Aviation mishap rate increasing

By Jeff Martin
March 19, 2018

According to a Military Times investigation, aviation mishaps across the U.S. military have increased since the onset of sequestration. To understand why, Military Times Pentagon bureau chief Tara Copp talked with Dan Grazier from the Project on Government Oversight.

[FULL ARTICLE]

50th Anniversary of Fatal Phantom Tucson Jet Crash

Dec 20, 2014

50 years ago this week a Phantom Jet took off from Davis Monthan AFB, lost power, and crashed into the Food Giant on Alvernon south of 22nd St in Arizona. Four on the ground died.
There will be an EIS to bring the single-engine F-35 to D-M beginning this Spring.

Almost 11 years before an Air Force jet crashed in Tucson, barely missing a school, there was a similar crash with more devastating damage. The crash happened Dec. 18, 1967.

Note: The exact addresses of the homes hit were listed in the Star. The Morgue Lady has removed the numbers because if those addresses still exist, the people living there now are probably not the same families.

From the Arizona Daily Star, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 1967:

Plane Plows Into Tucson Shopping Center

15 FEARED DEAD IN FIERY CRASH

2 Homes Razed By Falling F4D Near Airbase

By KEN BURTON

Fifteen persons were believed killed last night and at least a dozen injured when a U.S. Air Force F4D jet crashed into the rear of a Food Giant store at the Cactus Shopping Center at E. 29th St., and S. Alvernon Way.

Capt. Ellis Franklin of the Tucson Fire Dept. said at press time this morning that he feared the death toll might reach 15.

Eight of the deaths were confirmed as still more bodies were being removed from the gutted store and homes to the rear of the market.

At least two houses to the rear of the shopping center complex were also destroyed as a fireball of JP-4 aviation fuel engulfed the area, creating a holocaust.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 flights halted at Ariz. base over pilot health concerns

By Perry Vandell
June 10, 2017

The Air Force on Friday stopped flying F-35 fighter jets at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale after a series of incidents in which pilots reported symptoms of hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation.

Air Force spokesman Capt. Mark Graff said the temporary halt followed five separate in-flight incidents since May 2. Graff said in each case, the airplane’s backup oxygen system worked as designed and the pilot was able to land the plane safely.

“The Air Force takes these physiological incidents seriously, and our focus is on the safety and well-being of our pilots,” said Brig. Gen. Brook Leonard, 56th Fighter Wing commander at Luke. “We are taking the necessary steps to find the root cause of these incidents.”

Maj. Rebecca Heyse, a chief public affairs officer for Luke, said each of the five pilots’ symptoms were slightly different, from dizziness and disorientation to tingling in their extremities.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 grounded indefinitely at Luke Air Force Base over hypoxia reports

By Perry Vandell
June 12, 2017

Luke Air Force Base officials announced Monday that flight operations will be indefinitely suspended as its team of engineers and maintenance specialists continue to investigate the rash of hypoxia-like symptoms some pilots reported.

The high-priced jets were grounded Friday at the Glendale base after five separate in-flight incidents since May 2 in which pilots reported symptoms from dizziness and disorientation to tingling in their extremities.

Luke spokeswoman Maj. Rebecca Heyse said there aren’t any leads yet, but new information has streamed in as an investigative “action team” worked over the weekend.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Air Force grounds F-35 squadron after oxygen deprivation issues

By Ellen Mitchell
June 9, 2017

The Air Force has “temporarily” grounded a squadron of F-35s fighter jets at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona after five pilots reported symptoms consistent with oxygen deprivation, the service said Friday.

The 56th Fighter Wing cancelled local flying operations for its F-35A Lightning II fighters after five incidents since May 2 where pilots experienced symptoms similar to hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation.

In every incident the F-35’s back-up oxygen system kicked in and pilots were able to land the plane safely, the Air Force said.

The Air Force has “temporarily” grounded a squadron of F-35s fighter jets at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona after five pilots reported symptoms consistent with oxygen deprivation, the service said Friday.

