After years of pilot complaints detailing bouts of hypoxia and oxygen starvation the Navy’s latest effort to resolve the issue has come up with few answers according to their latest report. Since 2010 Navy pilots have reported over 460 episodes in the F-18 Hornet and T-45 Goshawk training aircraft.
The source of the problem remains unclear despite years of study and the recent completion of a 30-day review led by Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the Pacific Fleet. On Thursday, Adm. Bill Moran, vice chief of naval operations, briefed reporters about additional safety measures coming as a result of the review that are designed to curb this bedeviling trend.
The Navy intends to immediately add a water separator in the T-45’s Onboard Oxygen Generation System, or OBOGS, a component common in high-performance jets but not found in the training aircraft. “Without a water separator in that system,” Moran said, “we believe that there’s a potential for water moisture to get in there and not provide effective, dry air.”
“We’re not doing well on the diagnosis,” Vice Adm. Paul A. Grosklags, commander of Naval Air Systems, told lawmakers on Tuesday. “To date, we have been unable to find any smoking gun.” – Navy Times
Navy student pilots have basically been grounded or on very limited flying for over two months but they are hoping to be back in the air on a regular basis in the next couple weeks.
Featured image by US Navy