Home » Air » More Bad News For F-22’s oxygen system

More Bad News For F-22’s oxygen system

by Mike Hoffman on July 17, 2012

There’s good news and there’s bad news for the latest round of oxygen system incidents for the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor. The bad news is they are still popping up, the good news is the Air Force says they know why the two most recent ones occurred.

The two incidents occurred on July 6 and June 26 when the pilots for the two F-22s reported oxygen system failures. Opposed to the previous problems the F-22 has seen over the past two years with pilots suffering from hypoxia symptoms in flight, the Air Force claims they know why these problems occurred

Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis, a spokesman for Air Combat Command, told CNN the Air Force has investigated one and is investigating the July 6th incident with both incidents listed as “cause known.” Previous problems with the F-22’s oxygen system have been listed as “cause unknown” during the investigations.

“The recent incidents that have resulted in new expressions of concern are of a different kind than the ones we have been focused on in recent months,” Sholtis told CNN’s Security Clearance blog.

A pilot from the 1st Fighter Wing reported a restriction of air reaching his face mask on his final approach before landing on June 26. After he landed he engaged the emergency oxygen system on the runway. The investigation found the restriction was caused by a “stuck valve” and the pilot has returned to flying, according to the CNN report.

The most recent incident on July 6 is still under investigation. A Hawaii National Guard pilot’s warning indication popped for the Onboard Oxygen Generating System and declared an in-flight emergency. Because the pilot received the OBOGS warning, the Air Force is confident that was the cause of the problem, Sholtis told CNN.

The fact the Air Force knows what caused the problem is a step in the right direction, but the program is under such intense scrutiny that any oxygen problem is receiving Congressional attention. U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois, sent letters to the Air Force asking for more information about both incidents.

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{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt July 17, 2012 at 11:55 am

Wow. I am really speachless. Either the USAF is conducting a spin campaign that is quite transparent and see thru, or the Smart People In Charge(TM) have about the problem solving and comprehension skills of an 9th grade cheerleader.

"We found the problem, it was the light on the dash."

I say again, these people in the USAF and DOD put the F22 out to pasture. They could care less. It's obvious by now.

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Matt July 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm

"Great news! Unlike the other incidents where the cause was unknown, we found the source of the oxygen problem! The cause was determined to be the OBOGS!"

Thanks Lt Col Tadd. Thats like saying "we determined the cause of the car crash was the car crashing".

Well f#&$*(# DUH! These are the people in charge of the F22 program???

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@1n4001 July 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm

More like:

Pilot had hypoxia symptoms because OBOGS system indicated failure

vs.

Pilot had hypoxia symptoms because [unknown or redacted]

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matt July 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm

More like, "Cause Known. The problem with the OBOGS is the OBOGS. No more questions about oxygen in the Raptor please. Issue resolved."

Sweep it under the rug of paperwork. Quit giving these lifers in USAF & DoD the benefit of the doubt. I expect more of my tax dollars.

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ghostwhowalksnz July 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Get real guys , have you never had a computer problem where the real cause was unknown ?
Has the doctor never said 'we cant be sure about this'
Has the mechanic never said , I cant find the cause so lets hope it doesn't re-occur.

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blight_ July 18, 2012 at 9:58 am

Re mechanic, it's more like "I can't find the cause short of taking apart the engine and spending days and hundreds or thousands that you may not be prepared to pay".

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Reticuli July 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Based on what? The original Alaska crash had nothing do do with CO or the OBOGs malfunctioning. The OBOGs was actually off. Even with the manufacturer, USAF, and NASA working on this, they still have not replicated anything repeatably. No issues with CO like the Hornet OBOGs for a while. No issues with chemical contaminants that they can find. It really seems like the family of the Alaska pilot complaining may have started a kind of hysteria or meme, after which when the carbon filters were added, the inert black gunk pilots were coughing up created even more instances of reported problems. As far as psychosomatic issues, breathing in a confined space would be one of the more easy types to have adverse symptoms relating to without necessarily a physical cause. It's primal.

