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The Air Force’s official accident investigation said the plane’s bleed air intake, which is used to generate power, malfunctioned and caused the oxygen-generating system to shut down.

The report blamed Haney for the crash for not quickly activating the emergency oxygen system and recovering from a dive. The investigation said the onboard oxygen generation system did not malfunction.

“Due to the high affinity of oxygen to hemoglobin, [Haney] would have had adequate blood oxygen supply after the [system] failed,” the report states, according to the Air Force Times.

“It was concluded that the late recognition of the [Raptor’s] unusual altitude and appropriate corrective actions attempted by [Capt. Haney] demonstrates that hypoxia was not a factor in this mishap.”

Capt. Haney’s family charges that the Air Force is protecting its multibillion-dollar fighter by blaming the pilot when the real culprit was the F-22 itself.

“I’d like to think it’s easier to blame Jeff. He’s not here to defend himself,” Jennifer Haney, his sister, told ABC News. “To them, Jeff was a number, it feels like sometimes. But those jets are worth a lot of money.

“I don’t agree with [the Air Force]. I think there was a lot more going on inside that cockpit,” she said. “A cover-up? I don’t know. But there’s something.”

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating how the Air Force Accident Investigation Board reached its conclusion of pilot error.

Ironically, when Gen. Norton Schwartz, the Air Force chief of staff, appeared before a congressional committee in March, he maintained that the service was not blaming the pilot — while, in fact, the accident report did just that.

A troubled chronology

Until the Air Force solves the F-22 mystery, the investigation and outreach to pilots continue.

“We’ve conducted road shows where we have gone out to each Raptor base and conducted town-hall meetings where we talk about what’s going on, take their questions, address their concerns,” Col. Sholtis said.

“There are biweekly video teleconferences. All the unit commanders are updated on what’s being done to advance the root-cause analysis.”

The F-22’s founders 20 years ago could not have predicted the aircraft’s spotty chronology.

It was declared operational in 2005 but never deployed to prolonged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, where air power was used extensively.

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