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F-35 USAF Hypoxia Study 2018

Unread postPosted: 19 Jan 2018, 12:32
by neptune ... a-headache

One-Star Tapped To Solve USAF’s Hypoxia Headache
Jan 18, 2018
Lara Seligman

The U.S. Air Force has stood up a team to investigate the unexplained physiological episodes happening across the service’s fighter aircraft, after reports of hypoxia forced the service to ground portions of the A-10 Warthog, F-35A and T-6 Texan II trainer fleets last year. Brig. Gen. Bobbi Doorenbos, who was tapped to lead the effort late last year, said the decision to stand up a team to address the incidents at the headquarters level is a sign the Air Force recognizes the importance of the problem. In addition to the incidents on the A-10, F-35A and T-6, Air Force pilots have reported varying rates of hypoxia-like cockpit episodes on the F-22 Raptor, the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-15 Eagle in recent years. The goal of the Unexplained Physiological Episode (UPE) integration team is to provide an enterprise-wide look at these incidents and ultimately recommend actions to reduce and, someday, prevent PEs altogether, Doorenbos told Aviation Week during her first interview in the role. “We’ve got a lot of great expertise throughout the Air Force, and we’re really just trying to harness it and integrate it in a way that allows us to take the lessons learned and apply them, maybe more quickly so we can get to solutions more rapidly as an integrated effort across the Air Force,” Doorenbos said Jan. 18 at the Pentagon. “The bottom line is aircrew safety and making sure they have confidence in their systems.” The team is in its very early stages—in fact, Doorenbos is still waiting for Lt. Gen. Chris Nowland, deputy chief of staff for operations, to approve its charter. Once the charter is signed, the first step will be to begin gathering fleet by fleet to figure out if previous recommendations have been properly implemented. Doorenbos’ team will take lessons learned from previous PE investigations, such as in the F-22 and T-6 community, and make sure they are implemented at a higher level, she said. Col. William Mueller, who leads the Air Force’s pilot-physician program, cited a spike in PEs in the F-15 fleet a few years ago as an example. At the time, then-Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh put together a team to investigate the spike. The team did not find a “silver bullet,” but rather focused on tweaking maintenance procedures related to cockpit pressurization, and educating aircrew and maintainers on both the mechanics of the aircraft oxygen system and the physiological effects of the environment. The result of the investigation is that the rate of UPEs on the F-15 fleet went from 10-12 a year to just one in 2017, Mueller stressed.

Doorenbos plans to work closely with her counterpart in the U.S. Navy—Rear Adm. Sara Joyner, who is leading the Navy’s PE investigation—as well as industry and academia to get to the bottom of the problem. She also stressed the importance of communicating with Air Force and Department of Defense leadership, Congress, and the pilots themselves. “Understanding your system goes a long way toward making sure that you have confidence in your system and so teaching people some specifics about the oxygen systems and the life support systems that you have and how they operate and how they interact with your body I think goes a long way toward confidence building in pilots,” Doorenbos said. Traditionally pilots have been wary of coming forward with stories of PEs, for fear that they will be grounded. Doorenbos hopes that better education on PEs will motivate more pilots to report such incidents. “I think people feel more comfortable because they know that it’s not them, that perhaps there’s something going on with the system, and that in order for us to get to the bottom of what’s going on we actually need people to report it,” Doorenbos said.

Re: F-35 USAF Hypoxia Study 2018

Unread postPosted: 19 Jan 2018, 14:29
by tailgate
I never experienced any episodes myself, but do know some fellas that developed a persitant “cough” after flying the 22 especially. Some thoughts were into material breakdown during use for the cause. Hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Re: F-35 USAF Hypoxia Study 2018

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2018, 11:54
by spazsinbad
:devil: RAN out of O2 (no subscription) so I can only HYPERventilate with ACCELERATION atelectasis from Pure Oxy Pressured.
For A-10 Pilots, Oxygen Deprivation Is Recurring Problem
22 Jan 2018 Lara Seligman| Aviation Week & Space Technology

"U.S. Air Force pilots flying the A-10 Warthog have for years been experiencing intermittent hypoxialike episodes that may indicate a problem with the installation of the aircraft’s oxygen system. The service temporarily grounded 28 A-10s from the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, in late 2017 after two pilots reported physiological events (PE) in flight, Aviation Week reported Jan. 9. That same week, a third pilot experienced a problem with the Onboard Oxygen..."