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Reticuli July 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm

There obviously have been real hypoxia events, but they appear to be able to explain those. I'm not aware of a single real hypoxic even in the Raptor lately that is unexplained while the pilot was actually wearing the new blood ox monitor on the finger. So it might seem insensitive, but we need to cut them some slack. The emergency O2 handle's been redesigned. That system will also automatically engage if the OBOGs turns off for any reason. They put the carbon filters in just in case: inert black gunk. They're now using another filter, again just in case there are contaminants. They're a little worried about the Combat Edge vest/girdle, so they're having the pilots not use that and not fly too high to need it and see if these reports continue. It's to keep you alive upon ejection at high altitude where you would otherwise puff up and die… just long enough to make it to lower altitude for your chute to open. If you've got any bright ideas, I'm sure they'd like to hear them. They seem to be covering all the bases and I don't see any indication of conspiracy.

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4FingerOfBouron July 17, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I've been saying all along that 'new' obogs was the issue. New programs take time to find all the bugs. If the mask is the same, the hose is the same, and the source is different then it seems to be a pretty easy process of elimination.

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Vaporhead July 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Heck, get a hold of the manufacturer, NASA, etc whom have all looked at it and can't figure it out. I'm sure they will be interested in your theories.

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citanon July 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm

It was not the OBOGS. The press is just confused.

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Reticuli July 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm

The press is always confused. OBOGS is not new. And the military is aware of all the possible issues that have occurred on prior aircraft with it. The Alaska crash was not even from the OBOGS malfunctioning. It was literally off because it cannot function if there is an engine shut off, as it runs off the bleed air. Big pilot. Cold weather gear. Nightvision gear. Difficult time finding or pulling the emergency ox handle. We don't even know if he even became hypoxic. All we know is after accidentally bumping the pressure stick and pedals while trying to find that handle, he never reoriented the aircraft and recovered in the short span that followed. Handle's been redesigned. Emergency O2 system will not turn on automatically if OBOGS shuts down. Those carbon filters they put in just in case freaked pilots out, as they were coughing up inert black gunk. Scary. But still no evidence of CO or an OBOGS design issue. They'll keep looking, but it's possible this is just a… well… for lack of a better word, kind of hysteria. It happens, too. Remember silicone breast implants? Let the scientists and engineers do their thing without allowing the stupidity of mass public opinion influence this situation.

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Reticuli July 21, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Darn "will not turn on" should read "will NOW turn on". Sorry. No edit function.

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PET July 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Though I disagree with Matt, I think that the USAF could be doing this better maybe. It also strikes me that we have problems like this that shake systems to their core, but these fundamental problems aren't getting enough attention. I mean, we have cyber security issues, structure issues, etc, but we're buying hundreds of tablets for our infantry, making multi-million dollar frigates for taking out speedboats, etc. It seems to me some of this stuff needs to get higher priorities and some of them just need to be put on the, "Get when we're not in 20 Trillion dollars of debt."

I don't by ANY means think that military spending is creating a sizable portion of the debt. This current president has destroyed large portions of our military while spending multi-Billions on things like Obamacare. I'm just saying that some spending from everything can be cut.

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Jayson July 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Welcome to reality. The society is getting older, Obamacare (soon to be fixed Romneycare) has to happen and, oh yeah, welcome to Canada eh?

Digging deeper into the money hole doesn't return military strength on the dollar. The outlandish spending has to end at some point, before bankruptcy is better than after. regardless, the US still has the best armed forces and can sit back for a few years and still be the best. Just relax, it's ok.

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Robert Little July 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm

PET: Let us sit down and open up our copy of the United States Constitution. Let's see, first, we see that it is broken down into three parts, the legislative branch, the executive branch and the judicial branch. All right, we're making good progress here. The legislative branch enacts legislation - laws and stuff - and the judicial branch determines whether or not those laws and stuff are constitutional. The executive branch is responsible for carrying out - executing - those laws and stuff.

