Two years ago, two pilots took to 60 Minutes — with a Congressman for protection — to declare the F-22 had serious oxygen problems and the Air Force wasn’t acting with a sense of urgency to fix them.
Now, the lower ranking of the two, Capt Joshua Wilson, is still wondering if he’ll ever get back in the cockpit:
A member of the Virginia Air National Guard’s 149th Fighter Squadron, Wilson hasn’t been permitted to fly the jet since early 2012. He’s fighting disciplinary actions that he sees as retribution for going public.
Wilson has reportedly had his promotion revoked, been prohibited from serving in a full-time position with ACC, and told he would face an FEB — a flying evaluation board that would likely take away his wings.
According to the report, Read more
In 2012, Lockheed Martin delivered the last F-22 off its assembly line, a mere 9 years after the first delivery of a production F-22 in 2003. The original F-22 buy plan had been 750 aircraft. The number eventually dwindled to less than 200 — with each reduction resulting in per-unit increase in cost.
By contrast, the first F-16 was delivered to the Air Force in 1979 (after the first test flight in 1974). As noted in a local paper (and repeated at the Stars and Stripes), Lockheed (who bought General Dynamics) is still churning out the F-16 after more than 4,500 have been delivered worldwide.
It is worth remembering that while technology Read more
Former Air Force Chief of Staff General Michael “Buzz” Moseley — famous for his advocacy of the F-22 during his 2005 to 2008 tenure — recently said it was time for the Air Force to say goodbye to the A-10.
“You got to let it go and progress in to the next generation,” said retired Gen. T. Michael Moseley…
The article recalls controversy from Congress over the Air Force’s Read more
Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning said “just a few” fighter pilots have taken the $225,000 bonus offered by the Air Force to get their long term commitment. The reason? Boredom.
pilots are not taking the service up on the offer because of reduced flying hours caused by budget cuts, acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning said.
“If you’re not flying your F-22 because it’s grounded, you might as well go fly something else,” Fanning said.
A few weeks ago, Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh Read more
Some time ago the Air Force began giving pilot training graduates an assignment to the F-22 directly out of UPT. Previously, pilots had to be trained in another fighter — F-15, F-16 — first, then take the F-22 as a future assignment. The F-22 was always intended to be a traditional “pipeline” fighter, however, so it was only a matter of time before the first F-22 Lt took to the air.
After three years of rigorous U.S. Air Force pilot training, 25-year-old 1st Lt. Andrew Van Timmeren, 7th Fighter Squadron pilot, finally Read more
The Air Force has declared Eglin Air Force Base “ready” to begin training the first students in the F-35A Lightning II. Four pilots provided a “test case” to evaluate the unit’s readiness:
During the [evaluation], experienced pilots transitioned from the F-16 and A-10 aircraft, to the world’s first multi-role stealth fighter. Two Read more
The US Air Force took the unusual step of issuing a follow-up press release on the crash of a Tyndall F-22 last week. Normally, the initial announcement, accompanied by the ominous “a board of officers will investigate…” is the last word heard.
Despite initial media speculation, there are no indications that point to the life support system leading to this incident or playing any role in this crash. A thorough investigation is being conducted in accordance with standard Air Force and Department of Defense policy…
In this case, the Air Force appears to be a intentionally responding to speculation, apparently to squash possible connections to the recent “scandals” over F-22 safety.
An F-22 has crashed near Tyndall AFB, Florida. The pilot was reportedly able to safely eject, and no one on the ground was hurt.
As with all incidents, the Air Force will investigate it and report on it in some months. Notably, this one will likely draw significant attention, both due to recent “scandals” with F-22 safety and the relative cost of each of the less than 187 aircraft. Actually, make that 186.