Langley-Eustis Raptors Grounded, Again

Air Force officials at JB Langley-Eustis, Va., have once again grounded the base’s F-22 fleet after Raptor pilots experienced hypoxia-like symptoms. Fox News reported one such incident that occurred during a training flight. Air Force headquarters spokesman Maj. Chad Steffey told the Daily Report Friday that “the pilots are fine.” The standdown of the 1st Fighter Wing’s F-22s comes almost exactly one month after Air Combat Command lifted the fleet-wide F-22 grounding, which lasted more than four months as officials tried to determine what was causing pilots to experience symptoms akin to insufficient oxygen supply in flight. “As the Air Force Chief of Staff has said with respect to the decision to return F-22s to flight operations, there is no conclusive cause or group of causes that has been established for the incidents that promoted the standdown earlier this year,” ACC spokeswoman Capt. Jennifer Ferrau told the Daily Report Friday. “Part of our protocol is to allow units to pause operations whenever they need to analyze information collected from flight operations to ensure safety. That is what is happening at Langley at the moment, and we support that decision,” she added. There have been more than 1,300 Raptor missions since the F-22s returned to flight last month, said Ferrau.