The Navy never notified Congress of the most recent physiological episode where a pilot and crew member were exposed to freezing temperatures and were forced to land their EA-18G Growler using a smart watch.
The service made no mention of the episode March 7 during a House Armed Services tactical air and land force subcommittee hearing. The incident occurred Jan. 29 and was first reported by Defense News.
“We understand that after a failure of the aircraft’s environmental control system, the aircrew flew 60 miles with a -30 degree cockpit temperature and severely limited visibility,” according to a letter sent to the Navy last week by subcommittee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) and Ranking Member Niki Tsongas (D-MA). “We also understand that the pilots were able to land safely using a GPS wristwatch.”
Turner and Tsongas reiterate in the letter they are disappointed Navy officials did not provide an update during the subcommittee hearing.
“As members of the House Armed Services Committee we need to be reassured the Navy continues to treat mitigating PEs as a top priority,” the letter reads. “As such we expect to be kept updated regarding the results of the current mishap investigation related to the January 29th event.”