By Jeremy Herb - 05/04/12 02:20 PM EDT
The Air Force says that no pilots have died because of oxygen deprivation. But the family of Capt. Jeff Haney, who died in a 2010 crash in Alaska, has sued the plane’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, for wrongful death, claiming that oxygen deprivation led to the crash. The Air Force says Haney was to blame.
In excerpts of the “60 Minutes” segment released Thursday evening, Capt. Josh Wilson describes his bout with hypoxia in the F-22, saying it took “immense concentration” to perform simple tasks.
He attempted to pull the plane’s oxygen ring, but says, “I
couldn't find it. I couldn't remember what part of the aircraft it was in.”
When Maj. Jeremy Gordon is asked whether the plane is safe to fly, he says, "I'm not comfortable answering that question.”
Gen. Michael Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command, which runs the F-22 program, defends the fighter jet on “60 Minutes.”
"I don't see a reason to stand the plane down,” he said. “Ideally, I want the risk as low as possible. I'm not able to drive it as low in this airplane as I am with others because of this unknown circumstance, but I have driven it down to a level where we believe we can safely operate the airplane."