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ThePointblank
Topic Author
Posts: 3806
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

F/A-18 Oxygen Problems

Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:53 am

It turns out USN Hornet pilots like to breathe, but there's been a uptick in hypoxia rates in both the Hornet and Super Hornet fleet in the past 5 years, with oxygen systems on both the Hornet and Super Hornet being blamed for the problems:

http://breakingdefense.com/2016/02/o...s-afflict-297-navy-marine-hornets/

Fortunately, the hypoxia incidents have not lead to a crash, yet, but the USN is still struggling to identify the cause of the hypoxia events for close to 5 years. Navy records indicate there has been 297 incidents for all types of F/A-18 from May 2010 through October 2015.

What's even more interesting is that both the Hornet and the Super Hornet have about equal incident rates per flight hour and both have totally different oxygen systems; older Hornets use a LOX-based system, while the Super Hornets (and Growlers) use a OBOGS system. Therefore, it is suggested per the article that there are two faults at play; for the classic Hornets, the aircraft have a cabin pressure system and possible contamination issues, while the Super Hornets may have a OBOGS issue.
 
mpgunner
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:08 pm

RE: F/A-18 Oxygen Problems

Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:26 pm

Wow, I remember this years ago and thought they were on a solution.
 
ThePointblank
Topic Author
Posts: 3806
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

RE: F/A-18 Oxygen Problems

Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:08 pm

Quoting mpgunner (Reply 1):
Wow, I remember this years ago and thought they were on a solution.

If anything, the lack of a resolution and a sharp increase in hypoxia incidents despite the Navy studying the issue for 5 years is more worrying.

Have a look at this chart:



Look at the 2011 to 2015 numbers. Massive jump in hypoxia related incidents during this time frame, and no immediate reason why.
 
Ozair
Posts: 5582
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

RE: F/A-18 Oxygen Problems

Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:19 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 2):
Look at the 2011 to 2015 numbers. Massive jump in hypoxia related incidents during this time frame, and no immediate reason why.

Curious to know whether the same increased incident rate has been observed with the other Hornet users including Australia and Canada? If not that speaks to a training or maintaining issue with the USN.

Do the above numbers include the USMC?
 
diverted
Posts: 1304
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 3:17 pm

RE: F/A-18 Oxygen Problems

Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:42 am

Similar to the F-22's pilots also liking to breathe?
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/...ed-f-22-oxygen-problems/57848214/1

http://www.rt.com/usa/air-force-stealth-cough-699/

http://theaviationist.com/2014/04/09/f-22-backup-oxy-system/

Wonder if the fix will be similar to the Raptors? Backup oxygen source from what I can see
 
nomadd22
Posts: 1572
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:42 pm

RE: F/A-18 Oxygen Problems

Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:08 am

The increase could be from a change in reporting after the issue was bought to light. Both instructions to report any incident that might fit the definition and increasing the range of incidents that would be included.
 
Ozair
Posts: 5582
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

RE: F/A-18 Oxygen Problems

Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:48 am

Quoting diverted (Reply 4):
Backup oxygen source from what I can see

Thought they also had to not start the jet in the hanger due to it contaminating the system?

Obviously less on an issue for a Hornet on the deck of a carrier…

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