Think You Need Ice In Your Veins To Be An Air Force Fighter Pilot? How About Anti Freeze Or Oil? [Update]
The F-22 Raptor is an amazing feat of engineering. They also cost $150 million dollars a piece. Because of that, only about 160 were bought by the US government and they are posted at seven bases. If you add that up it is somewhere in the realm of $24 Billion dollars (with a b) spent on these planes. Back in May, they were all grounded. It seemed as though some toxins were getting into the cockpits of the planes and they couldn’t figure out where from. Part of the investigation that lead to the grounding involved the death of an f-22 pilot in Alaska the previous november. Reports are that the pilot sounded drunk in his last communications just before the crash, which is a classic symptom of hypoxia or lack of oxygen.
After the grounding all of the pilots were tested for any symptoms that might be adverse to the toxins found in the cockpits. In 6 of the 7 bases carrying the f-22 planes, traces of oil, anti-freeze and even propane were found in pilots bloodstreams. The theory is they are entering the cockpits or the pilots internals by the oxygen producing machines onboard the fighter jets. One of the f-22 pilots is quoted as saying “There is a lot of nasty stuff getting pumped into the pilots’ bloodstream through what they’re breathing from that OBOGS [On-Board Oxygen Generation System]. That’s fact”. There is also worry of carbon monoxide poisoning in the same pilots. Now the Air Force will expand investigations of air quality in OBOGS to other fighter jets. Pretty frightening stuff.
UPDATE: Well it appears Lockheed martin has once again failed in the duty of making quality aircraft. Now, all of the f-35 aircraft we have ready to go are grounded sue to startup issues. So all f-22 and f-35 aircraft for the USAF are down. What exactly are we going to use if something happened to go down right now? I guess some f-15s or f-18s? They certainly don’t carry the same technologies in stealth and range as the newer jets. But at least they work. It’s sad to see the money the US spends on these aircraft and they can’t be built right. This is the 3rd grounding for the f-35.
Category: Tech News
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