A top US Navy admiral and former F/A-18 fighter pilot will lead a comprehensive review of recent reports of pilots suffering oxygen deprivation or cockpit pressurisation issues on Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and T-45 Goshawk trainers.

The final results of the review by US Pacific Fleet commander Adm Scott Swift must be submitted by 20 May to vice chief of naval operations Adm Bill Moran, who commissioned the review, according to an internal memorandum released by the navy.

The review should “validate actions being taken and make recommendations with respect to additional actions, if any, that should be conducted”, Moran wrote on 21 April.

Swift has authority to consult all experts and previous research conducted by the navy’s aviation and medical branches, Moran says.

The navy now views such physiological episodes in cockpits as the “number one safety priority, and are taking an ‘unconstrained resource’ approach to finding solutions,” he writes.

The high-level review adds to the navy’s response to a boycott by 100 T-45 instructor pilots unsatisfied by previous efforts to solve years-old problems with the Goshawk’s oxygen and pressurisation systems. Pilots in the Super Hornet fleet have reported similar physiological events, including hypoxia, caused by the same faulty systems.

The T-45 operations boycott led to a week-long grounding ordered by the navy, which was lifted only after a 10,000ft altitude ceiling was imposed.

Source: FlightGlobal.com