- Several crew members fell ill and emergency services attended a British Airways aircraft after fumes were detected in the cockpit upon landing from Barcelona.
- Three patients were treated at the scene and the aircraft remained grounded at London Heathrow Airport.
- Smoke/fume events pose a threat to flight safety and can cause symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and impaired vision according to the European Cockpit Association.
Emergency services attended a British Airways aircraft upon landing after several people fell ill on a flight from Spain. The British Airways Airbus A320, registered as G-TTOB, landed at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) at 16:13 local time (UTC +1) after it completed flight BA475 from Barcelona El Prat International Airport (BCN) on October 8, 2023.
According to one X (formerly Twitter) user, the crew members of the flight fell sick upon landing from BCN, as reportedly, fumes were detected inside the cockpit. Pictures, shared by the same user who was a passenger aboard the aircraft, showed emergency crews attending the Airbus A320, which was already parked at its gates at LHR.
Meanwhile, a London Ambulance Service representative detailed to The Independent that three medics, two advanced paramedics, two ambulance crews, two incident response officers, and members of the hazardous area response team were sent to the scene
Their statement added:
“After assessing multiple people at the scene, we treated three patients and discharged them.”
British Airways representative said in a statement to Simple Flying:
“The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority. This aircraft landed normally at Heathrow following reports of a technical issue,
“Customers disembarked the aircraft safely via steps, and we’ve apologised to them for the delay and inconvenience caused to their journey.”
The airline’s spokesperson added that per the standard procedure, “the flight was met at Heathrow by the emergency services who followed their processes”.
Smoke/fume event symptoms
According to a guideline paper by the European Cockpit Association (ECA), a pilot union representing over 40,000 pilots in the EU, smoke and/or fume events are typically referred to as “cabin air contamination.”
“Studies and occurrence/accident reports have shown that such events could pose a threat to the safety of flight operations as well as to the health of cockpit/cabin crew and passengers.”
ECA listed the potential symptoms, which include but are not limited to dizziness, nausea, numbness, muscle incoordination, drowsiness, impaired vision, and memory problems. In response to such an event, the ECA suggests applying the Quick Reference Handbook’s Smoke/Fumes checklist. Throughout the flight, the flight crew never squawked 7700, the general code for emergencies, as shown in the flight’s record on FlightRadar24.com.
Photo: Senohrabek | Shutterstock
The aircraft has remained on the ground at LHR, operating no other flights on October 8, 2023, or October 9, 2023. It is scheduled to depart the British capital’s airport at 7:10 AM to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD), Hungary. Flightradar24.com schedules showed on October 10, 2023. On the same day it landed at LHR with fumes in the cockpit, the aircraft operated a flight from Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ) to LHR, from where it flew to BCN.
Ex-GB Airways Airbus A320
Airbus delivered the aircraft, powered by two International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500 engines, to GB Airways, a previous subsidiary of British Airways in 2002. When the airline was sold to easyJet, the aircraft stayed with the British low-cost carrier between March 2008 and December 2008. British Airways began operating the aircraft in February 2009, according to ch-aviation data. It has kept its G-TTOB registration as it was transferred between the three airlines.
In June 2023, another British Airways flight from New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to LHR was forced to U-turn to its origin airport due to reports of fumes inside the cockpit of the Boeing 777.
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- London Heathrow Airport, London Gatwick Airport
- Year Founded:
- Airline Group:
- Sean Doyle
- United Kingdom
- Loyalty Program:
- British Airways Executive Club