Former air wing commander to lead physiological episode prevention effort

Mackenzie Wolf

Former commander of Carrier Air Wing 3 and F/A-18 pilot Capt. Sara Joyner has been appointed to lead the Navy’s research effort to prevent physiological episodes in its fixed-wing aircraft, according to USNI News.

Joyner will fill a position recommended in the “Comprehensive Review of the T-45 and FA-18 Physiological Episodes” report conducted by U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift.

Capt. Joyner will report to the vice chief of naval operations and coordinate with the commander of Naval Air Forces, Naval Air Systems Command and the deputy commandant of the Marine Corps for aviation, per the report. 

“Naval aviation is committed to the safety of its aircrew, and that will remain our top safety priority until we fully understand all causal factors and have minimized the risk of physiological episodes to our flight operations,” Commander of Naval Air Forces spokeswoman Cmdr. Jeannie Groeneveld told USNI News.

Navy Times previously reported on the incidents involving breathing problems for pilots in flight. The Navy grounded the T-45 trainer aircraft in early April and dozens of Navy flight instructors refused to fly the aircraft.

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