The Navy’s top two aviation safety priorities could benefit from a half-billion-dollar bump in funding for aircraft modification kits if the service’s fiscal year 2019 budget request is approved. Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Navy isn’t moving fast enough to fix the ongoing systemic physiological episodes that have plagued fighter pilots and flight students, members of the House Armed Services Committee said on Tuesday. Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Navy’s multi-pronged efforts to address hypoxia, decompression sickness and other physiological episodes (PEs) in its F-18 and T-45 aircrew are showing positive results, with the number of PE events down in most aircraft types and the T-45C Goshawk trainers set to resume full operations by the end of the month, according to the commander of Naval Air Forces. Read More
The Navy is grappling with even more questions about the physiological episodes its fighter pilots have been facing, after Carrier Air Wing 8 deployed with additional tools to measure and treat PEs and returned with less clarity on the connection between cabin pressure and physical side effects. Read More
THE PENTAGON — The Navy has appointed former commander of Carrier Air Wing 3 and F/A-18 Hornet pilot Capt. Sara Joyner to lead the service’s effort to research and prevent physiological episodes in its fixed-wing aircraft, amid progress this summer collecting data to help understand the root cause of these PE events, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran told USNI News on Wednesday. Read More
The House Armed Services Committee passed its annual defense bill on Thursday after a 14-hour markup, sending the bill to the full House of Representatives with no major changes to its recommended procurement profile.
Though few amendments that passed directly affect Navy and Marine Corps programs, several that failed or were withdrawn sparked serious debates about how the Navy ought to address pressing issues of the day: hypoxia concerns in the Navy’s fighter fleet, how to transition from the Littoral Combat Ship, industry’s ability to upgrade to the Flight III guided-missile destroyer design and more. Read More
The following is the June 21, 2017 CRS Insight brief to Congress, Out of Breath: Military Aircraft Oxygen Issues.
The Air Force recently grounded some of its newest aircraft, F-35A strike fighters, due to incidents in which pilots became physiologically impaired with symptoms of oxygen deficiency while flying. Although the root cause of the F-35 incidents has not yet been established, the grounding has renewed attention on hypoxia, a physical condition caused by oxygen deficiency that may result in temporary cognitive and physiological impairment and possible loss of consciousness. Hypoxia has affected pilots of F-22, F/A-18, and T-45 aircraft in recent years. Read More
This post has been updated to include additional comment from Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran in a phone call with reporters.
A comprehensive review of the rising number of physiological episodes and the Navy’s response to those PEs determined the Navy’s oxygen-generation and cabin pressure systems are too complex for reliable performance, and that the process for reporting and investigating the root cause of physiological episodes is “fundamentally flawed,” according to the review released this afternoon. Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The armed services are still unsure why Navy and Air Force pilots are struggling with their Onboard Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS) while the Marine Corps – which uses the exact same systems – has had no problems, the Marines’ top aviator told reporters. Read More