Source: ... ng-problem

Re: F-35 USAF Hypoxia Study 2018

Unread postPosted: 23 Jan 2018, 02:13
by spazsinbad
Investigation into Root Cause of A-10 Physiological Incident Ongoing
22 Jan 2018 Brian Everstine​

"​The Air Force did not publicly disclose that one-third of its A-10 fleet at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., was grounded for about a week in November while updating some lawmakers behind closed doors on the investigation into physiological events experienced by Warthog pilots at the base.

As this investigation continues, the Air Force has convened a team to investigate unexplained physiological events, including those that grounded the A-10. The team will be led by Brig. Gen. Bobbi Jo Doorenbos with the ultimate goal of preventing physiological events, and will focus on improving aircrew training to recognize these events, according to an Air Force release....

...As of Monday, Air Force investigators, along with NASA and US Navy officials, have not yet determined a root cause. However, the Air Force has found “how we could better maintain the system” by improving the way it cleans the water separator drain and associated piping to help prevent corrosion, D-M spokesman Capt. Joshua Benedetti said in a statement.

This information has been shared across the Air Force, though no other bases have changed their flying operations. As the grounding was taking place, LOX-equipped A-10s were deployed to Incirlik AB, Turkey, and continued their combat operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Davis-Monthan’s mission continued with the 57 other LOX-equipped A-10s flying during the stand down. For example, A-10s flew in the annual Cactus Flag exercise beginning Dec. 4 and a base press release emphasized the A-10 and its maintenance units ability to maintain readiness....

...The grounding comes as the Pentagon is changing the way it publicly talks about its readiness shortfalls. In March 2017, the Pentagon’s public affairs office outlined guidance from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to the services to not “publicly highlight readiness problems.” The Pentagon wanted to move discussion of readiness shortfalls out of the public domain to private meetings with lawmakers, the memo states.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said during a press conference on Jan. 11 that the department is “very clear” with lawmakers, behind closed doors, about readiness and what the Pentagon needs going forward. However, the Pentagon does not “want to telegraph to the enemy” any readiness shortfalls."

Source: ... going.aspx

Re: F-35 USAF Hypoxia Study 2018

Unread postPosted: 24 Jan 2018, 00:40
by nutshell
I wish Aeronautica Militare Italiana would take the hypoxia as serious as the USA.

Re: F-35 USAF Hypoxia Study 2018

Unread postPosted: 24 Jan 2018, 01:14
by spazsinbad
HOW HYPER POXIC are THEY? He asked - HYPER Ventilatin'.

Re: F-35 USAF Hypoxia Study 2018

Unread postPosted: 24 Jan 2018, 22:53
by spazsinbad
USAF sets up team to investigate physiological problems for pilots
22 Jan 2018 Gareth Jennings

"...As noted by the air force, a physiological event occurs when aircrew experience symptoms that can result from a variety of factors, including hypoxia (oxygen deficiency to the brain), hypocapnia (reduced carbon dioxide in the blood), hypercapnia (elevated carbon dioxide in the blood), or disorientation.

“As part of the integrated effort to address physiological events, the Air Force is providing more resources to understand UPEs, standardise response actions to such events and assess options for more robust aircrew training to recognise and respond to these events,” Brig Gen Doorenbos said, adding, “Our ultimate goal is to prevent UPEs.”

In announcing the formation of its investigative team, the USAF said rates of UPE are relatively low but that a heightened awareness of the issue has led to an increase in reports from its aircrews. “Despite the serious nature of these events, the overall historic rate of UPEs is incredibly low."

Source: ... for-pilots

Re: F-35 USAF Hypoxia Study 2018

Unread postPosted: 29 Jan 2018, 02:17
by Dragon029
Bit of a click-baity headline, but an interesting article with a first-hand account of a couple of the PEs at Luke last year:

An excerpt:

To deal with this challenge, the wing has begun teaching pilots to recognize their own unique reactions to stressful situations in addition to teaching them techniques to regulate their breathing, Leonard says. He also recognized that the positive pressure in the mask, or talking a lot during flight, may produce a change in breathing for some pilots.

