Several days ago an F-22 jet crashed at Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City, Florida, fording officials to temporarily close the Highway 98.
The pilot managed to eject on time and is currently under medical supervision. Officials gave no details on what caused the crash, but the incident has fueled an old issue regarding the $190 million aircraft model. Back in 2008, the Air Force began receiving complaints from the pilots reporting hypoxia-like problems. The Air Force was forced to finally acknowledge issues about the F-22’s oxygen supply system.
In 2010 the exact same issue contributed to a fatal crash, although pilot error was ultimately considered to be the cause. In 2011 the fleet was grounded for 4 months and in May 2012 new restrictions were imposed after two pilots expressed their continued misgivings on the CBS program ’60 minutes’. Although the Air Force affirms that the F-22 is safe to fly, pilots have flight restrictions to keep the aircraft out of the high-altitude situations to avoid breathing issues.
Documents obtained by the Associated Press this year, show that back in 2005 Air Force experts did propose a range of solutions to fix the problem with the flow of oxygen into pilots’ masks. The solutions were rejected by military officials in order to avoid spending on a program that was already well over budget.