Gen. Mike Hostage said at a Eustis, Va., media briefing a "small number" of Air Force pilots have asked not to fly the F-22 Raptors after investigators were unable to identify the cause of 11 hypoxia-related incidents, the Air Force Times reported Tuesday.
"The risk is not as low as I'd like it," Hostage said of the jets.
However, he said the "nation needs this airplane. I wish I had 10 times as many. It's our best airplane."
The Air Force grounded its whole fleet of F-22s for four months in May 2011 to investigate the 11 cases of hypoxia.
Hostage said F-22 pilots have been instructed to abort their missions and land the aircraft if any physiological problems are noted during flight.
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