The Navy will resume its T-45C flights on Monday after the training jets were grounded due to pilot protest and problems with oxygen systems, the commander of Naval Air Forces announced.
However, the service has still not found the root cause or a solution to the oxygen system issues that caused a boycott by hundreds of instructor pilots, including Vice President Mike Pence’s son, Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker said in a released statement.
The Navy will instead limited T-45C training flights for sailors and Marines to below 10,000 feet using a mask that circumvents the aircraft’s on-board oxygen generator system.
“We will be able to complete 75 percent of the syllabus flights with the modified masks while we continue the important engineering testing and analysis at [Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland] to identify the root cause of the problem,” Shoemaker said.
The faulty oxygen systems were leading to hypoxia that can dangerously disorient pilots and cause serious health problems.
The T-45C aircraft were originally grounded for three days earlier this month but the Navy then extended the ban on flights by more than a week as it examined two of the jets from Texas and Mississippi, which were transported to Naval Air Systems Command for a full evaluation.
“All teams are immersed in this effort and working with the same sense of urgency to solve our physiological episodes across the fleet,” Shoemaker said.