Washington Post reveals F-22 crash mystery

R. Jeffrey Smith writes today in The Washington Post that the F-22 “has major shortcomings”. The US Air Force says the F-22 costs $44,259 to fly one hour, compared to $30,818 for the F-15. An unnamed “critic” in the Department of Defense calls the F-22′s maintenance problems a “disgrace”. The reporter connects Darrol Olsen’s allegations — first reported on this blog — with a series of operational test and evaluation reports criticizing the F-22′s stealth coatings.

Smith also buries a major scoop about the March 25 crash of an F-22 six miles north of Harpers Dry Lake, California, which killed Lockheed test pilot David Cooley.


The Air Force has declined to discuss the cause, but a classifiedinternal accident report completed the following month states that theplane flew into the ground after poorly executing a high-speed run withits weapons-bay doors open, according to three government officialsfamiliar with its contents. The Lockheed test pilot died.

Several sources said the flight was part of a bid to make the F-22relevant to current conflicts by giving it a capability to conductprecision bombing raids, not just aerial dogfights. The Air Force isstill probing who should be held accountable for the accident.

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9 Responses to Washington Post reveals F-22 crash mystery

  1. airplane jim 10 July, 2009 at 11:55 pm #

    “John Hamre, the Pentagon’s comptroller from 1993 to 1997, says the department approved the plane with a budget it knew was too low because projecting the real costs would have been politically unpalatable on Capitol Hill.”
    This is part of the 7/10/09 Wash. Post article.

    It really says that Congress and the American people can’t believe or trust our military to tell us the truth. They will lie in order to get what they want. So now, are we forced to develop an agency independent of the Administrative and Legislative branches of government to give the people and Congress an unbiased, apolitical estimate of the true cost of the military’s needs?
    Since the vast majority of the flag officer staff are graduates of the military academy’s, I ask you “What happened to the Honor Code you once professed to follow?”

  2. Aaron R 11 July, 2009 at 11:23 am #

    …please, all the Raptor bashing is annoying. How convenient to report on a “classified report” which nobody will lawfully be able to prove. I’m sure there is much more to the “ACCIDENT” than weapons bay doors.

    IMO, it’s our politicians that have “shortcomings”.

  3. r17 18 July, 2009 at 3:58 pm #

    Lockheed has to take a lot of blame for this. They used so many subcontractors they could not ensure quality control. They used that many subcontractors so they could spread out the work to as many states as possible so the F22 politically would be a liability to cancel. They show their greed because canceling the F22 wouldn’t mean job loss because they also make the F35. Hopefully the F35 can actually be used for something.

  4. 993 GT2 Clubsport 23 October, 2009 at 5:31 pm #

    It’s another example of how ‘Raptor’ is the wrong name for the F-22…it should be called ‘White Elephant’. Calling this “pilot error” is a pure whitewash of the situation; given our radio technology today, the pilot inside the plane no longer needs to be part of the equation, but try telling overamped, testosterone-filled fighter jocks and their budget-grubbing generals that. The F-22 answers stealth questions that NO ONE ELSE AROUND THE WORLD even bothers asking; we’ve already seen how “old tech” like the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 dominate the skies. Consequently we have a billion dollar per boondoggle that we can’t build enough to replace the aging and fatigued fleet of because the Raptor is so bloody expensive.

  5. Matt 31 January, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    No matter what the contract is that has to do with the government it is going to go over budget and time. This does not only happen with the military. When it comes to testing these fighter jets it is obviously going to take a lot of time and money to get things right. Remember it always works on paper but when you actually put it together and start using it it is going to take alot of testing to actually get it right. As far as I am concerned when it comes to keeping our air superiority over other nations the military should be able to spend what is needed!!

  6. Matt 31 January, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    As a former mechanic on the F-22 Raptor this Jet is one of the most amazing fighter jets in the world. Because you don’t remember the flight tests of the F-15 and F-16, all of the crashes that happened then, does not mean that this aircraft is a pile of junk. Relatively speaking the F-22 has performed as good if not better than those other fighter jets. When you can put one F-22 up against Five F-15s or F-16s in a dog fight and the F-22 wipes them all out before the others even see the F-22 on radar, that to me is a incredible piece of work!!

  7. Pleasanton Electrician 30 August, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Thank you for a great post

  8. Steroids 5 December, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    Die Seite konnte etwas besser zu Navigieren sein, aber der gesamt Eindruck ist schon Ok, wollte ich mal so als Info hier lassen.

  9. Reynaldo Ekberg 5 January, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    If certain section of the government and military are running amok like we see in WikiLeaks; then I have NO issue with that being made public. If you don’t want corrupt actions to be broadcast, then do not do them in the first place.

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