Flight Diverted After Crew Sickened By Odor

Discussion in 'American Airlines' started by CLTUSCaptive, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. CLTUSCaptive

    CLTUSCaptive Member

    Dec 17, 2008
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  2. EastCheats

    EastCheats Veteran

    Mar 12, 2012
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    Yep. 87 reported events 2009-2010
    III. Results
    During this 24-month period, 87 events on 47 aircraft met the inclusion criteria. The sources of contaminated air
    reports are listed in Table 2. All but one of the events reported to a crew union were also reported to the airline. The
    exception was an event that a pilot reported to his union only. Although the author only found a SDR for 33 of the
    87 events, 66 appear to meet the SDR reporting requirements. In 64 of the 87 events, mechanics reviewed relevant
    aircraft mechanical records and pilot logbook entries.
    Table 2. Sources of contaminated air reports
    Source Number of events
    Crew report(s) to the airline, union(s), or both 48
    Crew report(s) + Service Difficulty Report (SDR) 18
    SDR only 15
    Cross-referenced in aircraft mechanical records
    and pilot logbook entries that mechanics reviewed
    for another event, but not reported to either the
    union or the FAA
    Total 87
    Crewmembers reported contaminated air events on all eight aircraft types operated by the airline during the
    study period. The author attempted to assess whether an aircraft type was over- or under-represented in the
    fumes dataset by comparing the percentage of each aircraft type in the dataset to the percentage of that aircraft
    type in the airline fleet (fifth column in Table 3), so a value of “one” would be expected. The A319, B767, and
    E190 aircraft appear to be over-represented, while B737 aircraft appear to be under-represented. These findings
    may not be statistically significant, however, and normalizing parameter data (e.g., miles flown, total number of
    take offs and landings, etc.) were not available.
    Table 3. Number and proportions of incident aircraft,
    contaminated air events, and aircraft in fleet, all by aircraft (AC) type
    N (%a)
    incident AC
    N (%a)
    N (%a )
    AC in fleet
    % incident AC/
    % AC in fleet
    Over- or underrepresented?
    A319 16 (34) 30 (34) 54 (25) 1.4 over
    A320 4 (8.5) 6 (6.9) 23 (11) 0.77 -
    A321 9 (19) 11 (13) 38 (17) 1.1 -
    A330 3 (6.4) 6 (6.9) 16 (7.3) 0.88 -
    B737 3 (6.4) 10 (11) 47 (22) 0.29 under
    B757 3 (6.4) 3 (3.4) 15 (6.9) 0.93 -
    B767 4 (8.5) 15 (17) 10 (4.6) 1.8 over
    E190 5 (11) 6 (6.9) 15 (6.9) 1.6 over
    TOTAL 47 87 218
    a. Totals may not add to 100% exactly because of rounding.
    b. Qualitative analysis only; may not achieve statistical significance.
    One contaminated air event was reported on 29 of the 47 aircraft in this dataset, and multiple events were
    reported for the remaining 18 aircraft (Table 4). The majority of the repeat events were on A319 aircraft, with the
    exception of one B767 aircraft with 12 reported events during the study period.
    Table 4. Frequency of events by aircraft type for total of 87 events on 47 aircraft
    Aircraft type 1 event 2 events 3 events >3 events
    A319 7 5 3 1 (4 events)
    A320 3 0 1 0
    A321 8 0 1 0
    A330 1 1 1 0
    B737 0 1 1 1 (5 events)
    B757 3 0 0 0
    B767 3 0 0 1 (12 events)
    E190 4 1 0 0
    TOTAL aircraft 29 8 7 3
    TOTAL events 29 16 21 21
    In all but four reported events, there was a noticeable odor, whether noted in crew reports to the airline, airline
    SDR to the FAA, aircraft mechanical records, pilot logbook entries, or follow-up telephone interviews with one or
    more crewmembers. Of these odor descriptors, dirty socks/smelly feet is the most common (Table 5). In 50 of the 83
    events with an odor, more than one odor descriptor was used. Descriptors reported in five or fewer events during the
    study period were: acrid/sour, bad cheese, band aids, barnyard, burning/burnt, burnt cloth, burning dust, burning
    leaves, burning plastic, exhaust, garbage, gasoline, kerosene-like, metallic, paint-like, scorched, skunk, smoky, stale,
    sulfur, sweet, and urine. Only three of the 87 reported events involved a haze (2) or smoke (1) and in all three cases,
    the smoke/haze was reported during ground operations and the flights were cancelled/delayed.
    Table 5. Nature and frequency of odors associated with
    contaminated bleed air events during two year period
    Description of odor Frequency
    Dirty socks/smelly feet 35
    Musty/moldy/mildew 17
    Foul/funky/horrible/noxious 13
    Strong/intense/pungent/overwhelming 11
    Oil/oily/burning oil 11
    Vomit 9
    Chemical 7
    Burning wire/electrical 6
    In 44 of the 87 documented events, an unusual odor was reported prior to take off, and in 34 of the events, an
    odor was reported when the aircraft was airborne (Table 6). In five events, it was not clear if the odor was reported
    prior to take off. Four events had no reported odor, but were included in the dataset based on crew symptoms
    inflight and recent/subsequent documentation of oil in an engine/APU.
    Table 6. Description of when odor was reported;
    whether or not prior to takeoff and phase of flight
    Odor reported
    prior to take off?
    Phase of flight during
    which odor first reported
    Yes Boarding/at gate 26a
    Taxi out 18b
    Total 44
    No Take off/climb 15
    Descent 11
    Cruise 6
    No odor 4
    En route but phase not specified 2
    Total 38
    Don’t know 5
    TOTAL 87
    a. Of these, 14 were cancelled/delayed at the gate.
    b. Of these, 6 returned to the gate.
    Reported information on the crew health, flight safety, and operational impact, as well as relevant mechanical
    failures, for the 44 flights during which one or more crewmembers reported an unusual odor prior to take off is
    described in Table 7.
    Table 7. Reported information on crew health, flight safety, operational impact
    and mechanical failures for 44 flights with unusual odors reported prior to takeoff
    (a) 20 flights cancelled/delayed due to
    unusual odors reported prior to takeoff24 flights that flew to destination despite
    unusual odors reported prior to takeoff
    N (%) flights N (%) flights
    ≥1 FA reported symptoms 17 (85) (2 DKa) ≥1 FA reported symptoms 21 (88)
    ≥1 pilots reported symptoms 4 (20) (7 DK) ≥1 pilots reported symptoms 9 (38) (4 DK)
    ≥1 crew sought emerg. med. care 6 (30) (1 DK) ≥1 crew sought emerg. med. care 12 (50 ) (1 DK)
    ≥1 crew sought follow-up med care 12 (60) (1 DK) ≥1 crew sought follow-up med care 13 (54) (1 DK)
    Cancelled/delayed prior to departure 14 (70) Next flight conf. cancelled/delayed 6 (25)
    Returned to the gate during taxi out 6 (30)
    ≥1 crew lost work time 10 (50) (1 DK) ≥1 crew lost work time 13 (54) (1 DK)
    Confirmed oil leak in APU 10 Confirmed oil leak in APU 8
    Undefined APU contamination 2 Confirmed/susp. oil leak in engine 4
    Undefined pack contamination 2 Confirmed/susp. oil leak in ACM/pack 3
    Hydraulic fluid in APU 1 Undefined APU contamination 4
    Unknown 5 Unknown 5
    a. DK = don’t know
    Reported information on the crew health, flight safety, and operational impact, as well as relevant mechanical
    failures, for all 87 events.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. 700UW

