orders for the F-22,lets hope they cleared this up the right way,Prices have been higher then when signed,now world press has issue on front page..A carefull outspoken answer can delay more orders,work.But we want no dizzy pilot flying a expensive jet to crash nobody wants that..safety first.

    • blight_

      The American government has refused to export the F-22, referring customers to the JSF.

  • Roland

    We probably need to ask the pilots why.

  • ted parsons

    If it was completely safe to fly military airplanes, there would be no need for FLIGHT PAY!

    Ted Parsons

    • jeffscism

      Its one thing to fly and kill or be killed for your country, but to have people like you say “we pay you because its dangerous” and then risk pilots and planes on a basic safety issue is ridiculous. IT is dangerous, but NO oxygen is simply suicide.

      I’ll pay you to die from hypoxia, hows that sound?

  • Chris

    Let them fly the Warthogs…

    • love them hogs

    • Bob

      The hogs are one of the best designed aircraft of our era. They got it right, design an aircraft around it’s weapons systems. Also they are hard to shoot down.

  • Gunner

    Somebody want to explain to me why it’s so damn hard to fix an oxygen system!!!

    • passingby

      two words: money & brains. Mostly money.

    • Bob

      It will be fixed, and the taxpayer will be charged millions. Beleive me Loc-Mar want every penny it can get.

  • Roland

    It’s probably time for to make a squadron of starscreams or airforce bot.

  • Roland

    Just use either the F-35 or U-2 oxygen system revision design and fix for F-22

    • jeffscism

      Pressure suits? The U2 uses pressure suits. I’ve built LOTS of them. The U2 uses them because of altitude. The F-22 has no need for pressure suits. and the OXYGEN supply in a U2 is a LOX converter. Where are you going to PUT a Lox Converter in a Fighter jet? I’ve built lots of Lox converters too, they are BULKY., SUPER cold ( Liquid Oxygen) and can be extremely dangerous. We aren’t talking above 70,000 feet here.

  • SteveAdams

    Human pilots?? Sounds like a debate on defective buggy whips.

  • Kski

    Finally the public gets to hear the short commings of the aircraft. An next week on 60 Minutes Costly F-35 Program!

    • Chuck

      Yes, the 60 Minutes solution, never build any military weapons! After all, they cost money. We should send the 60 Minutes team to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, I am sure they have al the answers, and will surely kill all the terrorists without a penny being spent.. Then they can go after the pirates, and if the Chinese attack, well they will just have to defeat our valorous 60 Minutes army. Thank goodness we have 60 Minutes to complain and never have to come up with a rational solution.

  • Lee

    When I was in the Marines on the nite shift, one of our birds kept coming up with the same gripe for my shop. I kept refusing to sign off on the gripe each nite, and each day, the day shift would sign off on it, only to have it there again that night. Maintenence control was getting very made with us at nite that we would not sign off on the gripe again, and was practically suggesting action against us if we did not sign off on it. I told them to do it if they must, but I was not going to sign off on that bird. The next day it came to light that the electric shop had cold soldered a couple of our wires, which caused our gear to not operate right, and it proved that I was right not to sign off.

    • Dfens

      Too bad there aren’t more people like you who will stand up for what is right.

    • Mark

      Keep sticking to your guns on shotty work. The true quality leadership will be glad you did.

  • Alwyn Walton

    I tend to believe both F-22 pilots are Air National Guard aviators. Part timers. More than likely airline pilots for their main source of income. They won’t miss the few dollars the ANG pays monthly.

    • Slam 1

      The ANG does not have any F-22s. The ANG always gets the broken down equipment the regular Air Force cant fix any more. I have been in and around both and give me an ANG unit any day RAFSOB.

  • Strange


  • Timmer

    The F-22 was chosen over the YF-23 because the F-22 was cheaper per unit.
    Was a Lockheed-Martin fan for the longest time but this “hypoxia issue has forced me to re-evaluate.
    If the United States must pursue a super-sonic stealth fighter, I would love to see the YF-23 get the nod.
    You get what you pay for.
    Besides, the YF-23 looks intimidating as hell!

    • tiger

      The production is over folks. We are not making more or buying any Yf-23.

    • blight_

      Hypoxia is Honeywell’s responsibility. It would’ve hit whoever was using OBOGS.

