Inside pilot breathing problems on F-22 fighters
Pentagon zeroes in on source of issue
- Duration 3:52
- Date Jul 25, 2012
Pentagon zeroes in on source of issue
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Brand new developments in the year long mystery now surrounding the F 22 fighter jet.
Dozens of pilots flying the US warplanes say they became dizzy and disoriented.
In the air.
Well now the Pentagon says it has zeroed in on the source it says an oxygen supply valve.
Is behind the -- problem so the air force is replacing that valve in the pressure suits worn by pilots of higher altitudes.
Is that -- -- though to satisfy everyone's concerns.
-- in -- general Tom -- and Ernie is the former assistant vice chief that the US air force and a Fox News military analyst he has spent a lot of time.
In the cockpit of fighter jets himself what do you think generally is this valve is replacing this valve going to take care of the problem.
Well John I'm very.
Or let me -- I'm cautiously optimistic but I think that the valve that they're talking about for increasing oxygen flow.
Is going to help as well as there's another valve on an upper part of the G suit.
They have a full pressure suit type thing.
That we didn't have the most fighters charged with smoke mainly below the belly button down in the legs but because -- -- 22 can.
-- so many -- they had an upper.
-- suit as well and that was sticking with who's calling causing me hypoxia that in combination.
With not getting enough oxygen flow so I am now cautiously optimistic.
But they have specifics.
And they're working in the right direction but only time's going to tell us there have been concerns this is one of those stealth jets it's got you know stealth covering a coding.
On the skin of the plane there were concerns that.
You know some vapors are offshoot from that stealth covering might have been causing the problem.
That's not it.
I don't think that ship that may have some impact.
With the crew chiefs met but I don't believe -- and what I've heard him talking to people.
That that the stealth -- this is what was causing the hypoxia right I think it's the oxygen -- this -- -- hypoxia because it wasn't just the pilots there were crew members on the ground who said they were also getting dizzy and light headed just from working around these -- how how do you explain that.
Well that's very difficult to explain and that's a superb question John nobody is answered that particular part of this equation.
And this dilemma that's going on and I think that must be followed up to see what is happening with the crew chief.
There's also the potential of oil contamination.
Which is a very complex issue but that even goes back to before stealth ship so.
I think the jury is still out on the impact on the ground crews coming for a while the air force restricted them.
You know that they let them go back into the air these this very expensive 143 million dollar copy plain.
But -- -- put limitations on how high it could fly and they said that it had to stay within.
A certain distance of base I suppose if they were planning on using it in combat they would lift those restrictions.
But at the same time it's not very useful to have a fighter plane that -- -- limited.
Well they will -- lift those restrictions in the key thing is -- the F -- to get up to 60000 feet.
It can be supersonic and what we call military power which means very efficient.
On the fuel consumption.
And it fifty miles for enemy radar it's smaller than a sparrow.
And so like if you're looking that are.
A bird little sparrow and social that is the real stealth significance.
And it will absolutely dominate so it's very very important John that we resolve this.
I'm for the first time in two or three years I'm cautiously optimistic we haven't solved it completely as -- say time will tell.
But we -- Really making some giant strides hope finally hope they got to the bottom of it lieutenant general Tom -- and earnings retired thank --