This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Chasing a Ghost

"We can't figure out ... whether there was a smaller oxygen content than we needed or a carbon monoxide event or poison in the gas [or] something that came off of a bearing so you're breathing toxic air."
"[The intractable problem in the oxygen system of the Boeing Super Hornets is like] chasing a ghost."
Rear-Admiral Michael Manazir
Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet / Ralph Duenas, Jetwash Images

The problems with the Super Hornet are so grave, so dangerous to the pilots flying them, one might think the new government of Canada under the Liberals would take heed and turn away from their plan to bypass the superior fighter jet produced by Lockheed Martin, to ensure that the country has a reliable and technologically updated machine for its air force.

Simply put, the onboard oxygen system of the Super Hornets doesn't pass the vital test of providing a pilot-safe fighter jet, a situation that the U.S. is struggling with in view of the number of American pilots reporting serious oxygen problems while flying those planes. These are the fighter jets the Liberal government is inclined to commit to, bypassing the CF-35 advanced fighter jet that most other NATO countries have chosen.

The point is that Canada too chose the CF-35 as the superior model whose technology addressed the needs of modern warfare. The sticking point was price, but as more countries came on board ordering their own numbers as needed, prices declined to the point where they are now comparable with the much inferior Super Hornet. But it is because the former Conservative-led government chose the CF-35 that the Liberals balk now at completing the deal.
F-35 Comes in for Landing Aboard USS Eisenhower
Photo credit: U.S. Navy photo courtesy Lockheed Martin photographer Andy Wolfe

This is what is called 'cutting off your nose to spite your face', and it exemplifies the overall attitude of the Justin Trudeau government in its juvenile rejection of anything initiated by the Conservatives. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed the CF-35 "does not work"; choosing instead to bypass a competition for new jets and go with the Super Hornets.

This is the plane whose dysfunction led a U.S. congressional subcommittee to raise the issue of dozens of "physiological episodes", with the occurrence rate of those episodes on the increase. The U.S. Navy's Super Hornets and older F-18 Hornets, similar to Canada's ageing CF-18s, have been afflicted with oxygen loss and depressurization, a dysfunction whose source and solution has eluded investigators.

Loss of oxygen (hypoxia) is a gradual process in pilots; instead of quickly passing out, pilots will feel confusion or vertigo as though they're drunk, before loss of consciousness occurs. This process has raised alarms, that pilots would not recognize symptoms of hypoxia until it's too late to react and take measures to save themselves and the aircraft. No fatality has yet occurred stemming from these "physiological effects" since 2011.

An article published recently in the Navy Times, however, reports on the U.S. Navy, stating that military personnel are concerned with the growing number of incidents. At least 14 deaths in the past twenty years attributed to oxygen loss and decompression sickness is the issue at hand. A Boeing spokesperson confirmed the oxygen problem, that it was a "complex issue" that Boeing is working on with the U.S. Navy.

And this is the plane that the Liberal government in Canada is claiming will fit the bill in replacing Canada's ageing jet fighters.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

() Follow @rheytah Tweet