Sen. Mark Warner lobbies for reinstatement of F-22 Raptor ‘whistleblower’

Posted at 6:56 PM, May 01, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-01 18:57:06-04

It’s been two years since two Virginia Air National Guard pilots stationed in Hampton Roads came forward as whistleblowers about oxygen problems aboard F-22 Raptors.

One of them is still on suspension for his disobedience.

He’s been on desk duty with no flight pay for two years, threatened with a career-ending flight evaluation board, all for speaking up about Hypoxia issues plaguing local Air Force pilots flying F-22s.

Captain Josh Wilson was one of two pilots that came forward to CBS’ 60 Minutes about the dangers of flying the F-22 Raptor and how it was causing chronic pilot health and safety concerns.

After his TV appearance, the Air Force actually grounded the planes and did a full investigation into the plane’s oxygen systems.

But he has been suspended from flying ever since. The Air Force says it’s because he disobeyed an order, refusing to fly using a charcoal filter to breathe through.

“It might be appropriate to say “You didn’t follow orders, we are going to suspend you for a while.” But the amazing thing is that the Air Force is getting rid of the charcoal filter! The Air Force is spending millions of dollars to retrofit the plane! You would think at a certain sense they would receive a commendation. Yet this guy is hanging out to dry for two years,” says Senator Mark Warner.

Warner is now urging the Pentagon to finish a nearly two year-long investigation into Captain Wilson’s complaint so he can be reinstated and return to flying at Langley.