Critics question AF’s F-22 solutions

Questions over the Air Force’s claim they have solved the F-22 oxygen problems are starting to get louder.

First, Flight Global’s Dave Majumdar wrote an article citing anonymous F-22 pilots concerns that the service’s scientists and engineers have falsely blamed the Combat Edge upper pressure garment. Majumdar quotes one F-22 pilot saying: “There’s one thing I know for certain: The Combat Edge isn’t the culprit.”

The pilot goes on to say he thinks Air Force leaders are desperate to try and show the service is getting closer to figuring out why so many pilots have reported hypoxia-like symptoms when flying the F-22 over the past two years. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told the Pentagon press corps soon after Defense Secretary green lighted an F-22 deployment to Japan that the service was confident they had found the problem.

Majumdar also reached out to Kevin Divers, a former USAF rated physiologist and F-22 flight test engineer who said he was surprised the service’s engineers have not contacted him since he worked on the F-22’s life support systems. He called the Air Force’s conclusion “very flawed and misdirected.”

“The USAF is still missing important details by ignoring those of us who believe in the airplane and know that we can help,” Divers told Majumdar.

Majumdar is not the only one asking questions. Dana Liebelson with The Project on Government Oversight wondered why F-22 maintainers had reported breathing problems if the Air Force had decided the hypoxia-like symptoms were caused by altitude vests worn by the pilots and air filters found in the cockpits.

An Air Force spokesman told Liebelson the problems experienced by the maintainers were separate from the ones reported by the pilots. When Liebelson asked for a report with the entirety of the Air Force’s findings, the Air Force e-mailed Liebelson a statement saying: “There have been no written reports summarizing all the various testing analysis efforts, findings and results produced at this point.”

Tuesday afternoon at the Pentagon, the Air Force is scheduled to release the results of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board’s study into life support systems on the F-22. We will have more about the answers to some of these questions sure to be asked after the study is released. Air Force Maj. Gen. Charlie Lyon, Air Combat Command’s director of operations, will be under the spotlight.

28 Comments on "Critics question AF’s F-22 solutions"

  1. "anonymous" "professionals" "experts" None of these people actually exist.

  2. As far as i remember there are some reports of technical personnel showing similar symptoms while testing the aircraft on base. Were they also wearing the Combat Edge? :P

  3. No offense, but a bunch of unknown pilots arent who I would turn to for vast amounts of technical or medical knowledge.

  4. I like the pic though.

  5. I'm sure 20 years from now there will be numerous cancer deaths linked to the F-22… from both pilots and maintainers alike. When a pilot lands and breathes a significant amount of toxins out of his lungs, I'd say the problem is far from solved. There isn't much in the news about that but it is happening. I'm a big proponent of the F-22. But I'm also a military brat and I know the lengths the US military/government will go to to save face. Think of all the ODS veterans that have died from cancer that the US government still won't acknowledge.

    Typically I wouldn't have agreed with the USAF F-22 pilots speaking out publicly the way they did… But you have to put yourself in the shoes of the pilot's flying the aircraft. If I knew an aircraft was unsafe, and something hadn't been done about it for years (I guarantee this has been going on far longer than 2 years), and I'd lost or almost lost buddies due to it… I'd probably say something about it as well.

  6. IF there is no problem so far… why then do they keep making it a problem?

    Or is this part of our disinformation effort to make the F-22 appear less than what it actually is? Comment about recent Typhoon being "almost as good as" F-22 (in dogfight) during the recent Red Flag is one example.

  7. No doubt about USAF and Defense Dept. disinforming the World public. F-22 a bust?
    No problem. We can solve all that's ailing your air defense with the newer, more expensive, and just as flawed F-35. Orders?

  8. Uncle Sam to F22: theres the gate to the pasture. Dont piss or sh*t in the river. When you finally die, try and do it somewhere out of sight and smell.

    MONEY QUOTES:

    "Majumdar also reached out to Kevin Divers, a former USAF rated physiologist and F-22 flight test engineer who said he was surprised the service’s engineers have not contacted him since he worked on the F-22’s life support systems. He called the Air Force’s conclusion “very flawed and misdirected.”"

    "“The USAF is still missing important details by ignoring those of us who believe in the airplane and know that we can help,” Divers told Majumdar"

    FLAWED… MISDIRECTED… IGNORING PEOPLE

    THESE PEOPLE IN THE USAF ARE DESK JOCKIES WITH NO CONSEQUENCES FOR THEIR ACTIONS. NO PRESSURE TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM. NO LEDERSHIP.

    THIS IS A DISGRACE.

  9. Whats it record in combat i no hear win battle blue sky yet?

    Maybe one day but not this day I no think so yes?

  10. Gee,this seems very much like a rush to “poison the well” before the official briefing on the topic even occurs. How POGO-esque. Otherwise, why not wait and contrast the two POVs? Nevermind. I already know the answer.

  11. The Air Force needs to start a program for their fighters, especially the F-22 that is similar to the Navy's 'sub-safe' program and they also need to get someone like a Adm Rickover to take over the investigation.

    The problem with the Air Force is that they have a 'blame" rather than a "fix it' mentality. That's the reason the F-22 oxygen fiasco as been ongoing for so long and the reason the F-35 program is sucking the us dry.

