F-35 flights resume after 11-day grounding at Luke AFB
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F-35 flights resume after 11-day grounding at Luke AFB

The U.S. Air Force said on Monday it will resume local flying operations of Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 jets at Luke Air Force base in Arizona after an 11-day suspension.

The Air Force said it will resume flight operations on Wednesday after they were stopped earlier in the month when five problems, which the Air Force described as "physiological events," occurred during flights between May 2 and June 8.

F-35 fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin were grounded at the Luke Air Force base in Arizona because of irregularities in pilots' oxygen supplies that caused them to suffer symptoms apparently related to oxygen deprivation.

An Air Force spokesperson said no root cause for the problems had been identified.

The spokesperson said parameters have been put in place for resumption of the operations, including avoiding altitudes at which the previous problems had occurred, modification of ground procedures to reduce pilot risk and expanding physiological training to increase understanding between pilot and medical communities.

The Pentagon said when operations were suspended that it was conducting a comprehensive review of the facts and circumstances surrounding physiological episodes along with industry experts.

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U.S. Air Force

McCain on F-35 flight status

U.S. Sen. John McCain issued at statement on the F-35 on Tuesday morning:

While I am encouraged that F-35A flight operations will resume tomorrow at Luke Air Force Base with new measures in place to ensure the safety of our airmen, I am concerned that the Air Force still has not identified the root cause for the recent increase in physiological events. It is clear that there are broader problems with this program that the Air Force must fully investigate and remedy. The Senate Armed Services Committee will continue its focused oversight of this important program to make certain our troops are equipped with the most effective and sophisticated aircraft, and ensure the American people get the best value for their tax dollars.