“We put engineers and pilots together to learn that the jet is capable of taking care of you, you just have to follow these steps,” he said during a Jan. 23 interview at Luke. ”It’s been really neat to walk down that path and see how we can basically arm the human to take care of this leading-edge technology.”

In addition to educating the pilots, the wing has also made some physical changes to the F-35 flight equipment to ease breathing, such as reducing the weight of the flight vest and replacing faulty exhalation valves. The team investigating the PEs refined the OBOGS algorithm that controls the fluctuations in oxygen concentration levels, too, so the system delivers oxygen at a steadier rate.

For the pilot who reported that first PE on May 2, the education he received after the fleet was grounded, both on the way the aircraft’s oxygen systems work and about his own physiological reaction, cemented his confidence in the F-35.

“Honestly, I’m not worried about it in the jet now,” he says. “I’m confident that I can handle the situation. I’m confident the aircraft is providing me with the oxygen I need provided, and that whatever is making me feel odd is maybe a combination of the two.”

Just as important was feeling that leadership took him seriously and actively tried to fix the problem, he says.

“I felt like I was believed,” he says. “If I hadn’t, then I wouldn’t have flown, I honestly wouldn’t have flown.”

Other pilots have reported additional PEs since the fleet-grounding, but confidence in the aircraft has not waned, Leonard says.

He expects to continue seeing intermittent PEs in the F-35, as on any airframe, but pilots are confident they can safely recover the aircraft, he adds.

Re: F-35 USAF Hypoxia Study 2018

Unread postPosted: 29 Jan 2018, 02:29
by spazsinbad
'Creative Writing HEADline Classes' have a lot to answer: from ABOVE 'draggy29' URL: Good Ole LARA - she'll milk this....

Of course I have not read the WHOLE story - only the excerpts posted here - I'm of the impression that the pilot quotes are somehow fabricated. IF NOT then that pilot needs to reacquaint himself/herself with flying a miljet especially the F-35. It seems the latter part has occurred - so good on them but the pilot attitude is the weird part. Why won't he be believed?

What we don't know from the story so far are the circumstances under which ElPilote would 'not be able to get back'. For crying out loud he is likely under training and not too far from a suitable landing place. Usually NATOPS/Flight Manual will say: 'pilot can breathe cabin air at cabin altitude below 10/14,000 feet'. OK if the cabin air is toxic then that is a whole other ball game. Jettison the canopy below that altitude AND SUCK IT UP - your probably in for one hell of a ride. :shock:
F-35 Pilot: ‘I Didn’t Know If I Was Going To Be Able To Get Back’
Lara Seligman 29 Jan 2018

"Flying at about 35,000 ft. on a scorching Arizona day, the F-35 pilot noticed the oxygen flowing into his mask catch for just a split second. “That was odd,” he thought. At that moment, a high-pitched alarm rang, “deedle-deedle.” A caution light flashed in the cockpit, warning that the Onboard Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS) had failed. Five PEs at Luke between May 2 and June 8, 2017, caused the Air Force to temporarily ground the F-35s ...


Re: F-35 USAF Hypoxia Study 2018

Unread postPosted: 29 Jan 2018, 08:40
by spazsinbad
Timeline: F-35 Pilot Speaks Out On Luke AFB Grounding [LARA knows how to MILK Shite (I mean SHAKE!) :devil: ]
28 Jun 2018 Lara Seligman

"An F-35 pilot speaks out on the physiological events that lead to the grounding at Luke AFB, Arizona, in 2017." [This looks to be the most ridiculous way to present information coherently - EVER :doh: NOT forgetting SLDinfo one line paragraphs wot move up and down :drool: ]

Source: ... -grounding

WHAT??? I SAY - WHAT???!!! Foghorn Leghorn.... HE DID lose his OBOGS religion....

Re: F-35 USAF Hypoxia Study 2018

Unread postPosted: 31 Jan 2018, 22:49
by spazsinbad
Oxygen molecules are scary - two oxygen atoms together - you just don't know what they'll get up to next - O2 is FREE!!!
Air Force suspends solo T-6 trainer flights over hypoxia fears
31 Jan 2017 Stephen Losey

"The 19th Air Force has indefinitely suspended all solo flights in T-6 Texan trainer aircraft ― both for students and instructor pilots ― over concerns about hypoxia and other so-called unexplained physiological events.

