Panetta Issues F-22 Flight Restrictions

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has personally intervened in the Air Force’s F-22 fighter jet problem. He has ordered flight restrictions that will keep the planes close to their bases and he has sent other fighters to Alaska to deal with longer distance maneuvers. There are about 40 F-22’s at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. In November 2010 one of them crashed near the Denali Highway. The Air Force blamed the crash on pilot error and some sort of ventilation malfunction. The problem involves the pilot’s oxygen supply. F-22’s cost about $190 million and have never been used in combat.