The 56th Fighter Wing cancelled local flying operations for its F-35A Lightning II fighters after five incidents since May 2 where pilots experienced symptoms similar to hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation.

In every incident the F-35’s back-up oxygen system kicked in and pilots were able to land the plane safely, the Air Force said.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35s grounded over oxygen problems

By Ryan Browne and Jeremy Herb
June 20, 2017

An F-35 fighter wing has been temporarily grounded after five incidents where pilots suffered from oxygen deprivation problems, but the planes are expected to be flying again on Saturday, the Air Force said Friday.

The 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona suspended all F-35A flights Friday after the five pilots experienced hypoxia-like symptoms, Air Force spokesman Capt. Mark Graff said in a statement. The pilots all used their backup oxygen to land the planes safely.
“In order to synchronize operations and maintenance efforts toward safe flying operations we have canceled local F-35A flying,” said Brig. Gen. Brook Leonard, commander of the 56th Fighter Wing. “The Air Force takes these physiological incidents seriously, and our focus is on the safety and well-being of our pilots. We are taking the necessary steps to find the root cause of these incidents.”
[FULL ARTICLE]

 

Air Force Grounds F-35s

By Ryan Browne
September 17, 2016

The US Air Force said Friday it has grounded 10 of its F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, just over a month after they were declared “combat ready.”

The decision affecting the most expensive weapons system ever was made “due to the discovery of peeling and crumbling insulation in avionics cooling lines inside the fuel tanks,” the Air Force said in a statement, describing the action as a temporary pause in flight operations.”
The faulty cooling lines affected a total of 57 aircraft, the statement said. Only 15 of those planes had been fielded with the remainder still on the production line and will be fixed there.
The plane’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, has delivered 108 F-35As. The Air Force plans to buy 1,763 of the jets.

Air Force halts production of 60 F-35s

September 16, 2016

The United States Air Force has halted production of nearly 60 of its F-35 fighter jets.

It comes after the discovery of peeling and crumbling insulation in cooling lines inside some of the planes’ fuel tanks. Most of the jets affected were still being built, only 15 had been completed, with 10 being called “combat ready.” Manufacturer Lockheed Martin says they are working to quickly return jets to flying status.

[FULL ARTICLE]

VT National Guard pilot crashed plane and left the scene

By Sasha Goldstein
September 22, 2016

An off-duty Vermont National Guard airman crashed a small private plane on a Lake Champlain island around noon Monday and left the scene with his passenger — another airman — apparently without calling police.

Local authorities found out about the badly damaged Piper PA-11 on Savage Island only after the pilot of another small plane noticed the wreckage six hours later while flying over the 207-acre island, according to Grand Isle County Sheriff Ray Allen.

That pilot radioed the tower at Burlington International Airport to report it. The tower staff contacted Vermont State Police, who in turn patched in Allen around 6 p.m.

Allen mobilized a massive response to what he thought was an active crash scene.

“There are lots of fire chiefs upset, myself included, along with other agencies, that this was an incident six hours old with no injuries — and nobody there,” Allen told Seven Days.

[FULL ARTICLE]

VT Air Guard pilot crashes plane

By Staci DaSilva

September 23, 2016

Grand Isle County Sheriff Ray Allen says he is waiting for a Federal Aviation Administration investigation to dictate whether federal investigators want the state of Vermont to press charges against two off-duty Air National Guardsmen.

Sheriff Allen says 30 people, or more, were dispatched to Savage Island in Grand Isle County Monday after reports of a plane crash.

Allen says the response effort involved multiple marine vessels, volunteer firefighters and a U.S. Customs & Border Protection helicopter. The island is not accessible by any roadway.

“The volunteers, they’re taking time away from their families, they’re volunteering their time to do out,” said Sheriff Allen.

When they got there, they found a destroyed Piper PA-11. Nobody was with the plane.

[FULL ARTICLE]

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