McCain on F-22 safety
U.S. Sen. John McCain released this statement Thursday regarding concerns about the safety of flying the F-22A Raptor:
This past Sunday, 60 Minutes aired a story regarding concerns raised by two Virginia Air National Guard pilots about the safety of flying the F-22A Raptor. The Air Force has been keeping Congress informed on how it is addressing the problems with the F-22A pilot oxygen-supply since it grounded the Raptor fleet in May 2011, when reports first surfaced that some pilots had suffered from hypoxia and hypoxia-like symptoms. I understand that the Air Force has investigated these incidents and has put in place measures to ensure the safety of these pilots, including recommendations made by the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.
I am, however, concerned that, to date, the Air Force has not identified a root cause of these problems, and I will continue to monitor this situation in my role as Ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Finally, I have been assured that the pilots who appeared in this weekend's report are currently being treated as whistleblowers under federal law, protecting them from retaliation for making these public statements.
John McCain is a Republican Senator from Arizona.