As part of its investigation into the cause of hypoxia-like symptoms affecting a few F-22 Raptor pilots, Air Combat Command this week released new conditions regarding what pilots can wear while flying the aircraft. Testing has apparently found problems with the pressure vests worn by F-22 pilots as the upper portion of their G-suits. Air Combat Command spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Edward Sholtis told Bloomberg News that the vest is "like a tight-fitting garment" and that it was not properly fitted for pilots, possibly restricting their ability to breathe. But finding a fix for the vest is not expected to resolve the hypoxia-symptom issue.
According to Sholtis, the vest has not been identified as the yet-unidentified root cause of the hypoxia problems suffered by at least 11 pilots. And the "upper pressure garment" has not been implicated as the cause of more than 10 unexplained incidents. Regarding the vests, the Air Force is looking at issues regarding the layering of clothing and flight suits while wearing the vest. The exact restrictions regarding use of the vests have not been released. The Air Force is still looking for a root cause that has led pilots to report hypoxia-like symptoms while flying the jets.