F-22 Pilots Continue Moving Through the Pipeline

The Air Force continues to produce new F-22 pilots despite the fleet-wide grounding of the Raptor fleet in place since early May, Maj. Gen. James Whitmore, who overseas Air Education and Training Command’s operations, told the Daily Report Monday. “The pilot training pipeline . . . has not been quantitatively affected due to the temporary F-22 standdown,” said Whitmore in a written response to questions. “Students assigned to follow-on training at Tyndall Air Force Base, [Fla.,] and currently at the F-22 schoolhouse continue to maintain currency in F-22 simulators and attend pre-programmed academics.” However, AETC has returned students on temporary duty status to their home stations, said Whitmore. Those students will be recalled for classes once flying resumes. Raptor instructors are maintaining their currencies by flying in the simulators and have “a tailored plan, depending on the length of the standdown, for regaining airborne proficiency once flying resumes,” said Whitmore. The Air Force Scientific Advisory Board is conducting a quick-look study of the onboard oxygen-generation systems used on the F-22 and the service’s other aircraft following the Raptors’ safety standdown, service officials announced last week.