Good. Now close your copy of the constitution, the one you keep right by your bed, and let's open up a newspaper - no, NOT Fox, I said newspaper, something with news in it.

Good. Let's see: In 2011, the Republican controlled lower house - known as the House - had two agendas (three, but more about that later): continue the Bush era temporary tax breaks for the wealthy, and reduce federal spending. Now, I know what you're thinking: how could we reduce federal spending if we reduce taxes? Excellent question, but of course, quite silly. You see, there is all that discretionary spending, just sitting right there. Food aid for the poor, medical help for the poor, the EPA, silly, useless regulations on businesses, mines, coal and oil companies; Medicare, lots and lots of generally useless expenditures.

So, where were we? Oh, yes, the House. So, the Democrats kinda wanted to end those Bush era tax breaks and keep the aid for the poor, the environment, the middle class and so on. Well, it was really quite a story, but eventually, the Bush era tax breaks were extended for one more year (12-31-2012), some aid to the poor was cut, and, let's see, there was one other thing. Ah, the Republican congressmen, the one who control the House, added this cute little addendum. They said that if the Democrats wouldn't totally cave in to ALL conservative demands, an automatic sequestration would kick in, eliminating HUGE expenses in the federal budget. Imagine! Instant reduction of the federal deficit. As it happens, a Very Big Piece of that reduction came out of your very same military.

Isn't this fascinating? Meanwhile, the United States President was sitting around the Oval Office, contemplating the Bush mandated end to combat for the United States forces in Afghanistan, and the additional legal treaty that required United States military forces to be out of Iraq by certain date (now passed). So, he was thinking, "Hey! The Bush unfunded wars that bankrupted our country are winding down, perhaps we can now begin rebuilding and replacing the largely exhausted helicopter fleets of both the Army and Marines, replace them with something that can remain airborne; we can replace the 1980's era F-15's, F-16's and F-18's. Plus, a very large portion of our Navy ships are well past their designed age limitations - due of course to all those wars - so we can now begin to think about replacing them with new ships, maybe reduce our force structures, possibly FUND VETERAN HEALTHCARE that Bush didn't bother about (est. $4trillion). The president might have pondered on the wisdom of the one thousand, one hundred and SEVENTY U.S. military bases - in foreign countries.

Now, that third agenda: Conservatives, dating back to Tricky Dicky, have worked assiduously to gain total control of all three branches of the govt. They have also created a brand new branch of government, called Grover Norquist. Most all Republican members of Congress also belong to Grover. They have signed a document stating that they will obey him over and above their oath of office as Congressmen or Senators. All seven or so Republican nominees for president signed that same document. According to Grover, his aim is to make it so that a democratic president may, from time to time, get elected, but he will not be able to function.

So, you see, despite knowing (as you surely do) that the 305 million Americans spend as much on their military as the other 6.7 billion people in the word; these same Americans, possibly in an effort to balance their budget, sell FAR more arms and munitions to other countries than the rest of the world combined. As a bonus, Americans buy 20% of all the worlds oil - from abroad. We support Mr. Chavez, we support Ahmidinijad, we support them all. Kind of cute, don't you think?

And you thought that one single black, Nigerian Muslim did all that. Silly.

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Robert Little July 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm

The Taliban? We created it, and we armed it, and now we fight it. Kind of funny. Hilarious. Just imagine! over one thousand grave markers, all laughing and giggling over getting dead, killed by the very people our CIA armed to kill Russians.

Bush' father's father helped create the middle east oil fields. Bush's father was head of - the CIA!. That was before becoming president and using the F-117 stealth fighter to bomb Panama. Oh, he also invaded Iraq, while he was still selling arms and munitions to IRAQ. Same time our ships were dumping M-1's on Saudi Arabia, commercial freighters were delivering military crap to our good friend Hussain, the one we armed to fight Iran, who we armed first.

Did you know that Egypt has over one thousand M1's? Aint no food in the country, but they got tanks up the yazoo.