    700UW Corn Field

    Nov 11, 2003
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    The news last night said it was five passengers. So was it crew or passengers?

    here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/07/11/3375471/charlotte-flight-to-rome-diverted.html#storylink=cpy​
  4. EastCheats

    EastCheats Veteran

    Mar 12, 2012
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    I read several reports that saqid crew. We'll see after the fumes clear.
  5. algflyr

    algflyr Veteran

    Aug 21, 2002
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    I have no idea about the passengers. I personally know one of the crew members involved. 5 crewmembers went to the hospital (my friend was one of them) and all have been released. When my friend was released (at 2:30am) only 2 others remained there. They were also released a bit later.
  6. EastCheats

    EastCheats Veteran

    Mar 12, 2012
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    Glad to hear they are OK.
  7. signals

    signals Veteran

    Dec 30, 2007
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    Is this US only? And have there been pax or just crew?
  8. EastCheats

    EastCheats Veteran

    Mar 12, 2012
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    No and both. Another one today.

    Mysterious fumes forces Southwest plane to make emergency landing after flight attendant falls sick

    • Firefighters have not found source of strange odour
    • It could re-ignite debate over 'aerotoxic syndrome'
    By Daily Mail Reporter
    PUBLISHED: 03:09 EST, 13 June 2012 | UPDATED: 05:50 EST, 13 June 2012

    A Southwest Airlines plane was forced to turn back just after take-off when a mysterious smell made a flight attendant sick.
    The Boeing 737 left Oakland International Airport with 139 passengers on board at 7.12am yesterday.
    But ten minutes later the crew said it was heading back because of an unusual odour in the cabin.

