The Air Force is standing by the F-22 despite the concerns of pilots who appeared on 60 Minutes to air their complaints about the fighter jets’ oxygen system.
Leslie Stahl spoke with pilots Josh Wilson and Jeremy Gordon who said they became disoriented behind the controls because of a lack of oxygen while flying. They explained that several pilots who flew the F-22 experienced “raptor cough” that they believe were a side-effect of an inadequate air filtering system.
“In a room full of F-22 pilots, the vast majority will be coughing a lot of the times,” Gordon said. “Other things — laying down for bed at night after flying and getting just the spinning room feeling, dizziness, tumbling, vertigo kind of stuff.”
But judging by a story posted by Air Force public affairs on Saturday, the military isn’t too worried about the health and safety issues that Wilson and Gordon brought to the attention of Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).
“In a peacetime training circumstance, we want to operate at as low of risk is prudent for the level of training we get out of a mission,” Gen. Mike Hostage said. “When we go into combat, risk goes up, but the reason to assume that risk goes up as well.
The story said that the Air Force “has implemented a number of risk mitigation measures intended to protect F-22 pilots and maintenance crews and prevent future incidents.”
Here’s the full 60 Minutes report: