AF Probes F-22 Mishap at Tyndall

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE -- The Air Force is not calling a "ground incident" involving an F-22 Raptor last week a "crash."

The F-22 was in a "touch-and-go" practice session at about 5 p.m. Thursday when it was put out of commission. The "ground incident" put the plane on the sidelines and benched the pilot, officials said.

"Everything around this is in freeze frame right now," said Herman Bell, chief of Tyndall's 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs.

Base officials would not comment on how the plane made contact with the ground, nor would base officials give any indication of whether the "incident" was mechanical or pilot error. The pilot was not injured in the incident.

"It is all under investigation," Bell said.

Bell said the pilot had been flying F-16s and had little experience with the F-22. "It was his second flight in the F-22," he said.

The F-22 Raptor became the center of attention last summer after pilots reported being lightheaded after flying the aircraft. The plane was on "stand down" for three months.

The Air Force has been conducting investigations into problems with the F-22's oxygen system with little success.

Tyndall Air Force Base is the home of the 325th Fighter Wing, whose primary mission is to provide air training for F-22 Raptor pilots, as well as maintenance personnel and air battle managers.

The F-22 is one of the most advanced and expensive aircraft every constructed for the military. According to the Government Accountability Office, the per plane cost is $412 million.

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