Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Settlement reached in F-22 Raptor crash that killed Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson pilot

In March, defense contractors were sued by the widow of award-winning Air Force pilot Capt. Jeff Haney, who died in a crash in the Alaska wilderness in November 2010, after the oxygen system in his F-22 Raptor malfunctioned during a training flight from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Anna Haney named Lockheed Martin, Boeing Co., Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney, the jet's primary contractors, in the suit. She claimed Lockheed knowingly sold the U.S. Air Force "dangerous and defective" planes.

This week, a settlement has been reached between Haney and the named parties, the Air Force Times reports. The amount of the settlement is unknown. A record of the proceedings has been sealed, and John Gagliano, Haney’s attorney, could not provide any details, although he did confirm that a settlement was reached.

The F-22 Raptor has been criticized over ongoing concerns that the plane’s oxygen system causes pilots to experience symptoms of hypoxia, a form of oxygen deprivation, while in flight. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta blamed the problem on a pressurized vest pilots wear, which has in some cases inflated “before it should," making breathing difficult. Panetta said the early inflation is due to a faulty valve, and pilots have been ordered not to wear the vests until the valves have been switched out.

A hearing to approve the settlement is scheduled for September.

Read more, here.

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