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Navy Taking Major Steps to Prevent Future Physiological Events in Jets

ARLINGTON, Va. ? With the Navy ruling out contaminated air and focusing on air pressure fluctuations as the cause of many physiological events (PEs), the service is planning a major maintenance event on its jets to try to curb PE rates.

The Navy will add a new cockpit pressure monitoring and warning system to more than 1,000 F/A-18A-D Hornets, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers in the largest type/model/series modification the service has ever undertaken, Physiological Episodes Action Team lead Rear Adm. Fredrick ?Lucky? Luchtman told USNI News. The effort will begin later this year and take about two years.

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Navy Rules Out Suspected Physiological Episodes Cause While Super Hornet Rates Grow in 2019

CAPITOL HILL ? The Navy has ruled out breathing air contamination as a cause of physiological episodes, but a complex set of conditions ? including both cabin pressure issues and human factors ? has led to the rates of pilots experiencing PEs this current fiscal year being back on the rise.

Though the service has not yet pinpointed a cause ? and likely won?t ever find a single root cause ? other gases or contaminants have not been found in breathing air coming from the jets? Onboard Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS), the Navy said in a little-publicized news release this week.

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How USAF is Tackling Hypoxia-Like Incidents in its T-6, Fighter Fleets

The Air Force Physiological Episodes Action Team has recommended the service stand up two new program offices to help it monitor and reduce the number of hypoxia-like incidents in its trainer and fighter fleets. The move comes as both the Air Force and Navy work to overhaul the On-Board Oxygen Generation systems in their T-6 trainer fleets, following a spike in such incidents and an extended grounding last year.

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Embry-Riddle Researchers are Helping Find Solutions for Navy and Air Force Pilots Experiencing Hypoxia

Separate projects led by Assistant Professor of Aeronautical Science Janet K. Marnane and Associate Professor of Human Factors Joseph R. Keebler are designed to better understand, prevent and even predict hypoxia among pilots in flight. The projects are part of the university?s programs on the Daytona Beach Campus in Aeronautical Science and Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology.

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