The two Air Force pilots who put their careers on the line to blow the whistle on the military's F-22 fleet on 60 Minutes will have their chance at vindication.
National Journal's Kevin Baron scoops that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has ordered the Air Force to poll all of its F-22 pilots to see if they agree with Maj. Jeremy Gordon and Capt. Joshua Wilson that the planes should be grounded due to a faulty oxygen system. In an unprecedented interview earlier this month, Gordon and Wilson went on camera claiming that "a vast, silent majority" of F-22 Raptor pilots believe their lives are in danger because the high-tech jets make them black out or temporarily lose control.
In response to Wilson and Gordon refusing to fly the planes, the Air Force has rebutted allegations the entire fleet should be grounded. “We live in a community where risk is part of our lives,” Gen. Mike Hostage, the Air Force’s top fighter commander, said. “Right now, we believe that risk — although it’s not as low as we would like it — is low enough to safely operate the airplane at the current tempo.” Similarly, Air Force General Michael Hostage told 60 Minutes' Lesley Stahl that "I don't see a reason to stand the plane down."