June 20, 2017 / 2:10 AM / 2 years ago

Air Force to resume F-35 operations after suspension at Arizona base

(Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force said on Monday it will resume local flying operations of Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 jets at Luke Air Force base in Arizona after an 11-day suspension.

The Air Force said it will resume flight operations on Wednesday after they were stopped earlier in the month when five problems, which the Air Force described as “physiological events,” occurred during flights between May 2 and June 8.

F-35 fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin were grounded at the Luke Air Force base in Arizona because of irregularities in pilots’ oxygen supplies that caused them to suffer symptoms apparently related to oxygen deprivation.

An Air Force spokesperson said no root cause for the problems had been identified.

The spokesperson said parameters have been put in place for resumption of the operations, including avoiding altitudes at which the previous problems had occurred, modification of ground procedures to reduce pilot risk and expanding physiological training to increase understanding between pilot and medical communities.

The Pentagon said when operations were suspended that it was conducting a comprehensive review of the facts and circumstances surrounding physiological episodes along with industry experts.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and Mike Stone in Paris; Editing by Bill Trott

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