F-22s Make Precautionary Landings in Kadena

Three F-22s deployed to Kadena Air Base in Japan made precautionary landings over the period of three days in April for various reasons. However, none of the pilots complained of breathing problems that previous pilots had experienced in the fifth generation fighters, Air Force officials said.

It’s unclear what caused these precautionary landings, but the result of them have not incurred “unique flight restrictions” for the 12 F-22As deployed to Kadena, said 2nd Lt. Hope Cornin, a spokeswoman for the 18th Wing.

Two F-22s made precautionary landings on April 1, while another F-22 made a precautionary landing on April 3, Cornin said. No injuries were reported in any of these incidents.

The F-22 remains under a microscope as the fifth generation fighter continues to operate without the flight restrictions the Air Force had placed on the fleet because of complaints from pilots about a lack of oxygen in flight. The service worked for more than two years to figure out the problem and then come up with a solution.

Air Force leaders believe they have solved it by replacing the breathing regulator/anti-g (BRAG) valve, installing a new back-up oxygen system and changing the oxygen schedule for the F-22’s onboard oxygen generation system (OBOGS).

Plenty remain skeptical, but there have been no reported incidents since the Air Force lifted the flight restrictions to protect pilots.

Cornin pointed out that the F-22s involved with the precautionary landings never lost their flight status because of the problems experienced by the pilots.

F-22s with the 1st Fighter Wing, JointBase Langley-Eustis, Va., and the 192nd Fighter Wing, Va. Air National Guard, deployed to Japan in January and are scheduled to return to the U.S. this Spring, Cornin said.

About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to Military.com. He can be reached at mhoffman@tandemnsi.com.
  • Ricky of Ohio.

    Can’t wait till they fix the bugs. But that is one bad arse looking plane right there.

  • Tony C.

    The F-22A pushes the human body to the endurance limits in it’s flight regime. Could be the pilots are now seeing the results of the stress placed on them. The Air Force should enable the F-22A to make auotmated landings in the event that the pilot becomes incapacitated. Vectored thrust enables up to 9G turns and beyond.

  • jamesb

    Question Tony C….

    The Air Force flew Intel birds that flew TWICE as fast as these a/c for decades…And one classified a/c that was thought to fly THREE times faster….Why all the sudden all these problems?

  • Jim

    they didn’t usually do loops in the SR-71

  • Jason

    Unfortunately this is the type of nonsense the F16 pilots had to deal with until they decided to fix the problem.

  • Tad

    ” However, none of the pilots complained of breathing problems that previous pilots had experienced in the fifth generation fighters, Air Force officials said.”

    Complain and your career is over. But hey, it’s your choice, we’re not forcing you to be quiet.

  • Lance

    Well no surprise after very close inspection they passed. But when things get back to normal is the real test.

  • Belesari

    You know they had problems with the Super Hornets oxygen system doing the same. Know how they fixed it?

    Oxygen tank on the front of the suit.

    • From what I understand there were electrical connection problems also addressed in the Superbug…

  • wkb2texans

    The Air Force isn’t covering up this issue nor are aircrew members under fear of punishment if they report any continuing breathing/oxygen issues. The Air Force and some of the best engineers in the business spent more than 2 years trying to isolate the oxygen deprivation issue before they finally came up with what everyone thinks is the fix. So far, it looks like it is working.

    Those who claim otherwise … or claim there is some kind of conspiracy or other attempt to cover things up are simply clueless.


    What now? Honestly. Maybe another computer bug like at the international date line. I seriously hope that this isn’t an oxygen system problem. Call in the F-15!

  • tiger

    Is “Precautionary landing” a new PC term for Emergency?

  • anthony

    Yes the SR-71 also called Habu,goes fast 3 + and does great jobs.
    But the F22 beats them all awsome look and readyto a dog fight..

  • Howie

    If this has nothing to do with the OBOGS issue. Then why all these aborted flights, what is the bug.. don’t tell me, the big white elephant shoved inside the hangar again..

    I thought these jets was the newest units in the USAF fleet.

  • chuck

    Anyone have any idea how this compares to the “precautionary landing” rate of other airframes?

    I gotta think that with pretty much all fighters the rule is that any anomaly during training, and you bring it right back to base. You can practice failure modes in the simulator.

  • Holly
  • Howie

    Well i do not know how this relate to other jets. If we go by F-16 and F-15, which are conciderable older but yet less complex i still think they come out better on service record. Given the few numbers of F-22 and all..


      I am a huge fan of the F-15. But with all respect to “the king” of the skies, the F-22 is lightyears ahead. Simulated training flights at Elemendorf and Nellis show kill ratios even HIGHER than the F-15’s 104.5 victories. That is substantial. Now, actual, real, situations, yes, the F-15 and F-16 have a better record. But the day the F-22 charges into battle, it will be clear how far ahead it is in the US arsenal. Now, of course, that is saying something, since the F-15 and F-16 hold some of the highest kill ratios ever.

      • Stratege

        Both F-15 and F-16 get their ratios from air combats against obsolete (generation behind) or outnumbered enemy aircraft.

        • Stratege

          Not to mention that many of Eagle’s and Falcon’s victims were 60’s era strike aircraft (such as Su-22), not even fighter jets.

      • Howie

        Strictly talking about servicebility record. This is an important issue. If you are bogged down time with F-22 or any other jets, you are not going to kill anything.. so my point stays valid.

      • Epsilon

        Forget about F-15’s record, it is against 2nd and 3rd generation monkey models and few radarless MiG-29, and not single victory against state of the art aircrafts of its time. There is a reason they built F-22 and that’s not because F-15 is the best 4th gen fighter. It has losing record against Flankers in exercises. And don’t forget that it’s about a whole air force. Iraq or Serbia could have F-15s or even F-22s and they would still be crushed and overwhelmed with Tomahawks and higher number of fighters and AWACSes behind their backs.