Did you know that about five minutes before Iraq's own government took office, good ol' Bush handed them a law that required Iraq to open up it's oil fields to BP and their friends? Yes indeedee.

You may be interested to learn that Libya has oil, thus the large amount of international interest in killing Khadaffi. Right now, the Libyan government is being strong armed to open it's oil fields to - you guessed it in one.

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tiger July 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Could both of the above lose the political BS? Your both wrong or misguided on many levels.

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CSARmedic July 17, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Uh, tiger, no he's not. Sarcastic yes. A little over dramatized maybe. But he's pretty much right on the money as far as history is concerned. Pretty much the way I remembered it as well.
Bush took over in 2000 with a balanced budget and he and Cheney both cooked up the war in Iraq and sold it to joint session of Congress that Iraq and Saddam had something to do with the 9/11 attacks (they didn't) and had Colin Powell lie to the joint session of the UN about weapons of mass destruction (there weren't any) and then funded both wars by cooking the books and subverting Congressional approval of the budget by making up a second budget called the Supplemental Appropriations (among other names http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_cost_of_th… ).
This second budget didn't really have any of the accountability nor the normal checks and balances afforded the regular Congressional budget because the Bush Boys knew it was just kind of out there. On it's own. Doing it's own thing and not counting against the national debt.
Not until our Nigerian Muslim friend decided that our national debt was our national debt and (sacrilege) combined them both into one big budget outlining, for the first time, how big of a financial mess both wars have cost the US
So, no, I think Robert little's facts are pretty much right on. They just may not be the way you or Fox "News" would like to remember it. But the facts are the facts.

William C. July 18, 2012 at 2:26 am

We funded and provided support the Mujaheddin (not the Taliban) back in the '80s when the Soviets were in Afghanistan. The Taliban was a faction of the Mujaheddin that took power after the war ended and the modern world stopped having anything to do with Afghanistan.

We played off both the Iraqis and Iranians during their war, so what? That's the way the world works. We let them beat the crap out of each other and ensured there was no massive change to the balance of power there. The majority of Iraqi equipment is from Russia or other former Warsaw Pact states, as well as equipment from China and France.

When Iraq invaded Kuwait they were no longer at war with the Iranians and we were no longer selling them gear.

We sold Egypt M1s back before all of this happened and they paid for them. Unless you had a crystal ball there wasn't an issue with that. Quit being so naive. This is global politics, you deal with unsavory groups and characters to achieve some sort of goal or maintain the status quo.

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Andy July 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Still blame Bush? Idiiiiiiiii

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ghostwhowalksnz July 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Well there was the half trillion un-funded war, there was unfunded medicare prescription benefit , there was the big boost to farm subsidies.
But hey , Bush never vetoed anything that came out of Congress until the Democrats were in charge.
Apparently on domestic issues he wasnt the 'decider in chief'

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Nadnerbus July 18, 2012 at 1:24 am

Too true. If conservatives are going to complain about liberal spending policies (and I consider myself conservative leaning), then we we have to be honest about what the party that considers itself our representative have done with the power loaned to them by the people.

"Just go out and keep shopping, its your patriotic duty." Never mind these wars we are fighting without a single tax hike or war bond drive. Strange days.

Cranky Observer July 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Have to laugh at the "-8" rating on this snarky but 100% accurate post.

Cranky

Dinja know? Military spending takes place in specially-marked dollars that don't add to the Federal budget or (if taxes aren't raised to match) deficit. It just doesn't!

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ben July 18, 2012 at 12:15 am

well the "black nigerian muslim" is more accurately a "mulatto, half Kenyan american / half kansas redneck, protestant christian"

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William C. July 18, 2012 at 2:12 am

Implying that there is news in the New York Times? Or that Obama knows the first thing about military aircraft, the need to replace old equipment, or gives a damn about the veterans? He's far too narcissistic for that.

