- Fume events onboard aircraft pose a serious safety threat to passengers and crew, causing teary eyes, nausea, and dizziness.
- European Cockpit Association classifies fume events as major safety compromises and recommends following a checklist to minimize risks.
- British Airways’ Airbus A320 experienced another fume event, with pilots and cabin crew feeling unwell, prompting an investigation.
A crew onboard a British Airways Airbus A320, Registration: G-EUUT, felt unwell as a result of fumes onboard a flight to Munich. During a routine flight from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) to Munich Airport (MUC) in Germany, the flight crew reported fumes and odor while descending towards the destination.
While both pilots felt unwell at the time, they continued to descend for a safe landing at MUC. The aircraft remains on the ground, and the incident is being investigated.
British Airways Flight 948
On October 12, British Airways Flight BA-948 was performing a routine flight onboard the carrier’s Airbus A320-232 (Registration G-EUUT, MSN 3314) aircraft when pilots and cabin crew noticed a strange odor in the cabin. The aircraft was approaching the end of its 1 hour and 18 minutes flight MUC when the incident was reported.
Photo: Senohrabek | Shutterstock
Both pilots and cabin crew reported that fumes and odor onboard caused tears in their eyes and made them feel unwell. The pilots onboard the aircraft continued their descent into MUC despite the fumes occurring. The aircraft landed safely on runway 26R and taxied to the assigned gate. Apart from some crew feeling unwell, there were no other injuries reported.
The aircraft remained on the ground for more than 30 hours after the incident. The authorities and the maintenance personnel inspect the aircraft to find the root cause of the incident. The return flight from MUC (BA-949) was subsequently canceled. Data from FlightRadar24.com shows that no flights are scheduled for the aircraft until October 15.
Another incident this week involving a British Airways A320
On October 8, a different Airbus A320, registered as G-TTOB, was performing a flight from Barcelona (BCN) in Spain to LHR when pilots detected fumes in the cockpit. The odor left several crew members feeling ill, and were treated by emergency personnel upon landing in LHR.
Photo: Ceri Breeze/Shutterstock
The paramedics at LHR treated three patients upon landing. The aircraft remained on the ground while authorities, with the help of maintenance personnel, investigated the incident.
Fume events compromise the safety of flights
Fume events onboard the aircraft pose a severe threat to the safety of passengers and crew. Fumes can cause teary eyes, nausea, and dizziness, limiting pilots and cabin crew from performing safe operations. The aviation regulatory authorities, including the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), require airlines to maintain the safe operability of their aircraft.
The European Cockpit Association (ECA) refers to fume events onboard flights as cabin air contamination and classifies it as a major event compromising the safety of the aircraft and its occupants. According to the ECA document on safety,
“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.”
While the ECA recommends following a checklist during a fumes event, pilots are trained to perform necessary actions to minimize safety risks.
What are your thoughts on the British Airways’ yet another Airbus A320 fumes event? Have you traveled with British Airways recently or experienced a fume event onboard? Share your experience in the comments section.
Source: The Aviation Herald