Hypoxia issues ground F-35s

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The F-35s stationed at Luke Air Force base remain grounded after some pilots reported experiencing Hypoxia symptoms while flying.  (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The F-35s stationed at Luke Air Force base remain grounded after some pilots reported experiencing Hypoxia symptoms while flying.  (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The F-35s stationed at Luke Air Force base remain grounded after some pilots reported experiencing Hypoxia symptoms while flying.  

At Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus, the school has a high altitude chamber which allows pilots to experience Hypoxia in a safe and controlled environment. Capt. Ron Diedrichs with Next Step Aerospace, LLC is an instructor on the chamber. He is an experienced pilot having served in the air force and on plane crash investigations. He says its too soon to tell what is wrong with the oxygen system in the F-35.  

However, Diedrich says there could be a design flaw within the onboard oxygen generation system of "OBOGS." 

"You take bleed air off the engine and separate the oxygen and then the nitrogen and pressurize the oxygen to the pilots," Diedrich says.

Hypoxia sets in when the body is starved of oxygen, which can create confusion and essentially render a pilot a mere passenger.  

"All of the sudden the brain just shuts down. I could ask you a question and you won't be able to answer it," Diedrich said.

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