Neither he nor the Democrats managed to accomplish any of this rebuilding our military that you speak of and they don't want to. Hell, many of them would rather see our military and defense industry gutted so they can spend that money to buy votes, stay in power, and remain just as corrupt as the Republicans you hate. Although they have the benefit of a media that kisses their ass and looks the other way for them.

I didn't realize Grover Norquist transcended mortality to became a branch of government, but I'll excuse the typical liberal confusion related to matters of government. It's a nice conspiracy you have there, but the only thing related to Norquist that Republicans signed was some tax pledge promising not to raise taxes, etc etc. About as useful as any other promise made by any politician.

Military spending which even in war-time is a historically rather low fraction of the GDP and entirely appropriate given the situation, although it's a waste of lives and money trying to turn that 3rd world hellhole known as Afghanistan into a functioning country.

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WarPony July 18, 2012 at 8:48 am

To me it seems that the whole shebang is driven by the CFR/TriLat agenda - and forgetting the campaign promises - no matter which "party" has any control of any house/office, the policy is consistently heading toward a DHS police state. Welcome to the New World Order.

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blight_ July 18, 2012 at 9:51 am

This is why people of both political stripes need to stockpile for the New World Order.

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Reticuli July 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm

It's also possible that there's nothing actually happening. The original Alaska crash has already been completely explained and understood, even if the pilot's family doesn't like it. The military's attempts to placate them actually helped contribute to the hysteria. The military informed the Raptor fleet about possible OBOGS issues. They installed the carbon filters in case of contaminants, which resulted in pilots coughing up scary, black, but inert gunk. The hysteria cycle continued and has amplified. They’ve even removed the Combat Edge vests and limited the Raptor ceiling now that the vests are not on to keep them alive if they eject at high altitude. Precaution after precaution. They may be looking for a physical cause of these past "apparent hypoxia incidents" that simply doesn't exist, though. They should keep looking, but people need to keep an open mind.

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Reticuli July 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm

There are now actual blood ox monitors on the pilots’ fingers. The cause of that original crash has already been addressed and solutions produced: new emergency O2 system handle and that system will automatically engage if the OBOGs shuts down. If real incidents of this same phenomenon occur with the new finger blood ox monitor, then there will be something concrete to work with. I suspect, there might not be. And what you will see is varying instances that can be explained with various, unrelated causes, and the rest, mostly old instances, will be perpetually unknown and likely the result of a meme.

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YesSirrrrrrr July 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm

On a side note:
Hypothetical technology transfer for a moment here: If their country could afford it, and were cleared for purchase( foreign military aid aside); they would be flying these guaranteed.

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Andy July 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Can we try out the F 18 oxygens system?

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tiger July 17, 2012 at 3:02 pm

To do what?

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Prodozul July 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I believe he meant to try the f/a-18's oxygen system on the f-22?

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blight_ July 17, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Doesn't it use OBOGS as well?
http://www.cobham.com/media/75388/SYSTEM F-16 OBOGS ADV10556.pdf

"Installed in AV-8B, TAV-8B, T-45, F-14D,
F/A-18, F-15E, A-10, A-4AR, AL-X, GR5, T-4,
T-6A, T-50, F-5, F-2, C-130 and PC-9"
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2011/05/defense…

"“They are very, very cautious and risk-averse because we’re not just dealing with the loss of a major weapon system, but the loss of a human life,” he said.

On May 6, the service identified the F-16, F-15E, A-10, F-35 and T-6 aircraft as being under investigation for problems with their On-board Oxygen Generation Systems (OBOGS).

The revelation came on the heels of news that the Air Force had effectively grounded its fleet of F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets on May 3.

“They want to be doubly sure that the problems that they are experiencing with the F-22 OBOGS is not something that could be common to other systems and other aircraft,” Gunzinger said. “It’s something that’s very, very prudent, and a very smart thing to do.”"

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Andy July 18, 2012 at 11:09 am

Thanks

Lance July 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Im surprised they keep having a problem a fleet wide overhaul is needed but someone in the F-22 program is not letting that happen?

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Matt July 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Exactly… why? All the $$$ allocated to the F35? Or worse, to pensions?

