WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - All T-6 Texan II trainer aircraft continue to be temporarily grounded at all United States Air Force Bases, including Sheppard Air Force Base. It's because of 13 reported cases of hypoxia-related incidents since January 24th.
The base has 201 aircraft. 77 of those are their T-6's. They are out on about 120 flights a day. They are all now on operational pause due to the incidents.
Hypoxia is when you are not getting enough oxygen in your blood or tissue. It's just one of many physiological events a pilot can experience along with hypocapnia, not enough carbon dioxide in the blood, and hypercapnia, too much carbon dioxide in the blood.
All Air Force pilots are put through altitude chambers and spatial disorientation simulators to make sure each pilot understands what it feels like before they're in the cockpit.
Some of the common symptoms are dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, and confusion.
Sheppard Air Force Base officials told Newschannel 6 it's only affecting the blue and red T-6's and not their grey T-38 Talon jets.
They said the T-6 aircraft is used for phase two of training.
It's unclear how long the pause will last, but Sheppard said the safety of their instructors and student pilots is paramount and remains their top priority and focus.
There was a similar situation that went on in the fall that lasted three weeks.
An Air Force investigation is currently underway to figure out why some pilots are having hypoxia-related incidents.
Stay with Newschannel 6 as we continue to follow this story.