    • ref

      The F-23 out performed the f-22 and did exceed the speed criteria. In a political move the F-22, an inferior aircraft, won on tech manuals. What good is a tech manual when a pilots butt in on the line with a missile chasing him/her?

  • mitch

    As said over a year ago just upgrade/refit the F-15s for stealth and maintenance and the prob is solved.BUT NO it is always about money….

  • This sounds like a UAV program director’s wet dream. Therefore, I am suspicious of the media attention regarding this plane.

    I’m tired of being distracted to look one way, with all the controversy and hand wringing, while they are just robbing the bank again.

  • Roland

    Probably the F-22’s have the manufacturer’s warranty on it for its oxygen system failures.
    Or probably the manufacturer can exchange it with YF-23

  • tiger

    So did anybody see the interview???? I was game playing.

  • Strange

    thou shalt not put the jet before the pilot

  • Liam Babington

    The fact that the problem has not been found regarding teh oxygen system is a serious one…AF & Loc-Martin need to dissect the A/C and find teh needle in the haystack!!

  • Bill

    Its about time someone has the balls to speak up. Our illustrious Generals are probab ly figuring how to discredit them.

  • Tk Buckley

    Don’t we all remember the F16 Drivers that Died the air force said some where Bad pilots ie pilot error . hell they said one killed him self but his wife stood her ground and they finally admitted to having a wire chafing issue with the engine cross over harness’s . guys where dieing for a two dollar part that was all . and now when the pilots finally step up and say no we call em snivelers . hell with that Man up and fix the bird . hell way back when in the first days of o2 they problems with ice in the lines just a nu ff to cause weak flow pilots lost their S/O and Blacked out or panicked . when its all said and done it will be a flow issue or a bit of code some where that causing the bug .

    • HarveytheRabbit

      Re: “Don’t we all remember the F16 Drivers that Died…”
      Yeah! Laura Dern, “Afterburn” HBO, great stuff.
      Re:”when its all said and done it will be a flow issue or a bit of code some where that causing the bug ”
      Yup, easy as pie. Then driving fighter planes will be as safe as driving a Volvo.

  • steve

    The pilots are correct, in their decision NOT to fly the F-22 as is….wit the LOX problem. This problem is deadly and has killed pilots!!! This isn’t the first Acft. that was classified as such, there have been others. Pilot refusal to fly them led to their being MADE SAFER!!!! So I hope they stick by their guns and the DOD can stuff it until a fix is made that protects the pilots???

    • HarveytheRabbit

      The F-22 does not have LOX, so I will assume you mean the OBOGGS system and the emergency (gaseous) Oxygen System. I am not following you on these other examples of a pilot strike getting safer equipment. Could you name them for me? A quick fix is to fire all the pilots now. It would be infinitely safer (for pilots, not the USA) to leave the jets on the ground. Maybe it will come to that. A strict interpretation of your “protect the pilots” rule would require all single seat fighters to be grounded. Unilateral disamament?…Ahhhh…let’s try it.

    • HarveytheRabbit

      Re: “This problem is deadly and has killed pilots”
      You are confused. OBOGGS “failure”, meaning it is shut down because of an internal malfunction or a supporting system malfunction, is something emergency procedures are in place to mitigate. It happens to all the jets. The thing that started all this hubub on the F-22 was a claim that toxins were being introduced into the breathing gas, without any malfunction alert. I am not aware of any documented reports of “toxins”, only physiological symptom reports, rumor and innuendo. By the way, I would like to start one myself. I heard that there were several cases of F-22 unintended acceleration, but Lockheed is covering it up because the warranty claims would be a drain on the corporate bottom line…Greedy SOBs. (How’m I doin’?)

    • jeffscism

      It isn’t LOX ( Liquid Oxygen) it is gaseous Oxygen. They compress the air from outside the aircraft in the engine intake, and run it through a chemical filter which enriches the Oxygen percentage. The symptoms of Hypoxia are simply either a lack of USABLE oxygen or a problem with density. So If the O2 sensors are showing good saturation levels then it MUST be something else. Either their is contamination, or their isn’t enough pressure (15 PSI) to absorb from the lungs to the blood ( partial Pressure differential).

