Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kindergarten level mistake causes F-22 Raptor Jets grounding

The US Air Force has grounded its entire fleet of F-22 Raptors, the most sophisticated combat aircraft in the world, after basic design problems emerged in the plane. The design mistake was so basic that aeronautical experts call it "Kindergarten level mistake", i.e. the malfunctioning oxygen supply, officials said.

"The safety of our airmen is paramount and we believe that no human can survive without oxygen. Therefore, we will take the necessary time to ensure we perform a thorough investigation," spokeswoman Captain Jennifer Ferrau said.

The Air Force was probing breakdowns in the oxygen supply system for the plane after several pilots reported problems, according to the journal Flight Global.

In one case, an F-22 scraped tree tops before landing and the pilot could not remember the incident, indicating a possible symptom of hypoxia from a lack of air, the magazine reported.

Ferrau said it was too soon to say for certain that the technical problem was related to an on-board oxygen generating system, known as OBOGS. "We are still working to identify the exact nature of the problem. It is premature to definitively link the current issues to the OBOGS system," she said.

Since January, F-22 pilots have been barred from flying, following the crash of a Raptor jet in Alaska during a training flight.

Grounding an entire fleet of aircraft is a rare step. However, we are working to mutate humans, so that they can survive without oxygen, officials said.

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