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F-22 reinstated after tests assert safety of oxygen system

September 29, 2011, 09:19 pm

According to officials at Edwards Air Force Base near Edwards, California, the fleet of F-22 Raptors may soon be operative again following comprehensive tests and mechanical adjustments made to the fighter aircraft that was temporarily grounded because of a number of incidents in which pilots experienced symptoms associated with hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation.

The Air Force ran a series of tests on the airplanes, looking for any problems with the on-board oxygen generation systems, or OBOGS, which are designed to supply the correct amount of oxygen to the pilot based on the altitude at which he or she is flying. Following comprehensive tests and analysis and a few adjustments to the mechanical function of the OBOG, engineers and officials say the F-22 is ready for flight again.

"We now have enough insight from recent studies and investigations that a return to flight is prudent and appropriate," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. "We're managing the risks with our aircrews, and we're continuing to study the F-22's oxygen systems and collect data to improve its performance."

All pilots, whether they fly advanced military aircraft or single engine prop planes, assume certain similar risks as aviators. Life insurance for pilots is often different than it is for most people because it must account for these specific risks. Many pilot organizations can offer pilot insurance advice.

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