      The questions I have is What altitude, what ATTITUDE of Flight, and what method of breathing is the pilot using, grunt breathing, or is he simply too task saturated to breath properly?

  • HarveytheRabbit

    The emergency oxygen green ring on the ACES II ejection seat of the F-22 is in the exact same place. The ring itself is the exact same design and it is stowed the exact same way as that in every other jet in the USAF inventory. It has been so for 30 years. Can we get some F-16, F-15, A-10, B-1 or B-2 drivers to chime in here about the ergonomics? It does not make any sense to assign all this design defect blame to the F-22. What is going on here?

    • tee

      Blame the F-22, make it look bad, they canceled it because it was Way Too EXPENSIVE, can’t have anyone look at the New F-35 that costs 3 times what was promised and is 10 years behind schedule. Also at current F-35A prices the F-22 is about 30 Million cheaper. F-35A: $172 Million vs F-22A $140 Million. Put Blame on the F-22 to take the Heat off the F-35 and all it’s “Major Problems way to many to list here ” which make the F-22’s Oxygen problem rather small in comparison. It’s been done before, look at how bad this is, but don’t look at this, nothing to see here just move along.

    • tiger

      Actually The ring has been re configured.

    • Mike

      Your assertion is patently not true. F-15s don’t have green rings; I can’t speak for the other aircraft.

    • jeffscism

      I was an ACESII qualified Life Support NCO. ACESII has an 8 minute o2 Bottle mounted on the seat frame. That is the BAIL-Out Bottle. it can be used in flight for emergency oxygen. BUT the aircraft has a regulator which can be ‘gang loaded’ (all switches pushed up/away) to place it in emergency mode. That should switch the air supply from a 70% air/Oxygen mix to 100% oxygen and increase the pressure to 70 PSI. ACESII is the BEST ejection system in history, it is zero-zero capable. The Environmental system of the A/C is where the problem is. The Regulator panel should be on the pilot’s right side panel, near his stick.

      There are THOUSANDS of parts which can contribute to delivery failure, most OBVIOUS would be faulty pipes or hoses, and connectors. It could be porous silicone in the mask or hoses, or a bad O-ring on the emergency o2 hose disconnect. Its EASY to snag a hole in those delivery hoses, but with Preflight procedures it WOULD be found. The Life Support (Now called by a different name) workers perform both pre and post flight inspection and cleaning of the detachable parts, the helmet, communications and O2 mask. They also do 30 day break-down and complete cleaning/repair.

      The chances of it being an observable personal equipment issue are fairly slim, if it hasn’t been discovered after all this time. My thoughts are that SOMETHING gets changed or stressed during maneuvers, or at altitude.

      Hypoxia isn’t the ONLY possible cause of the symptoms. It could be failure to stress breathe during G-forces, it could be G-suit related. It could be hyperventilation, vertigo, or simply an anxiety attack. It could be excessive G-load. It could be g-induced hypotension.

      Mechanically it could be that certain maneuvers temporarily reduce the operation of the On-board oxygen extraction system. It could be chemically caused. or a physical spasm.

      It could be Venturi effect at the intake. It could simply be that the system is poorly functioning.

      The aircraft should be returned to operational certification testing, and TEST pilots be used to try to produce the phenomenon.

  • Nightmare

    Take Notice take Action.
    The problem is the oxygen system period. How much did the taxpayers pay for this plane.?? The plane works the oxygen system doesn’t.!! What the cure.?


    • HarveytheRabbit

      This one works as well as any other one. Now what, genius?

  • At the start of WW2 US submarine commanders were complaining about the torpedos not working. The people who designed and manufactured them blamed it on the submariners. Because of the cost of the torpedos, they were never live fired in practice situations. It got so bad that the submariners were forbidden to talk about the failures. Sound familiar?

    • jeffscism

      It was my grandfather, AR MCCann commander of Subron VI, in Pearl Harbor who with Gary Lockwood and Charles Momsen found and fixed the SIX problems with the MK-14 and 15 torpedoes, MONTHS before Washington DC admitted there was a problem. The magnetic exploders didn’t work. They ran nose down, the Warshot was heavier than the wooden test heads. The Contact fuses collapsed on oblique impacts, so the detonator trigger never reached the warhead. Torpedoes would PASS the targets and explode late. the depth sensor wasn’t calibrated.

