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F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment  
User currently offlinerc135x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 8192 times:

This headline just released:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012...us-f-22-pilot-problem.html?_r=1&hp

This is related to previous oxygen-deficit or hypoxia issues associated with the four-month grounding last year.

I don't recall any previous aircraft where pilots requested reassignment due to mechanical or design issues with an aircraft.

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7209 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 8095 times:

Could raise some problems if the head of ACC was killed in an F22 crash.

User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7345 posts, RR: 32
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 8009 times:

Quoting rc135x (Thread starter):
I don't recall any previous aircraft where pilots requested reassignment due to mechanical or design issues with an aircraft.

Not in most of us adult lifetimes - but there were some military aircraft, especially in WWII, where good pilots tried to get out of flying them. If the good pilots were allowed to leave - the not so good pilots had higher crash rates.


User currently offlinerc135x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7976 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 2):
but there were some military aircraft, especially in WWII,

The early "short wing" version of the Martin B-26 Marauder comes to mind, but this tension was short-lived and the plane ended the war with an excellent safety record and strong pilot endorsements, if not begrudging admiration.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 790 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7845 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 2):
Not in most of us adult lifetimes - but there were some military aircraft, especially in WWII, where good pilots tried to get out of flying them. If the good pilots were allowed to leave - the not so good pilots had higher crash rates.
Quoting rc135x (Reply 3):

The early "short wing" version of the Martin B-26 Marauder comes to mind, but this tension was short-lived and the plane ended the war with an excellent safety record and strong pilot endorsements, if not begrudging admiration.

Didn't the B-17 pilots say their best escorts were always the B-24s and not fighter aircraft. The Germans knew it was easier to destroy a B-24 than a B-17 combined with the more difficult handling characteristics of the B-24.

Although not totally because the aircraft they were flying were suffering issues, in Max Hasting's Bomber Command he mentions that most RAF bomber pilots when signing up for a second tour requested to go to Mosquito's.


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 7373 times:

It will be interesting to find out what the problem with the F-22's OBOGS system ends up being. The F-14D had OBOGS and I don't recall it ever having these issues. Although the F-14D also had a LOX bottle as back up in case of failure of the OBOGS system.

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1554 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7226 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 5):
It will be interesting to find out what the problem with the F-22's OBOGS system ends up being. The F-14D had OBOGS and I don't recall it ever having these issues. Although the F-14D also had a LOX bottle as back up in case of failure of the OBOGS system.

I believe I've touched on this point before. The issue is primarily procedural. It's no coincidence that all of the hypoxia incidents happened at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. They have identified that starting aircraft while in the hangars causes the OBOGS system to suck in the exhaust fumes from the engines, which causes the hypoxia issues.

And it is not just the F-22 that has issues with hypoxia; the F/A-18 has also affected as well, though it uses a totally different system. The Navy's response for most of the past decade was to upgrade hypoxia-awareness training. Finally, however, two corrective steps are being undertaken on the Hornet and Super Hornet fleet: the oxygen concentrator is being upgraded with the addition of a catalyst that converts carbon monoxide to benign carbon dioxide. In the future, the USN will install a solid-state oxygen-monitoring system on all in-service F/A-18s that tracks both oxygen concentration and pressure rather than O2 concentration alone.


User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1515 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 6818 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 6):
I believe I've touched on this point before. The issue is primarily procedural. It's no coincidence that all of the hypoxia incidents happened at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. They have identified that starting aircraft while in the hangars causes the OBOGS system to suck in the exhaust fumes from the engines, which causes the hypoxia issues.

Perhaps someone should notify those ignorant, recalcitrant F-22 pilots that bit of good news: you seem to know something that they don't...


Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1554 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6687 times:

Quoting faro (Reply 7):

Perhaps someone should notify those ignorant, recalcitrant F-22 pilots that bit of good news: you seem to know something that they don't...


Faro

The Navy had this issue in the past with the F/A-18 as I alluded to earlier. The F/A-18 has a OBOGS system as well. The Navy had 64 occurances of this same type (although less public than the F-22's). Bleed air being sucked back into the engine causes degradation in the way OBOGS can generate. The F/A-18 suffered these when pilots stacked behind the JBD or other AC awaiting their turn to taxi to the catapults. But once this was figured out, they implemented changes in ground procedures which stopped the problem.