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ghostwhowalksnz July 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Pensions are funded by the SS tax. They have had a surplus for 40 years or more.

next you will be saying the F-35 had no problems while Bush was in the White House

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blight_ July 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm

The defense industry hasn't been the same since the Soviets walked out on US.

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ST Dog July 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm

That "surplus" has already been spent on other things to make the deficit look better.
Even the great Clinton "balanced/surplus" budgets relied on the excess S.S. collected from the current tax payers.

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blight_ July 18, 2012 at 8:27 pm

And those surplus projections were over ten years.

In any case, it's still a far cry from where we are today. We spent a good chunk of change occupying Afghanistan and Iraq. Then again, Vietnam indicated that the cost of total war was bound to grow in leaps and bounds…

mpower6428 July 19, 2012 at 1:49 am

pensions…? you think the people who are screwing this up on purpose plan to retire on a pension…?

there is a cadre of bought off Airforce officers who are looking to solidfy post career consulting gigs. and alot more Lockheed corporate hacks trying to put this off until at least "christmas" bonuses are assured. i.e. january, best case senario. then… if anybody is still interested enough to write an article they'll just move on to the banking sector.

and they're not wrong to do it. in 8 months we wont be talking about this anymore, and they know it.

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blight_ July 18, 2012 at 9:56 am

Whose pensions?

Workers get pensions. Executives get parachutes.

Besides, pensions don't cost as much as healthcare. All it takes is a few rounds of chemo and a prolonged cancer fight to greatly exceed the cost of paying out pension.

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Benjamin July 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm

We have gotten out of the business of upgrading aircraft, unfortunately. Since the 90's, I think the only major jet aircraft upgrade program I now about is the F/A-18 (C/D to the E/F)
In a major overhaul they could deal with a lot of the problems that come up after the testing of the aircraft.

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blight_ July 19, 2012 at 9:15 am

Thought you couldn't upgrade an -18 to the E/F, as one is a scaled up version of the other. Unless you meant upgrade as in replace one line of aircraft with another.

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dubweiser101 July 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm

They need to ground the fleet until they fix the problem. There would be nothing worse than a pilot having to eject over enemy territory and leaving F-22 salvage for the enemy to dissect.

Last I heard the USAF has 1 or 2 squadrons in the UAE and Bahrain ready for any scenario against Iran. If Iran got a hold of a lost Raptor you can be sure China and Russia would get in on the action just like the RQ-170 we lost earlier.

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Skyepapa July 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Except, unlike our response to the RQ-170 loss, we would salt the earth where the Raptor fell. They would get nothing but carbon dust and glassy sand.

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BlackOwl18E July 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I would like to think that's true, but the bottom line is that it's really hard to absolutely destroy all the pieces of a downed aircraft. When an aircraft goes down its wreckage can be skewed for miles before crashing and when you drop a bomb on top of the crash site the explosion will destroy most of the components, but not all of them. The blast will often scatter a lot the wreckage to other places as well.

I always thought it would be more effective to have an air burst weapon loaded with highly concentrated acid made specifically for destroying aircraft wreckage, but that's just something I would like to see tested.

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blight_ July 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm

If the Iranians are smart, they'll just divert a school bus to the crash site. Get a kindergarten and build it around the crash site.

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BlackOwl18E July 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I hope they haven't thought of that already.

dubweiser101 July 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm

That is assuming we could pinpoint the crash site, then destroy the wreckage before the enemy could get a hold of any salvage. I sure as hell wouldn't take the chance with such an expensive plane until all of the bugs are worked out.

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blight_ July 18, 2012 at 9:52 am

-22's will stay in home defense for a long time.

If anything, reactivate the Nighthawks and deploy them to the Mideast. The tech is already in the air…what's the loss?

Perhaps with new RAM coating, or if you have the coin a re-design of their surfaces from facets?

