Air Force tells stealth pilots it has no cure for 'Raptor cough'
I wonder why people involved in Indian arms procurement never find any problems with imported systems.
Air Force pilots employed to fly the US military’s F-22 warplanes are experiencing breathing problems and coughing fits caused by plane’s oxygen system – and officials say they have no solution for this problem.
Despite at least one fatal crash that may have resulted from a pilot’s crippling health condition, the government has refused to acknowledge the danger of keeping these planes in service without making any fixes to its oxygen system.
During a Sept. 2012 congressional hearing concerning health effects of flying F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, members of the Air Force described suffering from physiological conditions that have been considered “a normal part of flying the Raptor, such as the difficulty in breathing and the Raptor cough.”
The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) found that these health problems were directly related to flying the F-22s, since pilots first experienced the symptoms while flying the plane.
The hypoxia-like symptoms, which are triggered if the air contains more than 60 percent oxygen, include breathing problems, choking, coughing, confusion, memory loss and blackouts. These symptoms, all of which were at some point exhibited by pilots in the F-22 cockpits, can lead to a condition known as ‘acceleration atelectasis’, which is the collapse of alveoli in the lungs.
But despite the health and safety risks facing F-22 pilots, the Air Force refuses to address the problem.
During the congressional hearing, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), referenced a press report in which Air Force medical experts linked the Raptor cough to flaws in the plane’s design, but that “the Air Force decided in 2005 not to make a fix to the F-22 oxygen system.”
And since 2008, pilots have reported choking, confusion, memory loss and blackouts, which may have contributed to at least one fatal crash, Wired reports. Additionally, ground crews have reported growing sick while in the proximity of F-22s with running engines.