Home » Air » Critics question AF’s F-22 solutions

Critics question AF’s F-22 solutions

by Mike Hoffman on July 31, 2012

Questions over the Air Force’s claim they have solved the F-22 oxygen problems are starting to get louder.

First, Flight Global’s Dave Majumdar wrote an article citing anonymous F-22 pilots concerns that the service’s scientists and engineers have falsely blamed the Combat Edge upper pressure garment. Majumdar quotes one F-22 pilot saying: “There’s one thing I know for certain: The Combat Edge isn’t the culprit.”

The pilot goes on to say he thinks Air Force leaders are desperate to try and show the service is getting closer to figuring out why so many pilots have reported hypoxia-like symptoms when flying the F-22 over the past two years. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told the Pentagon press corps soon after Defense Secretary green lighted an F-22 deployment to Japan that the service was confident they had found the problem.

Majumdar also reached out to Kevin Divers, a former USAF rated physiologist and F-22 flight test engineer who said he was surprised the service’s engineers have not contacted him since he worked on the F-22’s life support systems. He called the Air Force’s conclusion “very flawed and misdirected.”

“The USAF is still missing important details by ignoring those of us who believe in the airplane and know that we can help,” Divers told Majumdar.

Majumdar is not the only one asking questions. Dana Liebelson with The Project on Government Oversight wondered why F-22 maintainers had reported breathing problems if the Air Force had decided the hypoxia-like symptoms were caused by altitude vests worn by the pilots and air filters found in the cockpits.

An Air Force spokesman told Liebelson the problems experienced by the maintainers were separate from the ones reported by the pilots. When Liebelson asked for a report with the entirety of the Air Force’s findings, the Air Force e-mailed Liebelson a statement saying: “There have been no written reports summarizing all the various testing analysis efforts, findings and results produced at this point.”

Tuesday afternoon at the Pentagon, the Air Force is scheduled to release the results of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board’s study into life support systems on the F-22. We will have more about the answers to some of these questions sure to be asked after the study is released. Air Force Maj. Gen. Charlie Lyon, Air Combat Command’s director of operations, will be under the spotlight.

Share |

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

justsaying July 31, 2012 at 11:23 am

"anonymous" "professionals" "experts" None of these people actually exist.

Reply

Russell July 31, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Did you see 60minutes with the Major and Captain? Apparently not.

Reply

Corio July 31, 2012 at 11:31 am

As far as i remember there are some reports of technical personnel showing similar symptoms while testing the aircraft on base. Were they also wearing the Combat Edge? :P

Reply

steve August 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm

I think the Air Force has much greater concerns, when the GROUND CREWS also have the very same affects with the F-22 Oxygen System as that of the pilots flying the aircraft! It would "appear" that some internal contamination is prevalent that affects both air crew ,as well as ground crew??? It is very odd the DoD, and Air Force, have remained silent of this comparative problem? Might reflect an environmental problem as well?

Reply

Duane Alexander August 1, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I thought the same thing. I think the problem is from the materials or coatings this plane is made of and they will never fess up to that.

Reply

DGR July 31, 2012 at 11:35 am

No offense, but a bunch of unknown pilots arent who I would turn to for vast amounts of technical or medical knowledge.

Reply

Russell July 31, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Offense taken…they are the ones on the frontline and in the cockpit…umm where were you going to turn to? Mr.Wizard?

Reply

DGR July 31, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Totally differant things there bro. Show me a pilot who knows to replace compresser blades, swap the engines, or troubleshoot an avionics suite. Pilots fly, they do not have detailed technical knowledge of the aircraft. In fact there is so much to learn that I dare say there is not a single person alive who is a technical expert on every system in the F-22. Im not talking about how to talk the talk, im talking actual knowledge, no-kidding I can do this, actual technical knowledge.

Reply

BajaWarrior July 31, 2012 at 2:29 pm

So maintainers and contractors are the sole sorce of information about what goes on in a cockpit at altitude and under G? Btw, Combat Edge was not just made for the Raptor and is not causing issues in other MDS's.

Reply

Praetorian July 31, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Because those other aircraft are not pulling 6 g’s at 60,000 feet. Can any other aircaft in the world pull 6 g’s at that altitude ?

EagleKeeper July 31, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Uhh, yeah, I know several myself. While the pool is small in number, there are a fair amount of maintainers that earn degrees while active, then get commissioned and fly also.

