Lawmakers want answers on F-22 issues

July 11, 2012 at 1:46 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 11 (UPI) -- A U.S. senator said he was losing patience with the seeming inability of the Air Force to track down the cause of reported oxygen issues with the F-22 fighter.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., briefed reporters in Washington Tuesday on two new reported incidents in which Raptor pilots apparently had problems with the high-priced plane's oxygen system.

"This seems to be a never-ending saga," sad Warner.

"I have concerns about the Air Force's ability to get to the bottom of this," Warner said, adding, "My patience is running thin."

The New York Times said the latest incidents occurred this summer and included one pilot who declared an in-flight emergency over Hawaii and another in which a Raptor pilot flying out of Virginia had to switch on his emergency oxygen system.

A third incident in May in which an F-22 set down on a runway with its landing gear still up has not been linked to oxygen deprivation, but was considered suspicious given the 36 documented incidents of oxygen problems since the F-22 entered service in 2005.

The Times said Warner and Kinzinger sent a letter to the Air Force asking for more information on the oxygen problem. A Pentagon official said a timely response would be provided at a later date.

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