  • steve

    Liquid Oxygen systems are used on the F-16 and the B-52 as well as many aircraft in between. These systems are more maintenance intensive but they are very reliable when the pilot needs oxygen.

    • Dfens

      I think you’re right. Convert them all over to LOx except for a couple of test birds and once they’ve got the fix perfected, put the OBOGS back on the rest of the fleet. No sense making all of the pilots lab rats.

      • Richard

        I agree, what ever type there using should be changed because obviously it not working well. Not everybody has the same limit of what a body can handle.

      • tiger

        It not that simple. Where do you just add the Bottles? Acess? How will it change the CG or weapon load?

  • There is a big difference in what these pilols are doing and what the Marine posted. These pilots are NOT critizing the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. They are going public, probably with the military’s permission, and talking about a serious problem with the plane they are flying. The Marine was kicked out of the service for breaking the UCMJ. He stated publicly that he WOULD NOT OBEY orders from the President of the United States.

  • frank

    my hats off to the former pilots…took a big set to put out the AFs dirty laundry on 60 min. Hopefully someone was listening

  • if it’s not Boeing, i ain’t going.

  • c-dog

    man-o-man. I sho like one of them on my stand in front off my trailer home. sho would clase up tho place.

  • Gary

    Guaranteed solution.

    Require daily flights for the following:
    – the top 10 layers of F-22 Lockheed management
    – the top 5 layers of military leaders involved with clearing the aircraft for flight
    – the Politicians involved in the selection of this aircraft.

    I guarantee that putting the lives of this group on the line will instantly spur a maximum effort to find a fix.

    Will it ever happen ? Absolutely not.
    These people feel that pilots are expendable but they are not.

  • Richard

    I heard about the new fighter the F-22 Raptor in the drawing boards about 40 years ago. And to see recently the price tag of this aircraft is ridiculous and the oxygen system not to be reliable is just a shame. The technology of today and still cannot find the the problem or is it the human body what we want to be able to withstand at these greater speed and altitudes. Do we want a rocket or fighter jet to maneuver at all cost to avoid the aggressors (Aliens). Future will be advance in technology more expensive and we will most likely not see it, need to work from year to year for next events. We have the supremacy but not for long with the aircraft companies and vendors selling at all other country’s….

  • USSChallenger

    Hmmm. I smell a rat. A few infact. Does any one recall the story on how military equipment is being made in China?I think that there is a Chinese connection in this and that the Obama adminstration is covering it up.
    Second does this ring a bell to any of you? remember the Ospery not too long ago? that plane was droping like flies but they still put it into production. I think that the F22 was a political move more than a Military one and that it is slowly but surly being exposed.

  • Ken in San Jose

    If you watched the 60 Minutes piece, when asked about the F22 both of the pilots’ eyes light up. The expressed it was the best fighter plane in the world and they loved flying it. There problem is with not wanting do die for nothing.

  • mean

    All that matters in the end is Money.

  • stealth090

    You have to see a video of the F22 doing manuevers to understand the INTENSE amount of G-Forces that must be present…Frankly, it’s not only mind boggling…but FREAKY that the pilots can survive such measures. The F22 and F35 are the last fighter jets…Drones don’t get paid for a lifetime in GREAT benefits for a designated amount of salary and service…Uncle Sam needs to cut corners WHILE upgrading weapons. Take the “fragile” human out of the cockpit, add thrust vectoring, and you have a FIGHTER jet that can do 100 hr missions and take technology/supermanueverability to a whole new level.

    • Mike

      The F-22 has thrust vectoring.

  • nging cabato

    its very simple just fix the damn thing, its the best fighterjet in the world whats the matter with the AF, they dont produce chuck yeager, richard bongs Mcquiere

    • tiger

      If it was “simple,” it would be done by now……….

  • JJMurray

    Sorry guys, you don’t feel safe flying that platform, turn in your wings and give up your flight pay. No one is forcing you to be a pilot and in the military you rarely get the chance to chose the platform you fly. If I was your CO I would attend your little TV appearance and if you said one thing I considered to be FOUO I would then charge you with a security violation and you wouldn’t have to worry about flying an unsafe platform ever again.