Reply

JJMurray August 1, 2012 at 7:37 am

The point is they aren't turning to them for technical or medical knowledge but experience and knowledge of the environment. Your maintainers may know their systems, but the pilot knows the environment in the aircraft and has insights no one else has into what is doing what and when, especially when it is affecting them physically.

Reply

Jayson July 31, 2012 at 11:55 am

I like the pic though.

Reply

WarPony July 31, 2012 at 8:38 pm

photo shop – but, cool none the less. 'Picture' a look at the nano-tech off-gas of the skin. But wait, that's bound to be ATS due to national security, or some congresssman's/senator's/district pet co./donor may be dissed. What a crock!?

Reply

XYZ August 1, 2012 at 12:52 am

Yeah but why they so shiny?

Reply

Chris July 31, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I'm sure 20 years from now there will be numerous cancer deaths linked to the F-22… from both pilots and maintainers alike. When a pilot lands and breathes a significant amount of toxins out of his lungs, I'd say the problem is far from solved. There isn't much in the news about that but it is happening. I'm a big proponent of the F-22. But I'm also a military brat and I know the lengths the US military/government will go to to save face. Think of all the ODS veterans that have died from cancer that the US government still won't acknowledge.

Typically I wouldn't have agreed with the USAF F-22 pilots speaking out publicly the way they did… But you have to put yourself in the shoes of the pilot's flying the aircraft. If I knew an aircraft was unsafe, and something hadn't been done about it for years (I guarantee this has been going on far longer than 2 years), and I'd lost or almost lost buddies due to it… I'd probably say something about it as well.

Reply

Duane August 1, 2012 at 5:39 pm

It's probably been going on since the beginning but didn't become a issue until someone got killed.

Reply

Tim July 31, 2012 at 1:13 pm

IF there is no problem so far… why then do they keep making it a problem?

Or is this part of our disinformation effort to make the F-22 appear less than what it actually is? Comment about recent Typhoon being "almost as good as" F-22 (in dogfight) during the recent Red Flag is one example.

Reply

Cainine July 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm

No doubt about USAF and Defense Dept. disinforming the World public. F-22 a bust?
No problem. We can solve all that's ailing your air defense with the newer, more expensive, and just as flawed F-35. Orders?

Reply

MATT July 31, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Uncle Sam to F22: theres the gate to the pasture. Dont piss or sh*t in the river. When you finally die, try and do it somewhere out of sight and smell.

MONEY QUOTES:

"Majumdar also reached out to Kevin Divers, a former USAF rated physiologist and F-22 flight test engineer who said he was surprised the service’s engineers have not contacted him since he worked on the F-22’s life support systems. He called the Air Force’s conclusion “very flawed and misdirected.”"

"“The USAF is still missing important details by ignoring those of us who believe in the airplane and know that we can help,” Divers told Majumdar"

FLAWED… MISDIRECTED… IGNORING PEOPLE

THESE PEOPLE IN THE USAF ARE DESK JOCKIES WITH NO CONSEQUENCES FOR THEIR ACTIONS. NO PRESSURE TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM. NO LEDERSHIP.

THIS IS A DISGRACE.

Reply

Pilgrimman July 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm

CAPS LOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR AWESOME

Reply

Matt July 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Yeah I was typing on my phone during lunch hour sorry. My points still stand. Lucky I didnt have time to elaborate.

Reply

mcarroll August 5, 2012 at 12:41 pm

none of you really know the extent and the depth of the leadership's concerns. we're at ACC-I know how hard our spouses are working it

Reply

Sergei July 31, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Whats it record in combat i no hear win battle blue sky yet?

Maybe one day but not this day I no think so yes?

Reply

Major Payne 2 July 31, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I think so maybe or no

Reply

Johnny Ranger August 1, 2012 at 11:11 am

Hahaha

Reply

ChuckL July 31, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Well in one of the mixed aircraft exercises that have been conducted an Aussie F-15 pilot was quoted as saying that he was really frustrated in flying against the F-22. He could visually see the (expletives)thing, but he couldn't get a radar lock.

Reply

Johnny Ranger August 1, 2012 at 11:12 am

F-15 or F-18?