  12. Overall I think if it wasn't for USAF brass trying cover up and down play this then real solutions would be found and trusted quicker than the shadow cased over this whole plane.

  13. Adm Rickover! We need 100 Flag officers just like him. The perfumed princes, self dealing "cr*p" that call them selves flag officers today should all be busted to E-1 then given a BCD.

  14. So after all this time, and all the reports about hypoxia, and the protracted investigation into the mysterious hypoxia, it turns out that it’s not hypoxia at all, but compressive asphyxia.

    You might have thought that someone would have noticed, like the aircrew or Air Force doctors.

  15. I mean really, this article is devastating. Every single day that this drags on is a national embarassment. We need to clean house from TOP, DOWN.

  16. Nothing has changed, the problem is the government-example Vietnam
    agent orange returning troop committing suicide and all the cover ups, Politicians payoff must I go on. This country belongs to the government not the people. Thats to bad. They keep on taking away from us and lying to us – they be looking for me now. Good luck and God Bless.

  17. Air Force is claiming to have found the issue. A combination of small issues which combine to create a larger issue, which is why it was so difficult to pin down.
    http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/31/air-forc

  18. Former AF SSGT | August 1, 2012 at 9:33 am | Reply

    In my youth, before everything toxic was declared dangerous, I inhaled small quantities of numerous solvents in my work, and often felt ill. I heard recently that "new car smell", which is the out-gassing of solvents in automotive plastics parts is toxic, and possible carcinogenic.

    The toxic fume theory sounds like a viable candidate. This is the first I've heard this… has this been investigated?

  19. Of course the military does not want bad press, but do you really think that they are not putting 100% effort into finding out what the cause is?

  20. You are a political tool on the tip of the spear, shut up and fly. And when you are dull and used up, you will be tossed out. If you don't like it, find another career path. You signed up to be a defense tool, your quality of life comes second or not at all.

  21. Wonder if they knew all these problems back in the day when they choose to cancel production and cap the # an 187?

  22. Something of interest that isn't appearing on many front pages…

    Typhoons beating F-22s: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/07/f-22-germ
    (exerpt:…“They didn’t expect us to turn so aggressively.”, says a German rep…)

    I'd be curious to know if the USAF is going to lay any of the blame (of losing) at the troubles caused by the hypoxia culprit(s)…?

    Perhaps we'll see another Cope India excuse where it's expressed that US pilot were restricted in what they could do (this time due to phyical limits to avoid pilot hypoxia), so that is why supposedly-inferior aircraft bested them…

    Interesting (moreso when we see the AMRAAM motor issues…).

  23. The Air Force needs another General LeMay. The F-22 is a great aircraft but it has problems and they need to be solved. It's also time that the Defense Contractors like Lockheed Martin decide that our people are more important than their profits and get to the bottom of these problems and fix them. We need leadership again in both the military and industry who put the warfighter first, not their own careers.

  24. Infrasound creates hypoxia like symptoms. Found around jet engines in the 1950s. This has not been hypotheses tested but apparently ignored by current F22 investigators. Put someone on it and confirm or dispel. A company called Acentech is doing research on for a Navy Diver SBIR and discovered this infrasound finding.

  25. Check out Gen Lyon's comments at http://www.military.com/daily-news/2012/08/01/air… . Obviously he is part of the problem and not the solution. Veiled threats will not convince good pilots that it''s safe to fly the 22 again.

  26. There was a FAC fraud suit filed by an F-22 stealth engineer that revealed the whole story. He revealed the coatings were failing, the coatings were full of deadly toxic chemicals forbidden and had no purpose, EPA and OSHA violations that were criminal, employees and the community exposed to deadly chemicals, fraud and criminal acts that were intentional, and LM covered it up.
    He had engineering documentation that proved all these claims.
    The government dismissed his suit simply because he did not have sales receipts that showed the Air Force had purchased the jets. So pilots died and planes crashed.

    hese claims
    His Qui Tam fraud law suit to protect the taxpayers and Air Force was simply dismissed

  27. Google search Darrol Olsen F-22 and read his FCA fraud law suit.
    He has fought for years to get someone to listen to him and what he witnessed.
    If they would not covered it up pilots would be alive and jets crashed and damage and repait maintenance waste and failing coatings would not have happened.
    He knows and hed documented it and there requires a congressional investigation to reveal the real fraud that killed taxpayers along with the pilots.
    Yes there were 2 pilots die.
    Taxpayers need to get up and go to their senators and congressmen demanding a congressional investigation and led Mr. OLSEN. tell about the massive fraud he witnessed. Have him reveal what is really happening to our pilots.

  28. Google search Darrol Olsen F-22 and read his FCA fraud law suit.
    He has fought for years to get someone to listen to him and what he witnessed.
    If they would not covered it up pilots would be alive and jets crashed and damage and repait maintenance waste and failing coatings would not have happened.
    He knows and hed documented it and there requires a congressional investigation to reveal the real fraud that killed taxpayers along with the pilots.
    Yes there were 2 pilots die.
    Taxpayers need to get up and go to their senators and congressmen demanding a congressional investigation and led Mr. OLSEN. tell about the massive fraud he witnessed. Have him reveal what is really happening to our pilots.
    He is a veteran and a patriot .

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