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Riceball July 18, 2012 at 4:08 pm

You forget that the F-117 is a fighter in name only and carries 0 AA weapons, I'm not sure it's even AA capable, I don't think that it can carry and interface with anything but bombs and air to ground missiles.

bmart. July 18, 2012 at 1:37 am

With the heightening tension between the US, and China/Russia, I honest to God would almost be afraid of another Francis Gary Powers situation. Albeit the fact that the f22 is not the top secret sr71, if Lockheed has stuck to their practices, I would say its safe to say that the pilots are pretty well informed on some of the more sensitive details of the raptor, details that we would like to keep from China/Russia….Although I suppose if you look at the J20, I am not sure that there's a whole lot our pilots could tell China that they don't already know.

But the fact remains, we do not want our boys having to chute down in tense territories, and I think the probability of the F22 pilots ejecting if their is a problem with the OBOGS is pretty high, considering the alternative.

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blight_ July 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

The Skunk Works clientele of the day was the Central Intelligence Agency, and not just regular air force. Considering the CIA was deeply involved in the development of the U-2 and the SR-, and the test pilots from the Agency trained from the early get-go it's not inconceivable they would learn more about their aircraft than a normal pilot does about a normal aircraft.

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bmart. July 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm

That's exactly right, during most of the SkunkWorks' programs, they made it a point to have the pilots on the assembly line to ensure that the pilots knew the plane better than the back of their hands. While this made for some incredibly competent pilots, who were able to rule the skies from their cockpits, and allowed for the US air superiority paired with all the feats accomplished by both CIA and USAF pilots in A-12s/SR-71s respectively as well as U2s over the years, this also leaves some cause for concern. When Powers was downed, the fact that he was a CIA pilot, was not the only reason that the situation was so dire, it was also due to the fact that he had been heavily briefed on the features of the top secret plane he had been flying. My concern is that if an F22 was downed due to OBOGS failure, we might have another situation of a pilot with an intense understanding of the special features of the F22 behind enemy lines(this ofcourse is assuming that Lockheed follows the SkunkWorks pilot training model, which I do not know if they do).

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Infidel4LIFE July 18, 2012 at 10:24 am

I think the Chicoms built thier own Raptor from tech stolen from us. Thing is that plane is the size of an F-111.

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Kevin July 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm

What about the AF claim that the gripe has been fixed by getting rid of the compression vests? The IG actually called this issue resolved in the video. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57471520/ha…

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citanon July 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm

It probably has been resolved. The press is just confused.

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citanon July 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm

I think this article is grouping apples and oranges into the same category to make the fruit pile look bigger.

The previous "OBOG" problems that caused pilots to suffer hypoxia with _no warning of malfunction_ were likely caused by a physiological response to use of the combat edge system under more extreme performance of the F-22. It probably does not have anything to do with OBOG, and that's what made it so dangerous and so hard to diagnose:

1. There was NO WARNING when these incidents occured.
2. The cause was very hard to find because it came from a non-obvious source

The last two incidents were likely mechanical problems that cause warnings with the on-board indicators. This means that THEY ARE NOT THE SAME PROBLEMS, are probably much simpler to find and fix, and could even be due to routine issues of maintenance or wear.

Then there are the ground crew hypoxia issues, which, in all likelihood, are a third set of issues that may not have anything to do with the first two, and which could just be caused by ground crew standing too close to exhaust fumes and having to report any resulting discomfort because of heightened reporting requirements due to the original pilot hypoxia problems.

These three separate issues are being confused together in the press, which is unfortunate, because it looks like:

1. The Air Force actually HAS identified the main issue.
2. The original issue may have nothing to do with OBOGs.

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RagingDragon July 21, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Although your theory is more likely to be correct than any others I’ve seen, it is going to be ignored by the people inventing conspiracy theories to push political agendas.

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Al Heff. July 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm

What was the report where they said that even the ground crews were
experienceing symptom like the pilots were from working around the Raptures?

Was this a perinoia thing?

