The Navy will resume training flights in its T-45 Goshawk jets in July after they were grounded due to oxygen deprivation incidents, according to Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander of Naval Air Forces.
Instructor pilots will start flying the aircraft at facilities in Texas, Mississippi and Florida in early July and students will resume flight training later in the month with the onboard oxygen generating systems that have been suspected in a rash of hypoxia-like symptoms, the admiral said in a release Thursday.
"After months of using a modified mask and configuration that circumvented the [oxygen generation systems], new mitigation measures have been put in place that give us the confidence to safely resume flight training using the system," Shoemaker said.
The new measures include monitoring oxygen supplies to T-45 pilots to alert aircrews when a problem occurs and maintenance to make sure the onboard oxygen generation system, known as OBOGS, is working properly.
The T-45s were grounded in April after a rash of oxygen deprivation reports, a pilot boycott that included Vice President Mike Pence's son, and a 30-day review by the Navy.
The lack of flight training was delaying about 25 student pilots per month, according to the service.
Similar hypoxia issues have also been found in Navy F/A-18s and some Air Force F-35 joint strike fighters. The services had been taking a hard look at OBOGS, which generates fresh breathing air from the atmosphere, unlike older systems of canned oxygen.
F-35s based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona were briefly grounded, but resumed flights this month.