SAFETY HAZARD

Panetta Restricts F-22 Flights

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has ordered the Air Force to restrict flights of its F-22 fighter jets due to continuing problems with oxygen supply on the jets. The Pentagon has turned to the Navy and NASA to help investigate why some F-22 pilots have experienced in-flight dizziness and other symptoms of oxygen deprivation leading to hypoxia, with Panetta ordering all F-22 flights to remain within a “proximate distance” of an airfield. The Air Force has so far been unable to determine the cause of at least 12 incidents of hypoxia in pilots, though a spokesman for the Defense secretary said he is determined to get to the root of the problem and that pilot safety remains “his first and foremost concern.”