NASA examining US fighter pilot hypoxia problemby David Szondy, New Atlas
US fighter pilots are having trouble breathing and NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center has been asked to look into the problem. Over the next few months, test pilots at the Langley Research Center in Virginia will spend 160 flight hours carrying out a series of exercises in an F-18A/B and F-15D aircraft to help find out why aircrews have been affected in recent years by hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen, and determine ways to address it.
For the past five years, the US Air Force and US Navy has been plagued by jet pilots suffering from breathing problems. These physiological events (PEs) resemble hypoxia, with symptoms reported including cognitive impairment, numbness, tingling, lightheadedness, behavioral changes, and fatigue. While such events have been reported since the early 1990s, the number has become great enough that it has led to the temporary grounding of fleets of A-10 Thunderbolts, F-35A Lightning IIs, and T-6A trainers.
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