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US Air Force cancels F-35 flight operations at Luke AFB over hypoxia-like issues

12 June 2017

The US Air Force (USAF) on 9 June cancelled Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) flight operations at Luke Air Force Base (AFB) in Arizona after a series of five incidents where pilots experienced hypoxia-like symptoms, according to a service statement.

Air Force spokesperson Kiley Dougherty said on 9 June the base has 55 F-35As and 25 F-35A sorties, or flights, scheduled for 9 June were cancelled. The five incidents have all occurred since 2 May, Dougherty said.

Air Force spokesperson Colonel Patrick Ryder said on 9 June the F-35 Joint Programme Office (JPO) has put together an action team to better understand the issue. The service will continue with normal F-35 flying operations on 12 June, Col Ryder said.

As of press time on 9 June, the local flying operations cancellation is limited to Luke AFB. The USAF plans to buy 1,763 F-35A conventional variant aircraft. Col Ryder said the USAF has received more than 100 F-35As as of 9 June.

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The US Air Force cancelled on 9 June F-35A flight operations at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona after pilots experienced a series of hypoxia-like symptoms. (Lockheed Martin)The US Air Force cancelled on 9 June F-35A flight operations at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona after pilots experienced a series of hypoxia-like symptoms. (Lockheed Martin)



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