    • tiger

      That is the wrong attitude to take. GM spent years saying there was nothing wrong with the Corvair. Ford would have kept making Pintos if you gave them the chance.

  • nate

    Ill take their job!! Ill take the risk. Some people like me would do anything to be in their position

  • rob

    This is troubleing…must see T.V.

  • michaelusaf

    Can’t find the activation ring, eh? Maybe he should go back to flying something he can manage and not blame the technology……………….

    • tiger

      Have you ever had Apoxia?

      • Dfens

        Rhetorical question, right?

  • Ralph Guymon

    As has already been mentioned, the century series fighters’ oxygen systems worked well. The F-102’s that I helped maintain used liquid oxygen that ensured that no outside air, that might contain toxic gases, would get to the pilot. As a tax payer, I suggest that its time that the Honeywell system on the F-22 be scrapped and the old reliable LOX system be installed in its place.

  • Goose

    Simple fix, get rid of the O2 generator and refit with an “older stye” LOX bottle. Yes, I over simplified it, but in some cases keeping proven systems, regardless of how sexy the new technology is, is the right thing to do. Besides, to build a plane that can stay aloft for days doesn’t mean its pilot can. If that’s what they seek then build more drones and Reapers.

    • tiger

      Would you mind geting the blue prints & figure where you put this major engineering change on a built airplane? Then the time to take 186 off line to do it.? All without giving up anything critical?

  • Chris

    There is a vast difference between a member of the US Armed Forces publicly bashing their commander and chief, and bashing a piece of equipment.

    As a military member, you forfeit some of your civil rights.
    One of which being freedom of speech, when pertaining to negative comments about your superior.

    That does not extend to equipment purchased by your superior.

  • bcal001

    I’m not shocked that these two pilots had to go to 60 minutes to get action taken. The Air Force has a history of screwing people over that make waves, what are they going to do wait until we have dead pilots to figure out there is something wrong with the aircraft.

  • Zapato

    Well, that’s what you get for putting prima donna whiners in the cockpit.

  • omar

    i m fm lb ,i knw sm infs yu nd to pt in ftrxxx f22 if yu pt ,it wl gs gd sd to me

  • Jim

    I’m convinced that Lockheed will fix the problem, even if it means beating the subcontractor/vendor that provides the OBOGS (and I’m not sure who that may be). Lockheed has made some seriously good aircraft in the past and I expect they still do, however as complicated an aircraft as is the F-22, they are going to be working to get the bugs out, just like every other aircraft flying. Remember the F-16 as being referred to as the “Supersonic Lawn Dart” when it first came out? Cable chafing on a fly-by-wire system gave them some fits, and there were some serious accidents before they got it all figured out. I do remember a pilot’s wife on 60 Minutes complaining how that little problem killed her husband–no controls all of a sudden.

  • Concerned Maintainer

    Could it be hysteria? A few pilots experience hypoxia for a variety of reasons, then more and more manifest symtoms because they are focused on it. Let’s keep trying to solve the problem, but we have to keep flying in order to do that.

  • guest

    Pretty cheap to rig up an oxygen monitor for the pilots. Can’t see why Lockheed wouldn’t do that tuit suite.

  • Herkimer

    I’m not surprised. Don’t blame the engineers. Blame the supply chain. Theres a common saying amongst design engr’s, we’ve been sold out to the buyers club (alias: the bean counters) They seem to be in micro-control, and Congress loves it.

  • Bob

    This is in responce to Uncle Bill. why should they be court marshaled? Maybe if the problem got fixed when they found out about it instead of waiting for pilot being killed maybe it wouldn’t have gotten this far. As far as people saying pilots are payed to take risk. Yes they are, but equipment isn’t suppose to fail over and over again even before they get to combat. It’s suppose to work unless it gets damaged in combat or wearing out. These are new jets so it should work properly.



  • chuck

    I had to educate myself on the subject after reading a few comments. Maybe some others on this site should learn that lesson.

