CORAL GABLES (LALATE) – The F-22 Hypoxia incident controversy continues to strike the military this week. Two more F-22 pilots claim they suffered hypoxia during flights this year. Officials confirm to news that the matter remains under investigation.
In a news statement Wednesday, officials confirmed that the controversy is still unresolved. â€śThe incident is still under investigation,â€ť Herman Bell, chief of Tyndallâ€™s 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, said in a news statement.
But political leaders are asking for swift action after the number of incidents have grown this summer. The F-22 Raptor resumed served from Tyndall Air Force Base last year. But officials are expressing concern. U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., and U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. are among those officials demanding more clarity on the subject.
The political leaders released to news this week their correspondence to Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley. They wrote about their concern with what they call an “incident” striking the F-22 at Tyndall Air Force Base. “This plane is not going to be part of our national defense if, one, pilots donâ€™t feel safe or, two, they are unable to get the proper oxygen,â€ť Warner said in a news statement. Currently the F-22 is restricted to only flights thirty minutes in length, and within proximity to landing field.
Moreover, there remains a dispute as to how many hypoxia incidents have been documented to date. But Col. Kevin Robbins, commander of the First Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia claims there have been eleven.
In a news statement this week, Maj. Gen. Charles Lyon, who had been leading the investigation, claims the problem has been isolated. He contends the culprit is the vest. He claims that pilots not wearing the vest have not experienced hypoxia. But Defense Secretary Panetta tells news that there have been two cases in which pilots not wearing the vest still suffered hypoxia.