May 16, 2012
Yesterday the Defense Department sharply curtailed flying in the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor due to pilot reports of disorientation similar to the symptoms of oxygen deficiency. Although the DoD has been aware of the situation for a while, recent TV broadcasts may have given the issue a new focus while a supplemental oxygen system is being readied as backup.
The Raptor isn’t engaged in combat anywhere, but it will proceed with a deployment to the Mideast for joint maneuvers. Training flights are to be restricted to a distance allowing for immediate landing. Other types of aircraft will handle long-range patrol missions in Alaska.
The decision may not accurately be described as “grounding” the airplane, but it comes very close.
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