The Ruling Class of the United States of America

taking care of its heroic soldiers in the manner that the rich and powerful have cared for their slaves for centuries:

The Air Force has some bad news for the pilots of its F-22 Raptor stealth fighters: Your planes are going to make you feel crappy and there’s not much anyone can do about it. And the message to the maintainers of the radar-evading jet is even more depressing. Any illness they feel from working around the Raptor is apparently all in their heads, according to the Air Force.

Those admissions, buried in newly released Congressional records, represent the latest twist in the years-long saga of the F-22′s faulty oxygen system, which since at least 2008 has been choking pilots, leading to confusion, memory loss and blackouts — combined known as hypoxia — that may have contributed to at least one fatal crash. Ground crews have also reported growing sick while working around F-22s whose engines are running.

The Air Force claims its has a handle on the in-flight blackouts. All 180 or so F-22s are having faulty filters removed and new backup oxygen generators installed. There have also been changes to the G-suits pilots wear. But the Air Force says the alterations won’t do anything to fix the so-called “Raptor cough,” a chronic condition afflicting almost all F-22 pilots.

The coughing — which, to be clear, is a totally separate issue from hypoxia — is due to a condition known as “acceleration atelectasis,” Maj. Gen. Charles Lyon, who headed the Air Force’s Raptor investigation, wrote in response to questions submitted following a September testimony before a House subcommittee. “Acceleration atelectasis results from pilots breathing high concentrations of oxygen (above 60 percent) while wearing anti-G trousers, and exposure to G-forces,” Lyon explained.

Maj. Jeremy Gordon, a Virginia Raptor flier who blew the whistle on the Air Force last year, described a typical room full of F-22 pilots where “the vast majority will be coughing a lot of the time.” One Air Force widow claimed her F-22 pilot husband’s coughing contributed to his suicide.

Every member of Congress and the Executive Branch should have every cent they have made beyond their salary of office confiscated and put into a fund for these pilots and for everybody else wounded or killed in their wars.  If they object, they should be jailed for treason or sent to Afghanistan to clean toilets and sweep for mines till the last troops are brought home.

"My guess: Mark said he's on vacation this weekend, so he set this to auto-post ..."

An Irish reader sends along a ..."
"Look at the transcripts. They don't believe it is torture but rather enhanced interrogation (though ..."

The Return of Torture
"Actually, my response was to address points that you brought up regarding a group that ..."

An Irish reader sends along a ..."
"I mean you, personally, for starters. You don’t get to use abortion or progressives as ..."

An Irish reader sends along a ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Anthony

    History attests that empires that screw over their troops are not long for the world.

  • Ugh this is horrible! Thank you for using your platform to bring it to our attention.

  • Dustin

    Since the F-22 program was canceled, with no further aircraft to be built, will the remaining planes be grounded, or are we going forward with these flying coffins?

    • Kenneth

      They’ll be going forward with a new generation of much more expensive flying coffins. They could probably mitigate raptor cough by redesigning the pressure suits and by adding a bit of positive pressure to the masks. The real solution, however, lies in giving pilots a full day or two between flights in these things and maybe more extended breaks on a regular basis. These machines are designed to operate under conditions that are really past the normal range of human physiology.

      • Fortunately, there is a good chance that the next generation after present will be the last with manned pilots. Unmanned drones are a good bet to take over.

      • MikeTheGeek

        True enough that “These machines are designed to operate under conditions that are really past the normal range of human physiology.” However, that same ability that (apparently) causes the cough might well also prove the difference in staying alive during an engagement.

        The main advantage unmanned fighters will have is not that they don’t expose aircrew to danger – after all, what would make a better target than a bunker full of remote pilots or controllers – but that their performance is not limited by human physical tolerances.