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Serious Cabin Fume Incident Leaves Flight Deck Temporarily Incapacitated

Serious Cabin Fume Incident Leaves Flight Deck Temporarily Incapacitated

Old Nov 25, 19, 2:06 pm
  #1  
BOH
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Serious Cabin Fume Incident Leaves Flight Deck Temporarily Incapacitated

This being reported.......date of occurrence was October 19th and apparently an ."onion bahjis" smell

A British Airways Airbus A320-200, registration G-GATL performing flight BA-2676 from London Gatwick,EN (UK) to Paphos (Cyprus), was descending through 8000 feet to 6000 feet towards Paphos when the first officer noticed an unusual odour in the cockpit and queried the captain whether he would also smell onion bahjis, the captain indicated he did not. About 30 seconds later the first officer felt his arms and legs were tingling and he had the impression he was about to faint. He donned his oxygen masks and made sure oxygen was set to 100%. He then turned to the captain telling him, he didn't feel good, but there was no response, the first officer then indicated he was incapacitated, still no response from the captain. After a couple of seconds the captain finally reacted stating very slowly he didn't feel good, too, and donned his oxygen mask. Both pilots verified the captain's oxygen was set to 100%. During that time several calls by ATC to descend to 4000 feet went unnoticed. The pilots recovered a bit, however, could not establish two way communication between them with the oxygen masks on, they figured the captain could hear the first officer but the first officer could not hear the captain. The captain was pilot flying and began to point to the checklist to be executed (smoke, fire, fumes), then throughout the approach pointed to the relevant levers to be operated for flaps and gear extension while the first officer continued to communicate with ATC and read the checklists. The aircraft landed safely on Paphos' runway 29 about 13 minutes after the onset of trouble, the crew opened the cockpit windows immediately after roll out before taxiing to the stand.

Following shut down at the stand the captain went to the lavatory almost immediately, while the first officer checked with the cabin whether there was everything okay. The cabin had not noticed anything untoward, however, the flight attendant was shocked by the view of the first officer being completely pale. She stated there was a strong smell of fuel from the cockpit when the cockpit door opened. The tingling, confusion and difficulties to concentrate continued past the landing despite the oxygen mask. Both pilots went to a hospital where they were both diagnosed with very low blood oxygen saturation and feaver. The doctors recommended the flight crew to stay in hospital overnight for monitoring, however, the pilots preferred to go to the hotel and returned to London the next day as passengers, refusing to fly on the occurrence aircraft.

The occurrence aircraft remained on the ground for about 27 hours, then returned to London Gatwick as flight BA-2675 and continued service.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 2:08 pm
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This post has simply given me a craving for onion bahjis.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 2:15 pm
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The wording of the report has me intrigued, mainly because it does not appear to have what I personally would describe as an ‘official’ tone.

Are you able to give the actual source ?
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Old Nov 25, 19, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by subject2load View Post
The wording of the report has me intrigued, mainly because it does not appear to have what I personally would describe as an ‘official’ tone to it.

Are you able to give the actual source ?
Accident: British Airways A320 at Paphos on Oct 19th 2019, fumes in cockpit, both pilots partially incapacitated
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Old Nov 25, 19, 2:19 pm
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Interesting if true re the blood oxygen saturation. How will this be categorised? Presumably its reportable but would it be an ‘incident’ or even ‘accident’?
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Old Nov 25, 19, 2:21 pm
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Thanks for swift response BOH ^

I wonder has there been any comment / statement from BA on this.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 2:32 pm
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Is this one of the second hand aircraft sourced for LGW?
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Old Nov 25, 19, 2:36 pm
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I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the "Aerotoxic" bunch pop up here, so I doubt I'll make things worse by asking if this was an engine oil leak or hydraulic leak into the bleed air?

I assume the investigating authority in the first instance will be the Cypriot aviation regulator, but perhaps they'll delegate it to the UK AAIB.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 2:36 pm
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Old Nov 25, 19, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by flatlander View Post
I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the "Aerotoxic" bunch pop up here, so I doubt I'll make things worse by asking if this was an engine oil leak or hydraulic leak into the bleed air?

I assume the investigating authority in the first instance will be the Cypriot aviation regulator, but perhaps they'll delegate it to the UK AAIB.
Its difficult to reach any conclusions - we are armchair amateurs at best here - but some of the comments suggest a engine bleed air issue is less likely as the fumes were only present in the cockpit. The air from both packs is mixed prior to supply to the cockpit and cabin so if the bleed air was at fault the fumes should also have been apparent in the cabin too.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by lorcancoyle View Post
Is this one of the second hand aircraft sourced for LGW?
first registered with ACES Colombia as N834VX in 2003 (looks suspiciously like a US rego to me, mind), then seems to have been leased out for a bit including to WizzAir until 2014

interestingly, the all Y LCC configuration apparently only had 3 more seats

https://m.planespotters.net/airframe...irways/bneZIKR
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Old Nov 25, 19, 2:44 pm
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Yes it is... started life with ACES Colombia before moving to Wizz air.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 2:48 pm
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Another amateur question here, why didn't they check the passenger cabin, and if it was OK, fling open the flight deck door?
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Old Nov 25, 19, 2:57 pm
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Another question is what would lead to excessively low oxygen in the cockpit whilst the aircraft was below 8000ft?
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Old Nov 25, 19, 3:04 pm
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It must be quite worrying for the crew who experience these fume events and probably makes them reluctant to fly on that frame again.

Do other airlines such as EasyJet experience these frequent fume incidents or is it to do with the age and history of these LGW birds?
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