  • nick

    f-111 had complaints about the TFR and pilots used to dread it. Still flew them even though they were not reliable. F-4 had no gun. F-4 smoked from far, far away. Blimps were very very dangerous. The point: all military flying is very dangerous, including helos. All of it. Carrier landings are insane, low level support in thick air is inherently crazy and B-17’s had no real armour. Doolittle was suicidal when he went into Tokyo. Fly it or leave. The general mission is to fly and fight, not drive a bus. War comes fast and is always deadly. The mission comes first; all new fighters have bugs. All pilots are vols. Fly and fight, not have a nice day or try your best.

  • even if raptor is a turd they wont admit it thats some Generals retirement

  • Randy

    When I was working on the “new” F-111’s, there were numerous reports of failure or problems with the aircraft. These are the “swing wing” fighter bomber” that saw action in SE Asia.I think that they eventually redeemed themselves, after many upgrades.
    I still miss the USAF.

  • John Beebe

    They could go back to the tried and true, good old fashion lox bottle for oxygen. Must be too simple of a fix.

  • C Keely

    I guess Congress does not want to offend anyone by in acting a “Lemon Law” like you have on your car.

  • matt

    Why can’t we just stick with the F-15, F-16, and the F/A-18. These aircraft are the best in the world. Why do we have to spend billions on research and develpment on aircraft that are hard to drive and dangerous. There were problems with the Osprey and 40 people had to die before they figured out the problems with that aircraft. Let’s stick with what we have, it works.

    • tiger

      1) They won’t last 40 more years.
      2) 10 years of combat flying has used up the airframe lives. Do you see many cars in top shape after 200,000 miles?
      3) The other guys have new stuff building.
      4) No R&D? Than you loose the ability & people who do it. Companies fold & workers get jobs at Wal Mart instead of Lock Mart. Takes time to make a engineer.

  • Larry P

    Reminds me of the F16 avionics debacle – saving a few cents on cable ties cost at least 2 pilots their lives as they thought they were pulling UP while (actually) diving to earth due to an electrical malfunction in the artificial horizon. They even made a cable-TV movie (‘Afterburn’) telling the story. The wife of one of these pilots sued and won $3 million – the award was overturned due to DOD contractors being given blanket immunity to lawsuits.

    So much for the ‘Federal False Claims Act’

    Having worked on the Hubble Space Telescope (testing optical guidance systems AND the Primary Mirror) as well as other DOD projects I saw first-hand the screw-ups and cover-ups but no one in authority seemed interested in correcting the design errors OR punishing those who knowingly caused the errors AND lied instead of admitting there ever WAS an error. Lives were endangered and lost in addition to millions of taxpayer dollars ($1.5 billion on the HST alone).

    And, Yes, I realize design errors are commonly found and corrected through actual field use instead of lab experiments but that doesn’t excuse blaming dead pilots for being victimized by yet another contractor screw-up.

  • juan canela

    The First Amendment should apply equally to all Americans.There are no excepted classes provided in the First Amendment. The Usurper, now residing in our Whitehouse, is ineligible, unqualified, and incompetent, for the office that he occupies. Barry Soetoro or Hussein Obama II, or whoever you are, or claim to be, this is the United States, and we have a congress of elected representatives, and Barry has trashed our Constitution by appointing non-elected Czars to govern the populace.

  • Dick Doll

    ABO has generally been inspected by POL QAR REP’s at Contractors Plants for
    meeting Mil Spec MIL-O-27210A. Both Liquid & Gas. The problem seems to exist in
    the distribution system to pilot. It’s possible lines, etc are causing some chemical
    reaction when exposed to O2 before pilots usage. This could be resolved by
    sampling O2 at pilots mask for contaminants.

  • 5 square

    What we have here is, we are finding out that we may have a weapon that needs to be fixed. I don’t think the actual reason for the problem means much to most of us, and it could cloud the issue. For a pilot to say no to a ride like that….it’s gotta be a risk-to-bennie decision. Fix the problem. HEY YOU!! YEA YOU WITH THE STAR ON THE SHOLDER…….FIX IT! Sorry everybody, I, like most of you, can get mad enough to shout. The pilots may see hard times, but they will live to fly your but to LAX in the civilian world. I’d rather ride with a safe pilot.

  • As a former aircraft crew cheif in the military and as a civilian one it seems to me that its the oxygen. If the F-18 SH is having the same issue then fix it!!. This I will say. The Raptor is the best ever. As with most new highly sophisticated planes there are troubles. The F-16 had major issues. So did the Hornet, the Army’s Apache did and so on. Fix the O2 issue and the pilots will wait in line.

