Tuesday, July 24, 2012

F-22 restrictions being lifted

The Air Force has identified the cause of hypoxia-like symptoms a dozen F-22 pilots suffered, and flight restrictions gradually will be lifted. The Air Force ruled out contaminants as the cause, and made two changes to solve the hypoxia problem. The first was to order pilots not to wear the pressure garment vest during high-altitude missions. The vest inflates to stop blood from pooling, which would cause pilots to black out during high-speed turns. The Air Force found that a faulty valve caused the vest to inflate and remain inflated under conditions where it was not designed to inflate. The Air Force also removed a canister filter from the oxygen delivery system, increasing the volume of air flowing to pilots. (Source: American Forces Press Service, Reuters, 07/24/12) Gulf Coast note: F-22 pilots are trained at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.