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Oxygen System Didn’t Cause F-22 Crash

by John Reed on August 31, 2011

This is interesting. The crash of an F-22 Raptor out of Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska late last year was not caused by problems associated with the plane’s oxygen system,  Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz told Air Force Magazine yesterday.

The onset of summer in Alaska allowed investigators to get their hands on  “hardware and computer memory that made a more comprehensive analysis possible,” wrote John Tirpak of Air Force Magazine. This analysis apparently led the investigators to decide that problems with the oxygen system didn’t cause the crash. The investigation had been delayed by harsh winter weather that kept investigators from recovering all the evidence from the crash site.

The service began investigating the Raptors’ on-board-oxygen-generating-system after the fatal crash in late November 2010. The investigation has been looking at whether carbon monoxide and other toxins are seeping into the system, called OBOGS, that provides pilots with air to breath at high-altitudes. 14 Raptor pilots at six bases around the United States have reportedly experienced hypoxia–like symptoms after using the OBOGS system.

Suspected problems with the oxygen system  famously led to the grounding of the entire F-22 fleet in early May — a grounding that remains in effect. (Schwartz also told AF Mag that the F-22s will be flying soon and that the Raptors’ flight to flee Hurricane Irene last weekend was the start of a phased plan to get them back in the air.)

Via: Air Force Magazine.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

DUDE August 31, 2011 at 11:30 am

So what are other possible causes of the AK crash?

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Roy Smith August 31, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Maybe it was HAARP.

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jumper August 31, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Could be good 'ol pilot error… or this could just be some misinformation being put out by Gen. Schwartz. Hard to tell, the entire fleet being grounded is bad PR, I could see the Air Force clearing them for flight with a non-disclosed ceiling restriction until they fix the O2 system.

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JRL September 1, 2011 at 8:43 am

Obama, of course. He's responsible for every bad thing that happens.

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Chops August 31, 2011 at 11:52 am

I wonder how much Lockheed Martin is getting charged for each day the Raptor is grounded because of a manufacturing defect.I thought I saw somewhere that w/ the 155 F22s in the current fleet the cost of each bird is @450mil.–that's quite a bit for a plane that can't fly without making the pilots sick.These defense contractors are getting away with fleecing the military and taxpayers and not one of our paid-off politicians is doing a single thing to stop it.

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Chops August 31, 2011 at 4:30 pm

ADD—This is at least a 30yr. life span plane–at 450mil. per copy that translates to $41,095 per plane per day value.That makes the cost of the 150 plane fleet at $6,164,384 per day for something that can't fly.

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ziv September 2, 2011 at 9:22 am

On a more positive note, the airframes aren't aging on the ground and now the newest aircraft in the fleet will be able to fly until July or September of 2041 instead of being retired in January of the same year. ;-)
When you only have 186 of them, and a quarter aren't combat coded, every month of service is a godsend.

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misionpilot September 2, 2011 at 12:05 am

Um don't you think that they could just upload an auto pilot and turn these into UAVs?

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Lance August 31, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Why dont they just use the F-15s oxygen system and fix it so F-22s can fly again.

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Cheesed August 31, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I could certainly be wrong, but my guess is that they won't because "the crash … was not caused by problems associated with the [F-22]’s oxygen system."

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Chops August 31, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Supposedely–but consider that F22 pilots have been tested and toxins have been found in their blood system.They don't have any answer for this either but it seems this condition is only showing up in F22 pilots.If they would spend as much time worrying about the plane and pilots as they spend worrying about Lockheed Martins reputation and profit margin the plane would be in the air again.

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tiger August 31, 2011 at 4:51 pm

It not like dropping a transmission in a FORD…………. Not that simple.

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Chops August 31, 2011 at 6:12 pm

As of today 8/31/2011 the F22 fleet has been grounded 117 days–in that time I would think [but I don't know] that they could have put an oxtgen bottle air system in 1 plane and ascertained the effect of that system on the pilot and plane.Just a guess on my part but it would probably give them a direction to go to if it worked.

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cthel September 1, 2011 at 5:33 am

I suspect that the big problem is a lack of room. The F22 was designed around a life-support system that uses an oxygen-separation plant to extract oxygen from ambient air. This system is almost certainly smaller than the tankage required for equivilent LOX storage and reheating.

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Lance September 1, 2011 at 6:03 pm

I meant designers to use a older more reliable system like on the F-15C.

Roy Smith August 31, 2011 at 7:36 pm

This whole episode with the grounding of our F-22′s all of a sudden reminds me of the premise of the movie “Apollo 18″ & why we haven’t returned to the moon. I’m very sure that the Air Force knows exactly why the F-22 crashed. I’m also sure they don’t want us to know or it will cause a panic. I half heartedly joked about it earlier with my “HAARP” explanation. I bet it was the same thing that caused the crash of that B-2 bomber in Guam years ago(& you could probably include the Challenger Space Shuttle in that),& no,I DON’T believe space aliens or UFO’s were involved,nor do I believe it was a “Fringe(as in the TV show Fringe)” event. Russia & China aren’t exactly the Dilbert nation of “Elbonia.”

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Thomas L. Nielsen September 1, 2011 at 5:06 am

"I'm also sure they don't want us to know or it will cause a panic."

Good for you. Now the actual evidence for that statement is where?

"I bet it was the same thing that caused the crash of that B-2 bomber in Guam years ago(& you could probably include the Challenger Space Shuttle in that)"

Unless you can provide som hard evidence to back that up, you'd lose that bet.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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JRL September 1, 2011 at 8:50 am

I guess that anytime something goes wrong with an incredibly complicated US machine, it must be because of the sinister machinations of Dr Fu Manchu. Working in commie collusion with Boris Badenuv and Natasha, of course…

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Thomas L. Nielsen September 1, 2011 at 9:07 am

Don't forget MAJIC12, the Bilderberg Group, the Zionist Conspiracy and Bigfoot (especially Bigfoot – he's sneaky for such a big, hairy guy).

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Roy Smith September 1, 2011 at 12:08 pm

No,it was global warming.

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barts dad September 20, 2011 at 9:32 am

or maybe just that the pilots have been starting and warming up the aircraft indoors in hangers. dohhhh!

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Roland September 1, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Its possible The oxygen become unusable because of cold temperature.

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ben September 3, 2011 at 2:08 pm

To paraphrase Morbo… OXYGEN DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!

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Roland May 18, 2012 at 1:58 am

The F-22 jet probably needed some insulaition on it's frame and check and double check the oxygen system design and the problems of F-22.

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cthel September 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Basically, because it won't fit without major structural modifications to the airframe (not to mention new control software, which has to be fully verified).

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