    • tiger

      Maybe not. Now ground crew have issues too.

  • ref

    How about the F-23?? out performed the 22 in a big way!
    Politics anyone?

  • BillMill

    Does anyone know what the difference is between an OBOGS on the F-22 and the Litton MSOGS system flown on the F-15E? I worked on Strike Eagles the last six years of my career and can only remember a few stright up MSOGS fails and can never remember a crew member haviing a physilogical problem

  • Dave

    Could this be like when a diver goes to deep and you need a diffrent mixture for him to breath.Or is this from something other than O2 levels ?

  • Kayak Mac

    Remember your history…. The “Buffalo” of WW2? Some of the early bombers and fighters were problem children. The facts have yet to be determined for the F-22. Until then, keep upping your insurance and think good thoughts!

  • Fave F

    Has amyone considered that it might be a human factor common to those pilots who experience the problem and not necessarily the F=22?

  • Lockheed’s aircraft designers decision not to use liquid oxygen containers on this aircraft should be easily retrofitted to include liquid oxygen containers some where. If the Super Hornet has the same design defect guess what. Lockheed pays to install these oxygen containers on their dime not the taxpayers

  • Jim

    With all the technology that went into the F-22, something that has been incorporated in military aircraft since WWI is its downfall. You would think that after nearly 100 years of refinement we would have all the kinks worked out of that particular system.

  • Chuck Shannon

    The lox converter has been used back in the 60es and before.I wonder why they changed the system???..

  • skyviewer

    Rule number one in the USAF “it is never the planes fault, it is always the pilots fault.” Lets remember when the F16 was new and killing pilots, the USAF did every thing possible to blame the pilots. It wasn’t until the wife of a dead pilot sued them and proved it was the plane, did they admitt to the problems. Thats my Air Force

    • blight_

      Pretty much, but she still never saw any money or compensation for it. I don’t even think the government admitted to wrongdoing, but I haven’t read the court case in a while.

  • Rather then junk a WC-135B the USAF and Boeing engineers disassembled the fuselage and replaced the bent parts of the fuselage that was caused by a hard landing as a resulth of a bolt installed incorrectly for the elevator surfaces. The WC-135B was repaired and flown for several more years. Don’s ask about the repair bill as that was probably classified or hidden in the budget for 1969

  • jjs4you2

    I’m hearing a complete change out to the system used in the F-15E. The system in the F-15E at the time the E’s were developed was an all new system from the F-15C’s system. The F-15E by no means fly and maneuver at the altitudes that the F-22 is capable of but is said to have roughly the same capacities and pressures that the Raptors system uses.

    One of the reasons is because the F15E’s system needs to have the capacity to handle the two man flight crew which is what the F-22 needs at it’s max maneuvering altitudes.

  • judojoe

    sooner or later it will all be traced back to Haliburton

  • shawn

    The problem is politicians. There corrupt. Look at the new rockets being built at a fraction of the cost that these major corporations are charging. What we need is MONEY ALLOCATED FOR THE NEW ENGINEERS’, NEW BLOOD COMING AT IT WITH DIFFERENT INNOVATIVE IDEAS. Look at these new start up companies. Amazing how smart some of these new graduates are. Develop a new system from scratch. Were going to be in serious trouble soon. Who do you thing bought that drone from Iran. Russian or Chinese. We need to do everything we can to stay in the lead because the it just got a lot shorter.

  • Peter

    Is there new, metaphysical (?) technology at work that is effecting the pilot.?

  • Chuck

    Courage comes in different forms…… These two pilots should be highly commended for taking action and potentially saving the lives of other F22 pilots. The unfortunate reality in the service is that at times working within the system just get the job done! Whether it be ego, pride, knowing the Bizillions of taxpayers dollars that have been wasted on an aircraft that is not needed would be an embarrassment sometimes the HARD HEADED individuals in charge put the project far ahead of safety……. Inexcusable! Thank god for these very brave pilots who are willing to risk their careers to save lives, lives of fellow pilots who should not be put at a known an unecessary risk. The “whistle blower” protection is well deserved for these two men and a t $40,000. per flight hour vs. $8K-$16K for the F16, F15 and F18 what the HELL is the military thinking?????? Scrap the F22, learn from the $100’s of billions dollars spent on the new technologies BUT stop the madness, The country is BROKE, the hay day of the late 1990’s economic is over.! Corporate America and the Defense industry have made their money, end the F22 EXPERIMENT!!!