User currently offlinelegs From Australia, joined Jun 2006, 230 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6587 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 8):
Bleed air being sucked back

Do you mean exhaust?

I can see how a blast of exhaust could cause the OBOGS to degrade and the O2 output to fall. What I don't understand is how the effect could persist for any length of time. Surely the amount of flow through any OBOGS concentrator would be enough to pretty quickly purge any CO out of the system? Or is there something I'm missing?


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2238 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6550 times:
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Quoting legs (Reply 9):
I can see how a blast of exhaust could cause the OBOGS to degrade and the O2 output to fall. What I don't understand is how the effect could persist for any length of time. Surely the amount of flow through any OBOGS concentrator would be enough to pretty quickly purge any CO out of the system?

I believe all of these compress and store some quantity of generated O2 to deal with irregularities of production and demand. The problem then is that a moderate amount of CO (assuming CO is the problem) will get stored and then passed to the pilot over time. The problem with CO is that it does not take very much to drastically reduce the Oxygen carrying capacity of your hemoglobin, and it does not dissipate from your bloodstream very quickly (on normal sea level air, the half-life is about five hours*), so a prolonged exposure at even a fairly low concentration will accumulate a dangerous concentration. .1% over an hour or so will knock you out (and leave you nauseous and woozy long before that), as will a few breaths of 1%**. Normal safety guidelines rate exposures over .01% to be dangerous.


*This is reduced by a factor of four if you're on pure O2. On the flips side, at reduced pressures, the half life goes up.

**Although if pilots were being hit with that high a concentration, it would be much more obvious.


User currently offlinelegs From Australia, joined Jun 2006, 230 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 6538 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 10):
store some quantity of generated O2

Of course, I completely forgot to consider the entire system, as opposed to just the concentrator. I was thinking somehow the sieve got saturated with CO, but that didnt make any sense to me at all.

Out of curiosity, does anyone know how big the F-22 Oxy plenum is? Probably a long shot, though.


User currently offlinewvsuperhornet From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 516 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5685 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 5):
It will be interesting to find out what the problem with the F-22's OBOGS system ends up being. The F-14D had OBOGS and I don't recall it ever having these issues. Although the F-14D also had a LOX bottle as back up in case of failure of the OBOGS system.

I am not sure I would compare an F-14D with the F-22 your talking to tally different animals. Seems to me like Lockheed martin made an aircraft that is too sophisticated to fly. Although if researched an easy fix would be to ground them either force the airforce to buy a naval plane the superhornet or build new F-15's off their competetors and then fine lockheed martin 2 million dollars a day until the problem is fixed, my guess it would be a very fast turnaround. If these pilots are starting to refuse to fly the planes then its obvious it has some serious design flaws than need fixed. Pilots just dont throw their careers in jeapordy on a whim.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3433 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5593 times:
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Pretty good piece on 60 Minutes last night regarding this topic....

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_16...-sick/?tag=contentMain;cbsCarousel



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User currently offlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7209 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5578 times:

I am somewhat surprised that this issue is being allowed to become public knowledge.

User currently offlinechecksixx From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1071 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5392 times:

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 14):
I am somewhat surprised that this issue is being allowed to become public knowledge.

There was a crash in Alaska that started the public's awareness of the issue. Just search F-22 crash Alaska and you can bring yourself up to date.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1554 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5388 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 13):
Pretty good piece on 60 Minutes last night regarding this topic....

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_16...ousel

The 60 Minutes report can be confusing because it showed the OBOGS using air "after passing through the engine". The air for the OBOGS is actually bled off of the the compressor before any the air passes through the combustor and burns.

The way they explained that probably caused a lot of people to wonder why those "idiots" at Lockheed can't figure out why breathing jet exhaust is making pilots sick, when the problem is considerably more complicated than that, and revolves about carbon monoxide ingestion.

With the F-22 able to fly higher than any other production fighter (even higher than the F-15), the dangers of hypoxia and carbon monoxide exposure at such altitudes is of great concern.


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