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 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
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Navy and Marine Corps are still struggling with oxygen system problems that have plagued the Navy’s carrier training aircraft and have clogged both services’ pipeline of new pilots, the commander of Naval Air Systems Command said during a Wednesday congressional hearing. Read More
U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift will lead a 30-day review on “the facts, circumstances and processes surrounding the recent physiological episodes involving T-45 and F/A-18 aircrew,” the Navy announced today. Read More
The following is an April 21, 2017, memo from Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran to U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift regarding a new 30-day review of physiological episodes experienced by Navy jet aircrews. Read More
Navy student pilots will resume some flights in the T-45C Goshawk this week after a 12-day operational pause to determine the cause of recent oxygen-generation system failures, but they will not be allowed to land on aircraft carriers or fly higher-altitude missions until a permanent solution is found. Read More