Just one little problem: the brass still doesn’t know why a dozen Raptor pilots blacked out and one fatally crashed, prompting the May 3 no-fly order. Officials suspected the oxygen system aboard the $300-million, radar-evading superfighter. Ground crews starting up the jets in sealed, garage-like hangars might also have been a factor. After months of study, the Air Force still can’t say for sure.
But the Lockheed-built F-22s comprise around half of America’s dogfighting fleet. They can’t stay grounded forever without eventually jeopardizing national security.