Monday, 23 October, 2017

Luke AFB grounds F-35 flying operations over pilot safety concerns

F-35 fighters grounded indefinitely over oxygen issues Luke AFB grounds F-35 flying operations over pilot safety concerns
Laurie Berry | 13 June, 2017, 02:51

The US Air Force has grounded a fleet of F-35 fighter jets indefinitely over concerns over pilots' oxygen supplies, according to a spokesman.

F-35A jets at Luke Air Force Base, AZ, will remain grounded after five incidents of hypoxia-like symptoms were reported at the base.

The canceled flying operations are limited to Luke Air Force Base, according to a release.

The Arizona F-35s are anticipated to be cleared to fly on Monday, it says.

The current issue is of particular importance, as Luke Air Force Base is the pilot training hub for the F-35A variant. In all cases, the backup oxygen systems kicked in and pilots were able to safely land the plane, but training has ground to a halt to allow a team from the F-35 Joint Program Office, or JPO, to study the events. "The Air Force takes these physiological incidents seriously, and our focus is on the safety and well-being of our pilots", "We are taking the necessary steps to find the root cause of these incidents".

Exodus Announced for Xbox One, PS4, PC
Microsoft made sure not to show up at E3 2017 without games to help show off their Project Scorpio console, now called Xbox One X. The first game unveiled at the Xbox 2017 E3 press conference was Metro: Exodus , the sequel to Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light.

Lockheed Martin said it still planned to demonstrate the advanced jet at the Paris Air Show this month.

"The 56th Fighter Wing will continue their pause in local F-35A flying to coordinate analysis and communication between pilots, maintainers, medical professionals and a team of military and industry experts", said Air Force spokesperson Maj.

This is the second time the Air Force's F-35A Lightning II jets were grounded since the fifth-generation jet was declared fit for service a year ago.

Touted as the fifth-generation fighter jet with a modular design, the F-35 comes in three variants.

The Air Force's F-22 fighter pilots also struggled with hypoxia-like symptoms back in 2012, which led to limitations on F-22 flights until the issue was resolved. The planes have collectively flown more than 95,000 flying hours, according to Reuters, but the plane has not yet seen combat.

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