F-35As resume flying operations

F-35As resume flying operations
An F-35A at Avalon Airshow 2017

Australia’s JSF F-35As, attached to the US 56th Fighter Wing, will resume local F-35A flight operations on Wednesday, 21 June following an 11-day pause after five physiological events occurred during flights from 2 May – 8 June 2017.

A statement from the Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, where the 56th wing and two Australian F-35As are currently based, said, "No specific root cause for the physiological events was identified during recent visits from experts and engineers from the Joint Program Office, Lockheed Martin, the Air Force Research Laboratory and other organisations. However, specific concerns were eliminated as possible causes including maintenance and aircrew flight equipment procedures."

The statement said five criteria are temporarily applied to local flights as technical and human performance data continues to be gathered:

1. Avoid the altitudes in which all five physiological events occurred;
2. Modify ground procedures to mitigate physiological risks to pilots;
3. Expand physiological training to increase understanding between pilot and medical communities;
4. Increase minimum levels for backup oxygen systems for each flight; and
5. Offer pilots the option of wearing sensors during flight to collect airborne human performance data.

Brigadier General Brook Leonard, the 56th Fighter Wing Commander, said a large team has worked extensively to understand the physiological events reported from the five incidents.

"Our active duty, reserve, and international team has worked tirelessly to better understand the physiological events," said Brig Gen Leonard.
 
"This is a complex challenge that necessitates multidimensional solutions across a series of steps to get back to a full operating capability. We are confident that this initial step with the criteria our team developed will allow us to return to flying F-35s safely and to continue building the future of airpower."
 
No Australian pilots were affected by the five incidents in May and June.
F-35As resume flying operations
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted Content
Recommended by Spike Native Network

more from defence connect

John Hutcheson, Legacy
Jul 19 2018
How Legacy is supporting families impacted by defence, John Hutcheson, Legacy
Legacy has a strong history of providing services to Australian families suffering after the injury ...
Jul 19 2018
$1.5m boost for SA start-up under Innovation Hub contracts
South Australian start-up Silentium Defence has secured $1.5 million in federal government contracts...
Jul 20 2018
Austal expands US operations
The American subsidiary of Henderson-based Austal has expanded its presence with the opening of a ne...