rc135x
Topic Author
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:46 am

F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:08 pm

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.
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bennett123
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RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:17 pm

Could raise some problems if the head of ACC was killed in an F22 crash.
 
rfields5421
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RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Tue May 01, 2012 1:04 am

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.
 
rc135x
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RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Tue May 01, 2012 1:58 am

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.
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Ozair
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RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Tue May 01, 2012 5:50 am

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.
 
LMP737
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RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Tue May 01, 2012 10:42 pm

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.
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ThePointblank
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RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Wed May 02, 2012 5:32 am

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.
 
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Faro
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RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Wed May 02, 2012 9:36 pm

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
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ThePointblank
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RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Thu May 03, 2012 3:56 am

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.
 
Legs
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RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Thu May 03, 2012 8:30 am

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?
 
rwessel
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RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Thu May 03, 2012 10:09 am

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.
 
Legs
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RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Thu May 03, 2012 10:57 am

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.
 
wvsuperhornet
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RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Mon May 07, 2012 7:00 pm

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.
 
zanl188
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RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Mon May 07, 2012 9:18 pm

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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bennett123
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RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Mon May 07, 2012 9:36 pm

I am somewhat surprised that this issue is being allowed to become public knowledge.
 
checksixx
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RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Tue May 08, 2012 3:07 am

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.
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 2534
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

RE: F-22 Pilots Ask For Reassignment

Tue May 08, 2012 3:12 am

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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