Tuesday, May 10, 2011

F-22 stand-down

Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force
Last week, ACC Commander, Gen Fraser, issued the order to stand-down the entire fleet of F-22 fighter aircraft s after reports surfaced of potential malfunctions with the aircraft's on board oxygen-generation system. The Air Force’s newest air superiority weapon system -- a fleet of 165 -- was officially grounded indefinitely May 3.

Sources are offering some additional information on the ACC's decision to stand down its fleet of F-22s this week. The decision stemmed from a November 2010 crash in Alaska that killed its pilot, Capt. Jeff Haney. Since January the aircraft has been flown at altitudes below 25,000 feet due to concern over the system that provides oxygen to the pilot. [The jet's normal operational ceiling exceeds 50,000 feet.]

ACC officials told the Daily Report Friday that it's not yet clear how long the stand-down will remain in effect, saying only that "the safety of our airmen is paramount and we will take the necessary time to ensure we perform a thorough investigation."

Although the on-board oxygen system may have been the causative factor in the November crash, officials said all systems are being reviewed.

In another report of a potential malfunction, an F-22 pilot at JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, scraped the underside of his F-22 on trees during a landing approach, but could not recall what happened and is being treated for physiological symptoms, reported Bloomberg.

ACC officials have said the F-22 remains available for national security missions while one-time flights can be approved by the heads of major commands.
Read more on AFA's Air Force magazine's Daily Report and WRWR.

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