Tue, Jun 12, 2012
Air Force Says Raptor Was Being Flown By A Student Pilot
An F-22 Raptor has been involved in what the Air Force classifies as a "Class A" accident, meaning that there was either a fatality, permanent disability, loss of the aircraft, or property damage totaling more than $2 million. The pilot was reportedly not injured.
The aircraft, which is based at Tyndall AFB in Florida, was reportedly being flown by a student pilot on only his second sortie in the aircraft. He had previously flown other Air Force aircraft, and had completed classroom and simulator training before the flight.
The 43rd Fighter Squadron is the Air Force's formal training unit for the F-22. The damage is reportedly repairable, the Air Force said.
The accident, which occurred last Thursday evening, does not appear to be tied to ongoing problems with the Raptor's oxygen system, according to FlightGlobal.com, but the Air Force has not released any further details about the mishap. The Air Force had grounded the entire fleet of Raptors for five months after a series of possible hypoxia cases were reported among flight crews of the airplane. The Department of Defense recently placed some operating restrictions on the airplane. All F-22 flights were ordered to remain near potential landing locations to enable quick recovery and landing should a pilot encounter problems during flight.
Last week, Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for the Raptor, was awarded a $19 million contract to install backup oxygen systems in 40 of the supersonic fighters. (File Photo)
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