    Mystery: A Southwest flight from Oakland International Airport had to make an emergency landing after a strange odour made a flight attendant sick
    The Burbank-bound flight touched back down at 7.27am and the flight attendant walked off on her own.
    She was checked over by a medical team before being taken to hospital, airport spokeswoman Joanne Holloway said.


    According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, passengers were taken off the plane and put on another flight to Burbank.
    Oakland firefighters searched for the source of the odor, but Holloway said they had not yet found the cause.
    In April last year, a Southwest jet had to make an emergency landing because of a burning electrical smell in the cabin.

    Chaos: Passengers are treated at San Antonio Airport in Texas last year after a flight was forced to turn back due to a strong chemical smell
    The Boeing 737-300 flight to San Diego carrying 142 people was diverted to Los Angeles after the pilot reported a mechanical problem.
    A few weeks later, a Continental Airlines flight had to take similar measures after passengers complained of a strong chemical smell on the plane.

    The Boeing 737 had just taken off from San Antonio International Airport in Texas when it was forced to return to the airport, where at least four people were treated for respiratory problems and others for sickness.
    At the time, the incident re-ignited the furore over 'aerotoxic syndrome', the name given to the illness caused by airplane passengers breathing air that becomes contaminated with a cocktail of chemicals from the plane's engines.
    While planes being grounded because of it is fairly rare, cases are very common.

    Campaigners representing those affected claim that for the past 50 years there has been a fundamental flaw in the way in which air is pumped into planes.

    An oil leak in an engine can in seconds fill a cabin with poisonous fumes.

    Air is sucked in through the engine. Half of it is re-circulated - processed by the ventilation system and passed through filters to clean it.

    The other half comes from deep within the engine. It is bled off from the engine before the fuel is injected and burnt.

    The so-called 'bleed air' is piped back to the fuselage, where it is cooled and then pumped into the cabin.

    Whatever toxins it may have picked up from the engine can pass straight into the aircraft - and into the lungs of those on board.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail...l#ixzz20NWge8Wv
  9. Phoenix

    Phoenix Veteran

    Apr 16, 2003
    Likes Received:
    People want to have faith in emergency responders and doctors. When they are baffled some folks are inclined to cast suspicion on crews and passengers. However, based on the number of incidents across carriers, I think we are past labeling them as hyperchondriacs.

    It is time for the self-proclaimed experts to start earning their pay and compare notes to figure out the common denominator that is causing this.
  10. EastCheats

    EastCheats Veteran

    Mar 12, 2012
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    The State of California has determined that walking in the jetway can be hazardous. They might as well hand out PBE's prior to boarding.

    WARNING: this building contains substances known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.

    If you wondered how passengers feel about the warning, here's an example. I would not be surprised if this person decided to make a u-turn and get back on the aircraft where the air is clean....

    Welcome to the U.S.A.: this building might kill you.’
    Friday 7 August 2009

    I stepped off the Qantas plane from Sydney in Los Angeles last week to notice that there were a far larger number of staff waiting to greet the plane than I was used to seeing for the equivalent plane in London or Sydney: people with wheelchairs, name-placards, official-looking clipboards, cleaning equipment, etc. Knowing that none of them was waiting for me, I carried walking down the jetway. When I got to the terminal proper, it was to be greeted by a sign on the wall saying:

    WARNING: this building contains substances known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.

    Well, that’s certainly one idea of a friendly welcome. Apparently, in fact, this is a sign which is used so often throughout the state that it has lost all meaning. But still, I hurried down that flight of stairs quicker than I might otherwise have done.
    Having been regaled with stories of queues at LAX immigration stretching for hundreds of yards, I expected the arrivals process to take hours. In fact when I did get down the stairs from the cancer-ridden doorway I found a long hall with hundreds of staff members encouraging the newly-arrived passengers to go down as far as possible since, as far as I could see, all the immigration desks were then manned. There were ‘welcome’ announcements specifically for my flight from Sydney, and I went straight to the desk where I was directed. Understandably enough I was interrogated fairly closely about what I was doing, but everything was civil and only lasted for a maximum of five minutes. The most boring part was queuing to take my bags through customs/quarantine, but even that didn’t take long.
    Talk about efficient. Heathrow could stand to learn a thing or two about my experience. Perhaps I just got lucky?

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