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Air Force responses on F-22

Air Force responses on F-22

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Published by: MarkWarner on Jun 14, 2012
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05/17/2014

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Air Force Answers from questions asked during the May briefing to Senator Mark Warner, Rep’s Adam Kinzinger and Bobby Scott a. The Secretary of the Air Force must stop all reprisals, non-judicial punishment and Flight Evaluation Boards for Captain Wilson, Major Gordon and any pilots that come forward to report concerns with the F-22. Air Force answer: Major Gordon and Captain Wilson are members of the Virginia Air National Guard and, absent their being in federal Title 10 status which they are not, disciplinary actions run through their Title 32 Guard chain of command. We refer all questions on these actions to the Virginia Adjutant General. Secretary Donley has instructed a "pause" in any adverse actions regarding F-22 pilots who refuse to fly and the components have acknowledged this direction. Information regarding the conduct that led to the initiation of disciplinary action is protected under the Privacy Act and would, in any case, best be addressed by his Virginia Air National Guard chain of command. b. Please provide us the assessments of the Air Force Scientific Committee's results. Answer: The United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Report on Aircraft Oxygen Generation is in the final editing stage. The final draft of the report will be reviewed shortly for safety privilege information, security, and public release. We expect these reviews to be complete by 29 Jun. c. You mentioned some pilot surveys discussing concerns with the F-22, please provide us the results of those surveys Answer: The F-22 community AFCAST and Organizational Safety Assessment (OSA) data are being analyzed by the AF Safety Center. This two-part safety assessment was requested by COMACC on 30 Mar 2012. The results were recently presented to COMACC and he is in the process of providing this information to the respective commanders while acting on specific AF Safety Center recommendations. The AF Safety Center Human Factors Division also executed four AFCAST survey requests commissioned by F-22 squadron commanders in 2011. Only the commander(s) who requested the surveys control the results. We believe it is prudent to analyze the entirety of these surveys, with the context of time and risk mitigation, to fully understand their results. This internal-use policy encourages frank and open communication within those units, and allows those commanders to quickly obtain accurate safety culture information to prevent recurrences. These reports continue to enhance mission effectiveness and ensure appropriate corrective action is taken. **No information provided to respond to question d. We understand there was a recent safety survey of F-22 pilots. Please provide me the results of those surveys.

Answer: Yes, three separate Air Force Safety Investigation Boards (SIBs) conducted surveys in relation to physiological symptoms. In addition to the three SIB surveys, the ACC Surgeon General's office and the 325th Fighter Wing (Tyndall AFB, FL) each conducted separate aircrew surveys since 2011. Both were utilized by two additional Air Force SIBs focused on the Onboard Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS) and Aircrew Flight Equipment. As referenced by Maj Gen Lyon in his meeting with you on May 15th, these SIBs analyzed these surveys from early 2011 which indicated a majority of F-22 pilots surveyed did not feel confident in the OBOGS system. The results of these surveys were part of the calculus which led to our decision to stand down the F-22 fleet in May 2011. e. Boeing report(s) on the charcoal filter (please include all iterations of this brief). Answer: We have attached the requested briefings (Atch 1 - C2A1 briefing; Atch 2 - Particle Dust Summary) which were discussed at the meeting with Maj Gen Lyon and the follow-up phone call between him and Mr Mark Brunner. Boeing agreed to release these briefings. Additionally, we have attached the Airworthiness Certificate for the CRU-122/P Raptor 2 Life Support Ensemble (Atch 3). This document authorized the use of the C2A1 filter for F-22 flight operations. f. We understand the filter manufacturer 3m has told the air Force not to fly with the filter for the F-22. Answer: We are not aware of any 3M report on charcoal filter. However, in Feb 2012, to address potential carbon dusting concerns during flight, C2A1 filters were physically agitated and tested at flow rates consistent with normal F-22 life support system along with intermittent bursts of very high flow rates to put additional stress on the filter media. This testing demonstrated under extreme conditions the filters did allow the release of activated carbon particles, some of which were in the 3-10 microns range. The amount of liberated particles of this size was approximately 150 times better than the acceptable health and safety limits for respirable dust (defined as particles less than 10 microns) allowed by OSHA (29 CFR 1910.1000, Table Z-1, allows 15 million particles per cubic foot of respirable particles). g. Please provide us the Scientific Committee's results and methodology used to conduct its study. Answer: The United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Report on Aircraft Oxygen Generation is in the final editing stage. The final draft of the report will be reviewed shortly for safety privilege information, security, and public release. We expect these reviews to be complete by 29 Jun. h. Please provide a timeline of their surveys, investigations, inquiries, etc. (The timeline provided in the briefing was difficult to understand and ad hoc). Answer: The United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Report on Aircraft Oxygen Generation is in the final editing stage. The final draft of the report will be reviewed shortly for

safety privilege information, security, and public release. We expect these reviews to be complete by 29 Jun. i. Please provide results from Navy Dive Unit study due May 2012 (referenced in briefing). Answer: Preliminary Navy Experimental Dive Unit testing supports vulnerabilities in F-22 Life Support System found in ongoing altitude chamber and centrifuge testing. j. Please provide rates of (confirmed and unconfirmed) hypoxia and unexplained hypoxic incidents in other aircraft per 100,000 flight hours to include the other airframes the Air Force evaluated during the 2011 May notice including the A-10, F-15E, F-16, F-35 and T-6 aircraft. Answer: Rates Per 100,000 Flight Hours All Unknown Cause MDS Hypoxia/Hypoxia Hypoxia/Hypoxia Like Like 0.70 0.00 A-10 2.34 0.29 F-15E F-16 (Blk 2.96 0.28 50/52) F-16 1.86 0.06 (All) 26.43 12.81 F-22 TBD 0.00 F-35 1.93 0.32 T-6 Notes: - FY02-FY12 (as of 31 May 2012) - F-22 numbers are an update from previous numbers. The previous F-22 numbers included data through May 2011 (pre-stand down data only). These F-22 numbers incorporate reports that have closed out since then, and are current as of 31 May 2012. k. How often has the hyperbaric chamber been used for any F-22 pilot (number of pilots / total duration of use for each pilot). Answer: Five F-22 pilots have been treated with hyperbaric chamber treatment. Treatment duration is typically done based on set protocols, and is not shortened even if symptoms improve quickly. Two pilots were treated according to Navy Treatment Table 5 dives which are 135 minutes duration and two pilots were treated with Navy Treatment Table 6 dives of 280 minutes duration. All four of these pilots' symptoms resolved in less than thirty minutes. The final pilot was treated using a Weaver 3-dive protocol. After the 2 hour and 30 minute first dive he felt better and had full resolution of symptoms during the second dive. The third dive treatment was still performed per protocol. 3 Attachments: 1. C2A1 Filter briefing 2. Particle Test Summary

3. F-22 Air Worthiness certificate

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