With the pending demise of Pajamas Media's blogger network, we'll be contributing articles to Examiner.com. Our first effort examines the status of the Air Force F-22 fleet, after yesterday's fatal accident in California.
It's no real surprise that Raptors will keep flying while investigators try to determine the cause of Wednesday's crash near Edwards AFB. Safety "stand downs" after accidents--or a series of accidents--remain rare, but they are not unprecedented.
Readers may recall a two-week suspension of F-22 flight operations in 2004 (after another mishap at Edwards). More recently, much of the F-15 inventory was grounded in late 2007 and early 2008, following the crash of a Missouri Air National Guard jet. Structural failure caused the loss of that jet, prompting the inspection of other "Eagles" in air forces around the world.
Thankfully, the Missouri pilot was able to eject from his aircraft, but he suffered serious injuries. Early reports suggest that the Lockheed-Martin test pilot who died yesterday did not attempt to eject.