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F-22 of 43rd Fighter Squadron lost over Eglin AFB

Fri May 15, 2020 7:48 pm

Surprised there isn't a thread about this yet - glad the pilot is okay, but it's gut-wrenching knowing we've lost such a stellar aircraft of which there were precious few to begin with.
An F-22 from the 43rd Fighter Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., crashed the morning of May 15 just north of the base. The pilot safely ejected and was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

The F-22, assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, was flying a training sortie with Eglin’s 33rd Fighter Wing about 12 miles northeast of Eglin in the base’s test and training range when the pilot was forced to eject.

I'm hoping they can upgrade one of the test/evaluation squadron Raptors to current-block upgrade status and replace this one? I think there were 8 or so test aircraft, but maybe someone can correct me on that.
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Re: F-22 of 43rd Fighter Squadron lost over Eglin AFB

Mon May 18, 2020 4:58 pm

Firt of all, we’re all glad that the pilot is ok. Although I have full trust that the Air Force does their best to investigate the incident, you can never entirely avoid such crashes. Pilots need stick hours and need to push the planes to the limit to train their abilities. Lack of training would make things even more dangerous.

That brings us to the scaring question whether the Raptor fleet is too much used. Is it abused for missions that don‘t need the abilities of a F-22 and will the Air Force lose the F-22s due to aging before a successor is ready? What‘s the best option? Acquire F-15Xs to relieve them from routine missions, especially the Bear interception? Build new ones despite all the hurdles? Use F-35s? Go for something exotic like the F-16XL? Hurry on with a 6th generation fighter and keep the Raptors afloat until then at any cost? I have to admit that the F-15X gets more and more charming to me. What do you think?
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Re: F-22 of 43rd Fighter Squadron lost over Eglin AFB

Mon May 18, 2020 6:32 pm

For stick and rudder proficiency, the F-22 squadrons have the T-38 which is used for, among other things, pilot proficiency and DCAT. So, the USAF is already doing what you suggest.
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