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Langley's F-22 Raptors flying again

The stand-down was issued after a pilot experienced hypoxia-like symptoms for an extended period Thursday.

HAMPTON (AP) --The F-22 Raptors at Langley Air Force Base are flying again.

'The 1st Fighter Wing has resumed flying operations at Langley AFB as of 8:00 this morning,' Mile Brown, Acting Chief, 633rd ABW/PA, told WVEC.com.

Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis, an Air Combat Command spokesman, said Monday the commander of the 1st Fighter Wing issued the stand-down after a pilot experienced hypoxia-like symptoms for an extended period Thursday. The cause of the symptoms was being investigated, Sholtis said.

The decision affected only the Raptors at the Hampton base.

Earlier this year, the Air Force had grounded its entire fleet of Raptors for more than four months after concerns over its oxygen-supply system had prompted a larger examination of the stealth fighter.

'There was a physiological event. This event is currently being analyzed and it gave our local commander reason to briefly pause operations to provide the necessary safety resources to crews,' said spokeswoman Monica Miller Rodgers.

She continued, 'As the Air Force Chief of Staff has said with respect to the decision to return F-22s to flight operations, there is no conclusive cause or group of causes that has been established for the incidents that prompted the stand down earlier this year. The Air Force, therefore, made the decision to resume operations while implementing improvements to the aircraft's life support systems and carefully collecting and analyzing operational, maintenance and physiological data for all Raptor flights-more than 1,300 missions since the return to flight. Local commanders are authorized to pause operations whenever they need to analyze information collected from flight operations to ensure safety. That is what is happening at Langley Air Force Base at this moment,' she added.

The Air Force returned its Raptors to flight in September, making improvements to the life-support system while continuing to collect data for all Raptor flights -- more than 1,300 since the aircraft returned to the skies.


Information from: Daily Press, http://www.dailypress.com

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)