  • Chuck

    Like excessive cost of the F22 END The Osprey project as well. At a cost of 8 times per Sikorsky 46 both in acquisition and operational cost to carry 30% less payload just to attain a 35% greater speed????? ONLY the government could make sense of this! Not too mention the accident rate and fatality rate………….. Again, the country is BROKE, trying to spend our way out of this economy is a FAILED strategy!!!! As Buffet put it, “We can fix our deficit immediately………..Make it law that any sitting elected officials (Executive and Legislative) cannot continue to serve as long as there is a deficit!”

  • In Russia pilots know we shoot them for asking for transfer. So no ask for transfer. Plane flies fine.

  • greg

    Has anyone investigated the possibility that chemicals from the composite material are outgassing? The symptoms are very analogous to chemical overload that affects nerve transmission.

  • Zx6

    Problem could be removed in a way that part of the dome is reduced, because all too visible dome can disorient the operator / pilot view (problem) Work on the isolation of the cockpit can reduce the problem of concentration. Reduce the visible … fields will help. ;)

  • John_Moore

    the whole F22, was a bad idea to begin with, the YF 23 was the real deal, almost all the internals on the YF 23 WHERE THE SAME AS THE F15!!!!!!, tried and true technology in a newer sleeker air frame!, same landing gear, same awesome ejection seat, all the same electronics and LOX system (im a former AF crew-chief, blue to greened into the Army to become an avionics tech on longbow H64 Apache), the reason we have the stupid F22, is because of BUREAUCRACY! the YF 23 was superior in all categories, but it cost a little more to produce per aircraft, tho since all the infrastructure: mechanics, part factories, contracts, where already in place making parts for the F15, there was a savings of BILLIONS of dollars because there was NO NEED for a new infrastructure to support the YF23, the F15 had already done that, The F22, needed new factories and contracts to make parts that DID NOT EXIST! a whole new set of contracts in wich politicians and private parties where able to CUT CORNERS IN CONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN!, all using designs and techniques not proven to be safe yet, YES LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, all you F22 pilots where GUINNEA PIGS! and pawns of the DOD y and reclamations, to see if they could get rich, while risking your lives, instead of taking the aircraft that even tho it cost more to produce 1 each, the cost of maintenance was already LOW! before the aircraft was ever produced!!!, and thus, opened the way for CHINA and RUSSIA, to use our design and make their own stealth fighters, wich are superior to our F22, and they used tried and true technologies in their Stalth Fighters, borrowed from their Mig 29 and SU series of jets, china took, the stuff from their jets they bought from RUSSIA and their own development over the decades and used their ALREADY SAFE and trusted electronics, oxigen, fuel and avionics into their aircraft, WE! in the us, tho, have a paper mashe stealth craft, we cant use safely due to all the STILL EXPERIMENTAL BS installed in the aircraft that we need to be able to trust! In the mean time, one of the Northrop Yf23 is hanging from one museum, gutted like a fish, and the other sits at the end of a runway baking in the sun, getting ruined by the environment

  • Bob R

    Have you guys/gals ever flown a combat jet? The time between thinking you are fuzzing out and taking action to save the craft and your life can be measured in tenths of seconds. Things happen so quickly and the craft is moving so fast that there is an infinitesimal amount of time for corrective action. If you are low then you’re screwed. Until we know when these blackouts typically occur we’re pissing into the wind. It’s easy to judge someone until you’re in their shoes. I can’t think of a better way to help make this issue go away than getting onto national tv and letting the public know what has been going on. And to those of you who say these guys are not cut out to fly…get a life. They have hundreds if not low thousands of training on sims and in real craft. These guys weren’t given the chance to fly the 22 by luck. The vetting process is arduous. The bottom line is that the air craft needs to be fixed. The last thing a pilot needs to worry about is his O2. Think about it. Think. Period.

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