The USAF’s fleet of about 160 Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor fighters has returned to the skies following a more than four month fleet-wide grounding.
The fleet was grounded in May following the discovery of contamination in the onboard oxygen generation systems (OBOGS) on several aircraft. The contamination has been unofficially linked to several instances of pilots becoming unwell or passing out in flight, and possibly one fatal crash. The cause of the contamination is yet to be determined, but closer monitoring and more regular inspections of the OBOGS will be conducted.
The aircraft will recommence flight test and training duties so the crews can regain their flight qualifications, before returning to active duty in the coming weeks, while deliveries of F-22s from Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Georgia, plant will resume.