Reply

SMSgt Mac July 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Gee,this seems very much like a rush to “poison the well” before the official briefing on the topic even occurs. How POGO-esque. Otherwise, why not wait and contrast the two POVs? Nevermind. I already know the answer.

Reply

Crispy Critter August 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Normally, I would agree. However, as one of 11 original flight instructors in the F-111 program, "me thinks thou doest protest too much". Why I continued to fly that aircraft in confidence is because we included ALL personnel as part of the team. That does mean NCO's and officers directly involved with flying, maintenance, & support of the aircraft. Everyone contributed to our success. It does not appear to be the case with the "22".

Reply

Big-RIck July 31, 2012 at 3:56 pm

The Air Force needs to start a program for their fighters, especially the F-22 that is similar to the Navy's 'sub-safe' program and they also need to get someone like a Adm Rickover to take over the investigation.

The problem with the Air Force is that they have a 'blame" rather than a "fix it' mentality. That's the reason the F-22 oxygen fiasco as been ongoing for so long and the reason the F-35 program is sucking the us dry.

Reply

Matt July 31, 2012 at 6:59 pm
Lance July 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Overall I think if it wasn't for USAF brass trying cover up and down play this then real solutions would be found and trusted quicker than the shadow cased over this whole plane.

Reply

Conradswims July 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Adm Rickover! We need 100 Flag officers just like him. The perfumed princes, self dealing "cr*p" that call them selves flag officers today should all be busted to E-1 then given a BCD.

Reply

Brian Black July 31, 2012 at 6:20 pm

So after all this time, and all the reports about hypoxia, and the protracted investigation into the mysterious hypoxia, it turns out that it’s not hypoxia at all, but compressive asphyxia.

You might have thought that someone would have noticed, like the aircrew or Air Force doctors.

Reply

Matt July 31, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Its a joke.

Reply

Matt July 31, 2012 at 7:01 pm

I mean really, this article is devastating. Every single day that this drags on is a national embarassment. We need to clean house from TOP, DOWN.

Reply

William C. August 1, 2012 at 3:41 am

Start with Washington DC.

Reply

Matt August 1, 2012 at 9:27 am

Thats where it has to start. Thats where the cancer in the program started.

Reply

Rome July 31, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Nothing has changed, the problem is the government-example Vietnam
agent orange returning troop committing suicide and all the cover ups, Politicians payoff must I go on. This country belongs to the government not the people. Thats to bad. They keep on taking away from us and lying to us – they be looking for me now. Good luck and God Bless.

Reply

Crispy Critter August 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm

It took me almost 5 years of fighting with the VA to get them to acknowledge medical problems caused by Agent Orange; and it has been over 12 years to get them to acknowledge CRSC for problems caused in the Vietnam zone. I am 150%% disabled, (you max out at 100%% on items for pay) but these same items should apply for CRSC. Now, I have just completed 9 weeks of radiation treatment for prostate cancer to add to the pile; "give up in frustration or die before the VA processes your claim" is the answer. As a northern California resident, I agree whole-heartedly with the recent article in the Sacramento Bee and SF Chronicle that the Oakland VA office has been cited as the most incompetent of all VA offices. It is now over 12 years; I haven't died and I haven't given up in frustration. I am not just fighting for myself and family, but for all veterans and future veterans.

Reply

Kevin August 1, 2012 at 12:52 am

Air Force is claiming to have found the issue. A combination of small issues which combine to create a larger issue, which is why it was so difficult to pin down.
http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/31/air-forc

Reply

Former AF SSGT August 1, 2012 at 9:33 am

In my youth, before everything toxic was declared dangerous, I inhaled small quantities of numerous solvents in my work, and often felt ill. I heard recently that "new car smell", which is the out-gassing of solvents in automotive plastics parts is toxic, and possible carcinogenic.

The toxic fume theory sounds like a viable candidate. This is the first I've heard this… has this been investigated?

Reply

Richard August 1, 2012 at 11:33 am

Of course the military does not want bad press, but do you really think that they are not putting 100% effort into finding out what the cause is?

Reply

Matt August 1, 2012 at 11:40 am

Yes.

Reply

common August 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm

You are a political tool on the tip of the spear, shut up and fly. And when you are dull and used up, you will be tossed out. If you don't like it, find another career path. You signed up to be a defense tool, your quality of life comes second or not at all.

Reply

John Moore August 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Wonder if they knew all these problems back in the day when they choose to cancel production and cap the # an 187?