A screenshot of a message posted early Wednesday on the unofficial Facebook page Air Force amn/nco/snco also said that Maj. Gen. Patrick Doherty, commander of the 19th Air Force, has authorized all T-6 instructor and student pilots to fly with their masks down ― that is, with one bayonet, or connector, unlatched. This is so they can breathe cockpit air to lessen the risk against hypoxia and related problems, and will be allowed both on the ground and in flight.

“Due to the nature of T-6 Unexplained Physiological Events (UPE) symptoms and ability to recognize the situation, all solo sorties (both student and IP) are suspended until further notice,” the message said. [IS THAT OFFICIAL?]

Air Education and Training Command spokesman Capt. Beau Downey confirmed the guidance was sent by Doherty. The 19th Air Force oversees the training of more than 32,000 U.S. and allied aircrew each year, flying 28 different aircraft.

The message also said that if a pilot encounters cabin pressure issues, smoke, or fumes, or if a pilot needs to eject, he should first put his mask up and latch the other bayonet before following checklist procedures...."

Source: ... xia-fears/

Re: F-35 USAF Hypoxia Study 2018

Unread postPosted: 01 Feb 2018, 02:14
by rheonomic
We've been flying the T-6 for ~15 years ... why is it just now that all these physiological events seem to be occurring? More awareness/reporting? Life support changes?

Also, is it just USAF that is observing these issues, or are USN and other countries' aircraft affected?

Re: F-35 USAF Hypoxia Study 2018

Unread postPosted: 01 Feb 2018, 02:54
by spazsinbad
"...Also, is it just USAF that is observing these issues, or are USN and other countries' aircraft affected?..."

Do you mean other TEXANS or Equivalent Aircraft? Otherwise OTHER US armed forces aircraft affected but not GYRENES.
Beechcraft T-6 Texan II
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a single-engine turboprop aircraft built by the Raytheon Aircraft Company (which became Hawker Beechcraft and later Beechcraft Defense Company, and was bought by Textron Aviation in 2014). A trainer aircraft based on the Pilatus PC-9, the T-6 has replaced the Air Force's Cessna T-37B Tweet and the Navy's T-34C Turbo Mentor. The T-6A is used by the United States Air Force for basic pilot training and Combat Systems Officer (CSO) training and by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps for primary and intermediate Naval Flight Officer (NFO) training. The T-6A is also used as a basic trainer by the Royal Canadian Air Force (CT-156 Harvard II), the Greek Air Force, the Israeli Air Force (Efroni), and the Iraqi Air Force. The T-6B is the primary trainer for U.S. student naval aviators (SNAs). The T-6C is used for training by the Mexican Air Force, Royal Air Force, Royal Moroccan Air Force, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force....

...The T-6 is a development of the Pilatus PC-9.... [RAAF are phasing out their PC-9s for PC-21 over the next few years]"


Re: F-35 USAF Hypoxia Study 2018

Unread postPosted: 01 Feb 2018, 03:00
by rheonomic
spazsinbad wrote:Do you mean other TEXANS or Equivalent Aircraft? Otherwise OTHER US armed forces aircraft affected but not GYRENES.

The USN T-6Bs. I'm aware of the other UPE events on T-45s and F/A-18s.

The execsum of this Navy review says "While the conclusions and recommendations of this CR were developed specifically for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps T-45 and FA-18, PEs are a known problem in other aircraft." but I'm wondering if they're referring to other USN aircraft or other services as well.

Re: F-35 USAF Hypoxia Study 2018

Unread postPosted: 01 Feb 2018, 03:06
by spazsinbad
:devil: I would ask you to read all the posts about this UPE/PE/OBOGS in this forum but then you'd have to kill me. :doh:

So without going to a lot of personal protection troubles I'll compromise and generalize that all high performance aircraft that use oxygen equipment - particularly/mostly in the military have over this long period of time many and various issues with all sorts of aeromedical problems related to oxygen or the lack thereof. That is why aircrew are trained in these specific aeromedical issues - some are replicated in chambers of death or with specific training equipment as used in USN.

According to a recent Seligman 'milking the life out of an F-35 pilot quotes' article it seems some aircrew (probably from a foreign non-native English speaking country perhaps) are not trained well OR current training is not sufficient - who nose?