Seems the Institute of Medicine came up with the wrong answer after endless conjecture. So much so that the government withheld it as long as possible in an effort to either coerce the scientists into a different prognosis or corral the parameters of the ensuing report. Neither effort succeeded and the cat is out of the bag. Prognosis? AO kills. AO also continues to kill when left on the skin of aircraft decades later.
This is a no brainer. The Air Force is not one to insulate aircraft. Hence, when you get to altitude, the A/C becomes cold. When you return to earth, condensation on its surfaces occurs much like that on a toilet bowl tank on a hot day. Moisture re-released the AO into the interior of the aircraft where it was free to move about. And move about it did. The miracle is that the IOM came down on our side-or that we even heard they did. From what we’re hearing, sometimes the VA doesn’t think we need to bother our ourselves with confusing information that is contentious.
I wrote this up back in February 2013 when I first heard about it. Wes Carter has done a marvelous job of pursuing this to a fruitful outcome. Sadly, he should not have had to. As Lincoln opined at his second inaugural address “For he who shall have borne the battle, his widow and his orphan son.” Wes added the postscript that nowhere was it written that you had to endlessly pester the VA to investigate the obvious. This seems to be the surreal theme song that haunts the VA. Why on earth abrogate for yourself a motto you have no intention of honoring?
Well done, Wes. I rode in a lot of Air Am and RLAF $1.23s into and out of Long Tieng but I don’t think any were spray buggies. They do have a definite aroma though.