HAMPTON --The F-22 Raptor is back in business, two years after an on-board oxygen generation system caused the Air Force to ground its entire fleet for four months.
First Fighter Wing commander Colonel Kevin Huyck described Wednesday changes that have been made to the airplane - a new automatic backup oxygen generation system and a new upper pressure garment valve. The improvements reportedly cost tax-payers tens of millions of dollars.
'I am extremely confident in the F-22 oxygen system,' said Huyck. 'I'm extremely confident in the capabilities of the F-22.'
The changes came after pilots reported at least 14 incidents of hypoxia-like symptoms, including headaches, nausea, fatigue and disorientation.
Two years ago, two Virginia Air National Guard F-22 pilots took their concerns to '60 Minutes.'
Now, Huyck says, 'Pilots have 100 percent confidence in the F-22.'
At Langley Air Force Base on Wednesday, First Fighter Wing personnel demonstrated the jet's capabilities for the media. The F-22 will also be featured during a free air show during the upcoming USO Virginia Beach Patriotic Festival at the Oceanfront.
After a 15-minute demonstration flight Wednesday at Langley, Raptor pilot Captain John Cummings also expressed confidence in the fixes which have been made to the aircraft.
'I've always been comfortable flying the airplane,' he said.