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Matt July 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Or maybe you could save money and buy it yourself like a free person instead of the government forcing you to carry insurance to pay for everyone else. What happened to saving money and paying out of pocket? Thats what I do, I choose not to carry insurance. We blow so much disposabale income in the US on iphones, cable TV, junk food, beer, etc and then turn around and want free health insurance. Nothing is free people. The Obama taxes are coming with Obamacare. The largest tax increase in history. We can really only hope for a full repeal and re-do for actual health care reform.

How bout instead of asking for handouts why dont you people start making better decisions? Hmm? Save your money, for instance. Buy your own insurance if thats what you want. Dont force other people to buy anything.

People are rightly pissed off about Obamacare. It is opposed by majorities consistently in all polling data.

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RCDC July 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Now they repeatedly the problem is in the oxygen system.
Solution: Fix and Change the design of the oxygen system. Say adoPt the F-35 Oxygen system. That will solve the problem. But the manufacturer needed to make these changes.

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evolutionate July 17, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Same system… The Hornets have had issues with OBOGS for over a decade also.

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oli July 18, 2012 at 12:36 am

Its probable that all cases are different.

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Hunter76 July 18, 2012 at 7:44 pm

No, it's probable that most cases are related.

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platypusfriend July 18, 2012 at 1:50 am

Honeywell's tech brochure for the OBOGS: http://www51.honeywell.com/aero/common/documents/…

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Bob G July 18, 2012 at 8:53 am

When we had the prototype systems installed in the AV-8A in the 1980's by Bendix and McDonnal/Douglas, we had no issues with the system. I did most of the systems checks and maintenance myself as did the maintenance crews. Good system them, not sure why there is issues now. But a good report above sites multiple issues and maybe not associated with the OBOGS system. I trust it will all come out in the wash.

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richj July 18, 2012 at 10:19 am

I wonder have they considered bad Chinese made parts????????

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Infidel4LIFE July 18, 2012 at 10:21 am

Wasn't this on "60 Minutes" again? I thought it was the vest that inflates when ur pulling G's they stayed inflated, causing lack of oxygen. The vest restricts the lungs and you cannot breathe. Im prob wrong, but I did see the program. I can't believe we have made such bad mistakes concerning aircraft.

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Bob G July 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm

In history the first anti-g suits did the same thing. Also it too fails from time to time.

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BRASS July 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm

There has never been a new aircraft that didn't have problems. Our most successful platforms have had serious issues. There is nothing to indicate at this time that we need to scrap an entire program and waste billions spent in a rush to condemn a single onboard system. It's always easy to point fingers and call names. What takes intelligence and honest effort is solving problems and saving the future for the taxpayer and the nation.

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mpower6428 July 19, 2012 at 1:39 am

wether you're for continuing the f22 or not… there is another issue. an indictment really. the disfunction at the highest echelons of our military officer corps and weapons manufacturers.

ive said it before and ill say it again. this issue is "SOLVED" as soon as year end bonuses are assured for Lockeeds corporate officers.

put simply, this is gonna go on and on until maybe january.

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Al Heffern July 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Problem could be a Chinese printed circuit board.

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fxdidan July 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Can everybody smell it,I do,the smell of a coverup is strong,I'm going to put my gasmask on now!

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guest July 19, 2012 at 8:57 am

No discussion of infra-sound induced hypoxia. Why have ground ground crews suffered same symptoms? They were not strapped in.

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Victorinox July 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I wonder if someone has any statistic on the number of oxygen system issues, caused by things like a stuck valve, in other fighters. I would assume they do happen, but since we didn't pay $200 million for each of those other fighters, no-one cares…

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ST Dog July 19, 2012 at 6:42 pm

If I knew what to call it for sure, or had part numbers I could look up data on failed parts (quality deficiency reports)

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B.E. McCormick July 19, 2012 at 9:51 pm

OK, we all covered this before. We easily saw the “flight suit” thing was a crock, so why are we surprised over this?

Here is the solution: Give the problem to Al Gore. He will determine that it is all caused by global warming. That, or ManBearPig.

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