Our military holds itself to the highest standards. The safety of our men and women in uniform must be a top priority.
They daily run tests and field practices to ensure that their servicemen are at the top of their game—and that their equipment is functioning normally.
But recently a rash of malfunctions grounded every Air Force flight in Arizona. The cause is a mystery.
From ABC 15:
The Air Force on Friday temporarily stopped flying F-35 fighter jets at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona in response to a series of incidents in which pilots reported symptoms of hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation.
Air Force spokesman Capt. Mark Graff said the temporary halt followed five separate in-flight incidents since May 2. Graff said in each case, the airplane’s backup oxygen system worked as designed and the pilot was able to land the plane safely.
“The Air Force takes these physiological incidents seriously, and our focus is on the safety and well-being of our pilots,” said Brig. Gen. Brook Leonard, 56th Fighter Wing commander at Luke. “We are taking the necessary steps to find the root cause of these incidents.”
As of this writing, they do not know what caused the lack of oxygen.
You might think minor issues affect routine missions all the time. But the fact that they haven’t discovered the cause of the lack of oxygen is troubling.
Are these planes defective? Was vital equipment broken or tampered with? Why wasn’t the problem caught during pre-flight checks?
Graff has enlisted an action team of engineers, maintenance, aeromedical specialists to investigate the incidents. We cannot allow anything—big or small—to negatively impact our airmen.
Hopefully they’ll find the cause and continue their mission to keep the skies safe.
Source: ABC 15