Reply

d. kellogg August 1, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Something of interest that isn't appearing on many front pages…

Typhoons beating F-22s: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/07/f-22-germ
(exerpt:…“They didn’t expect us to turn so aggressively.”, says a German rep…)

I'd be curious to know if the USAF is going to lay any of the blame (of losing) at the troubles caused by the hypoxia culprit(s)…?

Perhaps we'll see another Cope India excuse where it's expressed that US pilot were restricted in what they could do (this time due to phyical limits to avoid pilot hypoxia), so that is why supposedly-inferior aircraft bested them…

Interesting (moreso when we see the AMRAAM motor issues…).

Reply

TJRedneck August 2, 2012 at 8:43 am

The Air Force needs another General LeMay. The F-22 is a great aircraft but it has problems and they need to be solved. It's also time that the Defense Contractors like Lockheed Martin decide that our people are more important than their profits and get to the bottom of these problems and fix them. We need leadership again in both the military and industry who put the warfighter first, not their own careers.

Reply

Guest August 2, 2012 at 11:08 am

Infrasound creates hypoxia like symptoms. Found around jet engines in the 1950s. This has not been hypotheses tested but apparently ignored by current F22 investigators. Put someone on it and confirm or dispel. A company called Acentech is doing research on for a Navy Diver SBIR and discovered this infrasound finding.

Reply

d. kellogg August 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm

They're not the only ones.
OSHA has well known for years that all manner of machinery can generate sound frequencies that cause everything from minor discomfort to severe trauma (far beyond long term hearing losses).
Those LRAD developers, sonar manufacturers, and many more machinery makers are well aware that acoustics can be damaging at certain freq ranges (like electricity's currents and voltages, in sound it isn't just the decibels that cause problems).
(And no, mythbusters never did find their "brown noise", even if several manufacturers already do have established evidence that prolonged near-proximity exposures to various freqs cause upset a person's internals just as much as the short-duration LRAD bursts can…)

Time will tell, more qualified people will reveal their findings,
but sadly, proud fanboys will still deny them.
Let's hear it for that global warming thing and ancient aliens shaping humanity's evolution as well.

Reply

AMMO461 August 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Check out Gen Lyon's comments at http://www.military.com/daily-news/2012/08/01/air… . Obviously he is part of the problem and not the solution. Veiled threats will not convince good pilots that it''s safe to fly the 22 again.

Reply

ofens August 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm

There was a FAC fraud suit filed by an F-22 stealth engineer that revealed the whole story. He revealed the coatings were failing, the coatings were full of deadly toxic chemicals forbidden and had no purpose, EPA and OSHA violations that were criminal, employees and the community exposed to deadly chemicals, fraud and criminal acts that were intentional, and LM covered it up.
He had engineering documentation that proved all these claims.
The government dismissed his suit simply because he did not have sales receipts that showed the Air Force had purchased the jets. So pilots died and planes crashed.

hese claims
His Qui Tam fraud law suit to protect the taxpayers and Air Force was simply dismissed

Reply

OFENS August 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Google search Darrol Olsen F-22 and read his FCA fraud law suit.
He has fought for years to get someone to listen to him and what he witnessed.
If they would not covered it up pilots would be alive and jets crashed and damage and repait maintenance waste and failing coatings would not have happened.
He knows and hed documented it and there requires a congressional investigation to reveal the real fraud that killed taxpayers along with the pilots.
Yes there were 2 pilots die.
Taxpayers need to get up and go to their senators and congressmen demanding a congressional investigation and led Mr. OLSEN. tell about the massive fraud he witnessed. Have him reveal what is really happening to our pilots.

Reply

OFENS August 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Google search Darrol Olsen F-22 and read his FCA fraud law suit.
He has fought for years to get someone to listen to him and what he witnessed.
If they would not covered it up pilots would be alive and jets crashed and damage and repait maintenance waste and failing coatings would not have happened.
He knows and hed documented it and there requires a congressional investigation to reveal the real fraud that killed taxpayers along with the pilots.
Yes there were 2 pilots die.
Taxpayers need to get up and go to their senators and congressmen demanding a congressional investigation and led Mr. OLSEN. tell about the massive fraud he witnessed. Have him reveal what is really happening to our pilots.
He is a veteran and a patriot .

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: