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meadowrun
26th Oct 2016, 00:41
BA286 A380 SFOLHR last night diverted over Saskatchewan to YVR due to medical emergencies. 25 crew members and 2 pax were affected.
All treated at hospitals and now released. No official word on the actual problems but smoke inhalation has been denied. YVR selected, probably because we are set up for 380s.


http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/14972/production/_92083348_flight.jpg

VP959
26th Oct 2016, 09:28
What I find odd about this is the level of apparent secrecy. We know that airlines used to (and presumably still do) use different food sources for crew meals and refreshments, to avoid a something giving them all a stomach bug or worse, yet in this case, towards the end of a long haul flight, practically the entire cabin crew, plus 2 pax, seem to have been seriously affected by something that cleared up quickly after they landed.

That sort of rules out food poisoning, but the oddity is that 25 crew members were afflicted and only two pax.

So, what could make crew members ill, but not affect the majority of the passengers?

They've denied smoke inhalation and anyway that seems unlikely, given that the 25 crew would have been distributed around several galleys and rest areas.

I'm curious enough to want to know the reason for this, as I can't think of a logical explanation for something only really getting to so many crew members, so late in the flight, with them recovering so quickly afterwards.

419
26th Oct 2016, 09:41
According to a couple of reports that I've seen, the cabin crew were only taken to hospital for checks as a precautionary measure.

I suppose that this would make sense as BA wouldn't want have them continuing the journey whist operating as cabin crew if there was possibility that they may get sick during the flight.

Is 25 be the total number of cabin staff on a BA operated A380?

maliyahsdad2
26th Oct 2016, 09:43
yet in this case, towards the end of a long haul flight, practically the entire cabin crew, plus 2 pax, seem to have been seriously affected by something that cleared up quickly after they landed.

Only a few hours into the flight.

Is 25 be the total number of cabin staff on a BA operated A380?

22 Cabin Crew, 3 Flight Crew I believe. I thought the same about it being precautionary rather than anything actually specifically wrong with the crew. Guess we will find out in time.

vapilot2004
26th Oct 2016, 09:52
The fact that only crew were affected makes this truly mysterious, unless shared food was involved. The way BA is handling this suggests security concerns or internal issues. Or maybe senior FA Dottie from First Class accidentally shared her son's pot brownies.

wiggy
26th Oct 2016, 10:08
VP959

As has been pointed out it wasn't towards the end of the flight, they were maybe two or three hours ex-SFO...

vapilot2004:


The fact that only crew were affected makes this truly mysterious,

I'd agree it's certainly a bit odd and I'm struggling to think of a scenario that would lead to the reported chain of events.

The way BA is handling this suggests security concerns or internal issues.

TBH on present evidence it's the normal way BA would (hopefully) handle a crew medical issue in the early stages..if I was wheelchaired off a flight with medical concerns of unknown origin that had resulted in a diversion I would rather hope my employer didn't feel the need to broadcast all the details on social media immediately thereafter.

That said I'm sure the fullish story will surface in the next few days..

VP959
26th Oct 2016, 10:24
Sorry, entirely my error, I thought the flight was LHR to SFO, not the other way around!

Still odd for the entire crew to be affected, but only two pax, and for it to clear up so quickly after the precautionary.

ExXB
26th Oct 2016, 10:46
See the R&N thread. No pax affected, only crew.

Pax apparently being rerouted, including via SEA. (I hope they don't bus them - single entry visa holders will have a challenge reentering the US)

VP959
26th Oct 2016, 11:13
So, cutting through all the usual waffle on R&N, the facts seem to be that a "fume event" was called during the pan call, with around half the cabin crew affected, and no pax.

Seems possible that it may have been galley-related, perhaps, maybe an equipment fault or similar in one galley?

yellowtriumph
26th Oct 2016, 12:01
So, cutting through all the usual waffle on R&N, the facts seem to be that a "fume event" was called during the pan call, with around half the cabin crew affected, and no pax.

Seems possible that it may have been galley-related, perhaps, maybe an equipment fault or similar in one galley?
Perhaps the crew were secretly indulging in the first class "pouilly-fume" and came off worse for wear?

sitigeltfel
26th Oct 2016, 12:15
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_psychogenic_illness

Just a thought! :hmm:

wiggy
26th Oct 2016, 15:00
sitigeltfel.......

Sadly with the benefit of experience that had occured to me.

Given crew numbers and their distribution on the 380 unless the problem was actually triggered by something as yet undisclosed that happened to the crew only, shortly before the flight/passenger boarding it's kind of hard to not consider your suggestion as at least being a factor in the numbers involved.

meadowrun
26th Oct 2016, 15:09
24 hours later and the only thing from BA is the standard apology to passengers for the disruption to their travel plans and zip from anyone else.

vapilot2004
26th Oct 2016, 15:10
Cheers Wiggy, for that learned response. :ok:

wiggy
26th Oct 2016, 15:17
24 hours later and the only thing from BA is the standard apology to passengers for the disruption to their travel plans and zip from anyone else.

Out of (genuine) interest at this stage what do you expect BA to say?

VP959
26th Oct 2016, 15:21
It could be something as simple as half the cabin crew having been partying the night before during the layover. Might not have been alcohol related, but could be something related to a whole bunch of them having shared a meal somewhere.

The odd thing is that it seems that all were discharged from hospital very quickly, with none seeming to be unduly ill, plus the fact that the pan call mentioned a "fume event" and the subsequent RT messages would seem to confirm that masks may have been warn, which would support that there was a limited fume release somewhere in a cabin crew only area..

I do find it very strange that BA are being so tight-lipped about this. My guess is that they know, or suspect, something relating to the crew's behaviour and are unwilling to go public about it. If it had been something like a galley appliance fault, causing fumes in a limited area, then I would have thought that, like previous incidents of that type, they would have reported it.

wiggy
26th Oct 2016, 15:36
My guess is that they know, or suspect, something relating to the crew's behaviour and are unwilling to go public about it.

Umm...you might want to be careful with that, my "educated" guess is you're slightly wide of the mark...and TBH I think you've got unrealistic expectations about how quickly the airline needs to say something....just because a breathless statement isn't rushed out inside 24 hours doesn't mean the airline is hiding anything...

I understand the appropriate paperwork (ASR) has been filed at the UK end, and I believe BA got engineers out to YVR very rapidly to start an investigation. I don't know when or if the crew have been repatriated yet but there then needs to be a due process for them to go through (including perhaps interviews and perhaps medical checks by the in house Docs) ..and then and only then will anything be released to the media.

Ancient Observer
26th Oct 2016, 16:23
The Purser's name was Carter,
My God! She was a farter........."

Well it is R & N, JB end

VP959
26th Oct 2016, 17:35
Umm...you might want to be careful with that, my "educated" guess is you're slightly wide of the mark...and TBH I think you've got unrealistic expectations about how quickly the airline needs to say something....just because a breathless statement isn't rushed out inside 24 hours doesn't mean the airline is hiding anything...

I understand the appropriate paperwork (ASR) has been filed at the UK end, and I believe BA got engineers out to YVR very rapidly to start an investigation. I don't know when or if the crew have been repatriated yet but there then needs to be a due process for them to go through (including perhaps interviews and perhaps medical checks by the in house Docs) ..and then and only then will anything be released to the media.
So your "educated guess" is that it may be a technical fault that caused a limited "fume release" event in a crew area, from the sound of it.

I can understand the delay in making any announcement IF they genuinly haven't got a clue as to the cause, but the information that has been made available seems to indicate that:

1. Fumes were released in an area of the aircraft.

2. Those fumes were sufficiently noxious as to cause half the cabin crew to be unable to function safely.

3. A judgement seems to have been made that the health of the pax wasn't impacted (how, if they don't know the cause and severity of the event?).

4. BA have (according to your post) sent a technical team over to investigate, which suggests they don't know the detail of what happened.

So, if I was a pax on that A/C, what conclusion would I draw from the above? Would I be reassured that this event with an apparently unknown cause, had only released noxious fumes to the cabin crew alone, and nothing had escaped into the main cabin air? How do BA know this to be the case if they haven't yet undertaken an investigation?

ExXB
26th Oct 2016, 18:02
It appears that BA's state of the art, world class, customer comes first; customer service is performing as usual.

British Airways flight makes emergency landing in Vancouver with ill crew | Vancouver Sun (http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/british-airways-flight-makes-emergency-landing-in-vancouver-with-ill-crew)

They really don't give a s*** do they?

wiggy
26th Oct 2016, 18:07
So your "educated guess" is that it may be a technical fault that caused a limited "fume release" event in a crew area, from the sound of it.

No it's not. That was a suggestion made by somebody else in the R&N section.


BA have (according to your post) sent a technical team over to investigate, which suggests they don't know the detail of what happened.

:confused:

Sounds a bit chicken and egg to me...How are they going to know the detail if they don't carry out a technical investigation? They're not going to simply sign the aircraft off for further flight without it being looked at by an technical/engineering team.

How do BA know this to be the case if they haven't yet undertaken an investigation?

As previously mentioned they are carrying out/ have carried out an investigation......but funnily enough they don't see the need to keep the world updated via twitter every 5 minutes. Quite why some immediately see that as something sinister or a cover up or a mystery is beyond me.

I take your point about info for passengers but if you work in the industry ( I take it you do?) you will know incident/accident investigations don't run like CSI, where the case is investigated, solved, closed and a press release made to all and sundry in 24-48 hours....

VP959
26th Oct 2016, 20:04
No, I don't work in the industry,I'm retired, but have a rather unhealthy level of curiosity.

What bothers me here is that there seems to be a conflict. We have near-instantly released radio transmissions, that clearly indicate that there was a "fume event" that was serious enough to make around 50% of the cabin crew medically unfit to continue the flight and cause the diversion.

We all know that there are no air, or fume, tight barriers between cabin crew areas and passenger areas.

BA aren't sure of the cause of the event, which is fair enough, BUT, they were happy for the passengers to travel onwards, making the assumption that whatever the cause of the event it had no impact on passenger health.

Sadly, we live in a time when information gets released very quickly, from multiple sources. It was inevitable that the RT recordings would hit the media, suggesting a "fume event" in the cabin of the aircraft, an event that was severe enough to render half the cabin crew unfit for duty, as made fairly clear on the RT tapes.

Now, given the times we live in, isn't it reasonable to assume that a fair number of people would have significant concerns about a serious incident involving fumes in the cabin of an aircraft with hundreds of pax on board?

Wouldn't it be reasonable for the carrier to at least reassure the pax, and others flying with them, that this was most probably a technical issue, rather then a terrorist one?

In the absence of any statement from BA, then I'm reasonably sure it was a tech fault, but a heck of a lot of people might well conclude that the cause was something very different. There's a yawning PR problem here. BA may not have all the details, but clearly they must know a great deal more than has been released, and not coming out and stating clearly that this incident wasn't due to some of the causes that there may be speculation about, is pretty dumb.

oopspff7
26th Oct 2016, 20:34
Did someone let off a particularly strong air biscuit ? Ref Viz.

TURIN
26th Oct 2016, 21:04
Perhaps "fume event" was just a handy and slightly ambiguous way of communicating to ATC that something was up and 'we need to get on the ground asap' without going into details.

Broadcasting "all the cabin crew crew have got the 5h1t5" would be a tad unprofessional IMHO.

ExXB
26th Oct 2016, 21:39
BA has a responsibility to inform their customers if their health is at risk. Or to tell them it is not. BA also has the responsibility to tell the friends and family of their customers that they are safe, or not.

BA also has a responsibility to get their customers home, and not leave them listening to a recorded message at 04h00 local. That was 9 hours after the aircraft landed, 12 hours after it diverted. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Cazalet33
26th Oct 2016, 21:43
They should be ashamed of themselves.

And they quite certainly are, hence the tight veil of secrecy around their embarrassment over the circumstances which led the crew to be 'indisposed'.

G-CPTN
26th Oct 2016, 22:06
BA also has a responsibility to get their customers home, and not leave them listening to a recorded message at 04h00 local. That was 9 hours after the aircraft landed, 12 hours after it diverted. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Where would an airline get hold of an aircraft (and crew) at short notice capable of transporting those from an A380?

I don't suppose that YVR had spare resources like that hanging around unused.

Did they fly in a replacement from SFO?

meadowrun
27th Oct 2016, 01:27
They did a lot of re-booking on other airlines via various routings after putting most up in hotels.

Krystal n chips
27th Oct 2016, 06:41
Ahem, cough ! .....disregarding the factual content of the MOR / ASR, surely all the world will need to know will duly be faithfully published, with superlatives and gushing tributes aplenty, on the front page of "Pravda", a publication that graces the globe.... and can be found in the most unlikely of places.....;)

ExXB
27th Oct 2016, 07:34
I wasn't suggesting that they fly an airplane in. They had hours to go through the passenger files and rebook their customers who could have known when deplaning what BA was doing for their customers.

BA have staff in just about every time zone on this planet and the job spread accordingly. If such contingency plans don't exist, they should.

wiggy
27th Oct 2016, 08:02
Hi again

Wouldn't it be reasonable for the carrier to at least reassure the pax, and others flying with them, that this was most probably a technical issue, rather then a terrorist one

Wouldn't disagree, but not sure a terrorism has ever been on the radar with this one

In the absence of any statement from BA, then I'm reasonably sure it was a tech fault, but a heck of a lot of people might well conclude that the cause was something very different. There's a yawning PR problem here. BA may not have all the details, but clearly they must know a great deal more than has been released, and not coming out and stating clearly that this incident wasn't due to some of the causes that there may be speculation about, is pretty dumb.

I can see where you're coming from but I'm also sure BA wouldn't want to release a statement in a hurry and then have to retract it once any investigation turns in it's findings...But yes I'd agree that the PR side of this doesn't look great to anyone wanting an instant answer or quick reassurance. I'd perhaps also point out that contrary to some opinion these days BA doesn't have loads of staff sitting around anywhere in the world " just in case"...

VP959
27th Oct 2016, 10:44
It seems BA knew the A/C was safe to fly, as they've repositioned it to LHR. That implies that they knew far more about the cause of the "fume event" reported by the crew in the pan call, at least enough to know that the A/C was safe to fly from YVR to LHR last night, after what can only have been a very quick technical inspection (just based on the logistics of getting their tech crew to YVR in time to check the A/C before it departed for LHR on the repositioning flight).

wiggy
27th Oct 2016, 10:54
after what can only have been a very quick technical inspection (just based on the logistics of getting their tech crew to YVR in time to check the A/C before it departed for LHR on the repositioning flight).

Not sure about the "tech crew" ;) but FWIW I understand the engineers arrived in YVR Tuesday PM...whether that means it was a "very quick" inspection or not is in the eyes of the beholder.

Krystal n chips
27th Oct 2016, 11:01
I understand the engineers arrived in YVR Tuesday PM...whether that means it was a "very quick" inspection or not is in the eyes of the beholder.



It would be interesting to learn, and this is not being disparaging or critical, if they had any Airbus product support personnel with them.

wiggy
27th Oct 2016, 11:12
Airbus personnel - No idea...

As for the speed of this initial check out and who was involved it might be worth bearing in mind that their initial concerns amongst other things would have been assessing the aircraft as fit ( or not) for crew (possibly tech crew only) repatriation flight..in which case most of the services/facilities aft of the flight deck are turned off and/or unused.

VP959
27th Oct 2016, 11:59
If the tech crew arrived at YVR in the afternoon, and the A/C departed YVR that evening to re-position to LHR (which it did, apparently) then given the time needed for flight planning etc they can't have spent very long checking the A/C over, a few hours at most.

This suggests that there wasn't a significant A/C problem to me, as if there was any doubt I'm sure they'd have kept it on the ground for a more in-depth inspection.

wiggy
27th Oct 2016, 12:42
If the tech crew arrived at YVR in the afternoon, and the A/C departed YVR that evening

As usual I may be wrong but the engineers, not tech crew, arrived YVR Tuesday and it would appear that the aircraft didn't depart until some time on Wednesday since the likes of "BA source" has it arriving back into LHR Wednesday evening.

Anyone able to verify?

ExXB
27th Oct 2016, 15:00
BAW9176 departed YVR 26 Oct at 1807 arrived LHR 1037 the next day.

https://de.flightaware.com/live/flight/BAW9176

wiggy
27th Oct 2016, 15:31
ExXB

Many thanks for checking ( just found it elsewhere as well)..

So timeline as I understand it is:

Aircraft landed YVR late Monday (local)
Engineers arrive Tuesday midday or PM (local)
Aircraft departed YVR Wednesday evening. (local)

I know that doesn't provide an answer as to why this all happened in the first place but at least establishes that the engineers who came out from London would have had more than a handful of hours (perhaps 24+) in YVR to do a gross fault check and confirm the aircraft was OK for a positioning only service.

ian16th
27th Oct 2016, 15:59
What does it cost to 'position' a virtually empty A380 from YVR to LHR?

G-CPTN
27th Oct 2016, 16:05
What does it cost to 'position' a virtually empty A380 from YVR to LHR?
They might have been able to carry freight.

Jonno_aus
27th Oct 2016, 16:08
Well, isn't it obvious to anyone that it's sabotage? Only logical conclusion. Just think about it. Who would be enemies with the British Empire?

Let's see :

British rule on the Indian subcontinent and a system of governance was instituted in 1858 when the rule of the East India Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria.

Perhaps India is still feeling some resentment to this? Could the Indians be at play here?



Found this. Surprising to say the least and now making sense :

William Aleyn (fl. 1430–1448) was a 15th-century English pirate. During the 1430s and 1440s, he raided shipping throughout Southeast England and sometimes worked with William Kyd in the Thames and the English Channel. Like others of his trade, Aleyn operated freely and without interference from authorities while under the protection of corrupt custom officials.

He joined William Kyd and several others in capturing four ships carrying provisions bound for Rouen in 1433.


Has France reacted to this and are behind the sabotage?


But this :

1562, the English Crown encouraged the privateers John Hawkins and Francis Drake to engage in slave-raiding attacks against Spanish and Portuguese ships off the coast of West Africa with the aim of breaking into the Atlantic slave trade.


Spain has always resented this movement I believe. Politcally it wasn't in their best interests to counter attack at the time. But could we see Spain finally making their move against the British?




Some suspicious activity indeed. But when you piece together the pieces, it all makes sense.

ExXB
27th Oct 2016, 16:09
Aircraft has already been to JNB and back. https://www.flightradar24.com/reg/g-xleb The plot thickens

ExXB
27th Oct 2016, 16:17
Regulation 261 provides for €600 per passenger, or €240,000 for delays unless it's an extraordinary circumstance. Plus the cost of fuel, of course.

EEngr
27th Oct 2016, 16:29
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkGR65CXaNA

VP959
27th Oct 2016, 18:34
Aircraft has already been to JNB and back. https://www.flightradar24.com/reg/g-xleb The plot thickens
It looks to me as if there wasn't a problem with the A/C at all, but something specific to the affected cabin crew. That might well explain why BA are being reticent, as if they knew early on that the cause was most probably related to a section of the cabin crew, and not the aircraft itself, then they would, quite naturally, want to keep quiet about it. They might even be obliged to refuse to reveal some info, if it related to cabin crew health issues.

I now think that the "fume event" was a discreet way of making the pan call and diverting without revealing over an open radio link the most probable cause.

Would BA wish, for example, to say publicly that half the cabin crew had been out together the night before and eaten something that had made them ill the next day? I'd guess not.

ExXB
27th Oct 2016, 18:43
Well, that could be an extraordinary circumstance.

Sevarg
27th Oct 2016, 20:02
Could it not be that the fault was obvious and therefore quickly fixed or isolated. Then flown to LHR for spares, replacement and return too service. Times explained.

KelvinD
27th Oct 2016, 22:10
Aircraft has already been to JNB and back
Don't think so. It arrived at LHR approx 10:35 this morning as BA9176 and is currently on the way to Jo'burg (22:10 BST)

wiggy
28th Oct 2016, 07:09
Sevarg...that's certainly a more likely possibility than some of the theories that have been offered.

VP969...you do seem rather intent on pedalling this "to much to drink/wrong food the night before" theory.....so if I may:

Knowing crew as I do, especially at BA and knowing this slip (though not on the 380) with it's nasty time change as I do, I'd say the chances of getting a half or more of a 380 crew eating/drinking at one restaurant the night before the return flight and the poisoning or other wise only manifesting itself after the flight has departed is highly highly unlikely.

Why? The return sector to LHR involves a pick up from the hotel late PM local time. ..In my experience of this trip generally on the day of the return sector itself most of the crew will grab an often very early breakfast somewhere, shop/stroll/ veg in front of the TV and then almost certainly try to rest/sleep in the hotel during the local PM for a few hours before pick up from hotel for the flight. It's highly unlikely there would have been much interest and even less opportunity for a crew get together of up to 25 people for a meal on the day of the flight itself, the last credible opportunity for a "team" meal or a drink would have been the evening before the incident i.e. almost 24 hours before pick up from the hotel. In my experience food poisoning and other ill effects manifest themselves well before that.

IMVHO ( and I'm not dropping hints, this really is just my opinion) this diversion is more likely to have been caused by someone perceiving (correctly or not) something amiss on board, and setting in course a chain of events, ultimately possibly including a checklist/procedure that demands the use of oxygen masks on the flightdeck and might well say: "land at nearest suitable airport"....As for the crew being wheelchaired off - just a suggestion but once on the ground the rule set changes and the medics may well have demanded that was done for all crew, regardless of whether they presented with any symptoms or not..

I'd suggest the above is a more likely explanation for the diversion and subsequent events rather than it being down to up to 25 crew all being badly hung over and/or suffering from food poisoning. If you look at the industry there is an incidence of smoke events, to which the cause is usually found, and (controversial) fumes events, where any evidence thereof or the cause itself often isn't found and there is genuinely not much the company involved can say, though the incident report will be on record.

As far as what the aircraft is doing now it's what Kelvin said: It had further down time at LHR Thursday after arrival, it operated to JNB overnight late Thursday in to Friday......

ExXB
28th Oct 2016, 07:10
KelvinD. Apologies I misread the flightradar24 link. Obviously those flights hadn't taken place when I posted.

VP959
28th Oct 2016, 10:07
VP969...you do seem rather intent on pedalling this "to much to drink/wrong food the night before" theory.....so if I may:

Knowing crew as I do, especially at BA and knowing this slip (though not on the 380) with it's nasty time change as I do, I'd say the chances of getting a half or more of a 380 crew eating/drinking at one restaurant the night before the return flight and therefore "poisoned" or otherwise by a common item is highly highly unlikely.

Why? The return sector to LHR involves a pick up from the hotel late PM local time. ..In my experience of this trip generally on the day of the return sector itself most of the crew will grab an often very early breakfast somewhere, shop/stroll/ veg in front of the TV and then almost certainly try to rest/sleep in the hotel during the local PM for a few hours before pick up from hotel for the flight. It's highly unlikely there would have been much interest and even less opportunity for a crew get together of up to 25 people for a meal on the day of the flight itself, the last credible opportunity for a "team" meal or a drink would have been the evening before the incident i.e. almost 24 hours before pick up from the hotel. In my experience food poisoning and other ill effects manifest themselves well before that.

IMVHO ( and I'm not dropping hints, this really is just my opinion) this diversion is more likely to have been caused by someone perceiving (correctly or not) something amiss on board, and setting in course a chain of events, ultimately possibly including a checklist/procedure that demands the use of oxygen masks on the flightdeck and might well say: "land at nearest suitable airport"....As for the crew being wheelchaired off - just a suggestion but once on the ground the rule set changes and the medics may well have demanded that was done for all crew, regardless of whether they presented with any symptoms or not..

I'd suggest the above is a more likely explanation for the diversion and subsequent events rather than it being down to up to 25 crew all being badly hung over and/or suffering from food poisoning. If you look at the industry there is an incidence of smoke events, to which the cause is usually found, and (controversial) fumes events, where any evidence thereof or the cause itself often isn't found.

As far as what the aircraft is doing now it's what Kelvin said: It had further down time at LHR Thursday after arrival, it operated to JNB overnight late Thursday in to Friday......

FWIW I've not once stated or implied that there was anything associated with drink at all, nor would I.

With regard to the rest of your reply, I tend to agree; it's as likely as anything else that's been suggested.

I still think that BA PR is back in the dark ages, and hasn't yet realised that we now live in an age where information from multiple sources will be released extremely quickly, and keeping quiet is seen by some as being suspicious.

From the pax reports (and, allegedly, photos/videos) of the cabin crew getting off first, with their hand luggage, through to the early release of the RT conversation referring to the "fume event", it was absolutely inevitable that speculation as to the cause was going to be a hot topic for a while, and I do think BA could have been a bit more pro-active in managing their PR.

wiggy
28th Oct 2016, 10:14
FWIW I've not once stated or implied that there was anything associated with drink at all, nor would I.

Agreed, it's been hinted at elsewhere, sorry for the confusion.

I wouldn't disagree with your comments about the PR, but at BA cost is king....TBF I think handling demands for statements and reasons when it comes to episodes like fumes events when there may be no obvious cause (at first) is a tough ask, for even the best PR Guru.

zed3
28th Oct 2016, 10:40
Bit of a long shot here but all the crew is rather abnormal. On all the 'fam.flights' I have taken over the years on most airlines, coffee or tea was served in the cockpit before pax boarding, so I presume the cabin crew also partake. If that was so could there have been something in the water used? Ready to be shot down.

wiggy
28th Oct 2016, 11:07
.......all the crew is rather abnormal.

AFAIK there is no confirmation that all the crew were actually effected by whatever happened or if it was simply the medics insisting all crew were wheelchaired off.

If you really want to consider a vaguely credible scenario involving food, I'd suggest either crew food ( specifically the pre passenger boarding snacks) or crew drinks - but as far as drinks are concerned many crew don't partake of tea/coffee these days and in any event the water used for a brew is from the same potable water tanks as is used for pax tea/coffee .....though I'm not sure if the crew had got that far in meal service...

TBH I've not heard anything that would suggest food poisoning or similar.

ExXB
28th Oct 2016, 12:18
Nothing we have seen reported, nor speculated on makes any sense.

Must be Chemtrails injestion, through secret crew only breathing tubes.

wiggy
28th Oct 2016, 12:37
Nothing we have seen reported, nor speculated on makes any sense.


I'll choose my words carefully because I think I can see what might well have happened but I quite like my job.

Some of what had been speculated both here and on R&N does actually make quite a lot of sense. There were one or two hints that were dropped early on in R&N about non-technical matters that might have influenced thinking early on in the event (and I'm not talking about unions or industrial relations) and certainly anyone familiar with the current very conservative approach to, and handling of smoke and/or suspected fume events will understand why the diversion then happened and why oxygen masks were apparently worn. Goings on in the ground -ask the medics.

However it just seems the majority want to run with overly complicated theories that even makes Chemtrails seem credible.ohhh I mentioned it :oh:

Despite the disbelief expressed by some in the last few days go back and take a look at the early reports and apply Occam's razor...

VP959
28th Oct 2016, 13:21
Looking at all the available data, and making allowances for the credibility of some of it, given the sources, then what we do know is that:

1. The flight was diverted early to YVR.

2. The reason given in the pan call requesting the diversion was a "fume event". Medical support at YVR was requested and supplied.

3. The audio evidence seems to indicate the flight crew were wearing masks, from the audio quality, which would be SOP for a fume or smoke event.

4. No pax were affected.

5. 11 or 12 of the 25 crew were allegedly unfit to continue the flight at the time the pan call was made.

6. All the cabin crew were disembarked first, with their cabin luggage, and taken away for medical examination/treatment.

7. All those given medical examinations/treatment were released from hospital pretty quickly, so whatever it was that ailed them it does not appear to have had any long-lasting effects requiring a longer stay in hospital.

8. The A/C was examined by BA engineers and a few hours later took off and was repositioned to LHR from YVR.

9. The A/C was put back into normal service the following day after it returned to LHR, with a scheduled flight to JNB.

So, what can we conclude?

Something (as yet unknown) made around half the cabin crew unfit for duty a short time into the flight. We have to assume that they were fit for duty when they embarked, I'd guess.

Any "fume event", if it was real, had to have been very localised to a crew-only area, and BA must have been pretty sure that nothing harmful had escaped into the main cabin. Given the shared air supply this calls doubt as to whether there really was a genuine fume or smoke event in my own view, as I find it hard to understand how BA could be certain enough that no pax would have been exposed.

Something like food poisoning seems unlikely, given the apparent fairly rapid recovery of the affected crew and their quick release after a medical exam. I guess it's possible, but it seems unlikely to me.

It seems most probable that there was some event in a crew-only area that affected only the crew in that area. It's anyone's guess as to what that could have been, but the evidence available to us suggests that it wasn't a significant A/C fault.

Anyone any ideas?

lomapaseo
28th Oct 2016, 15:52
Anyone any ideas?

yea .... discard any interpretation of fact from the pilots.

It's likely they had little to go on to add to their Pan call so the reply "fume event" simply completes any inquiry coming from ATC either past or future.

First and foremost comes the notification from them to ATC that they are diverting from their filed plan under safety of flight conditions.

It's typical for ATC to want to know the nature of the reason and if time permits, the crew can add another word or two to add context to what might describe the problem.

Not much different than the crew diverting the Valujet flight back to Miami in he midst of screams from the cabin and answering the ATC inquiry as smoke-in-the-ckkp........smoke in the cabin when all they knew at the time were noises from the cabin and a loss of battery

core_dump
28th Oct 2016, 16:32
It seems most probable that there was some event in a crew-only area that affected only the crew in that area.

Anyone any ideas?

How about this: 12 crewmembers are in the crew rest area. One of them isn't feeling well and vomits all over the place. This causes the other FAs in the crew rest area to also vomit. Now without a place to rest for FAs, the flight cannot continue to their destination. Captain reports the reason for a diversion as a "fume event" which wouldn't be too far from the truth! The trip to hospital is just for show. Aircraft is cleaned and placed back into service. Simples.

It might have gone down something like this (http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/rookie-cop/2868167).

ExXB
28th Oct 2016, 17:43
Would 12 crewmembers be in the crew rest area 3 hours into a 12hr flight? Local time being late afternoon and first meal service in progress?

Crew were taken to three Hospitals in the region (Delta (through the Deas Island Tunnel*!), Richmond and Vancouver.

Chemtrails, the only reasonable explanation that meets the facts.

*A local traffic bottleneck, congested at all times

TopBunk
28th Oct 2016, 18:17
ExXB
Would 12 crewmembers be in the crew rest area 3 hours into a 12hr flight? Local time being late afternoon and first meal service in progress?


Sounds about right!

3 hours sounds about the norm for a meal service and the first rest to commence - not saying it's right or proper, but about normal.
SFO LHR = 9 hour flight, 3 hour first service, 2 hour second service/landing giving 4 hours spare for 2 hours each in bunk for half the crew each rest period. Local time of departure is about midnight UK time for the crew.

Maybe some chemicals associated with the cleaning of the cabin crew bunk materials affected the first break cabin crew? Just a supposition.

[ex BA Captain]

Jonno_aus
28th Oct 2016, 18:54
I'm leaning towards the Indians or Spanish at this stage. But sickness from chemicals COULD be plausible..... I guess....

meadowrun
28th Oct 2016, 20:13
Crew were taken to three Hospitals in the region (Delta (through the Deas Island Tunnel*!), Richmond and Vancouver.
*A local traffic bottleneck, congested at all times


Not actually at all times. Non rush hour is quite alright. However there are plans to replace the tunnel with a $497 billion bridge, or some nearly that outrageous number.


Split between hospitals was numbers and logistics. It proved to be a lot more minor than it could have been considering the circumstances and information received and that is why it is so maddening that NO ONE has sought to supply some official explanation to this time.


It is not a small thing to divert a 380 from Sask to YVR on the way to LHR with 400 pax plus crew for an inconsequential reason.

ricardian
30th Oct 2016, 09:56
Not sure whether this outfit (http://aerotoxic.org/) is genuine or just another Chemtrail-type outfit but it has some info on the event

VP959
30th Oct 2016, 10:45
Not sure whether this outfit (http://aerotoxic.org/) is genuine or just another Chemtrail-type outfit but it has some info on the event
The outfit itself is genuine enough, but whether all their data sources are equally genuine is a cause for debate.

It's common knowledge that cabin pressurisation air comes from bleed air from the engines, via air filtration and cooling systems before it gets to the cabin. There's potential on any pressurised aircraft for contaminants to get into the cabin air. Personally I've experienced two such minor events; one was oil that had originated from an engine gearbox leak (on a turboprop, the engine was subsequently shut down), the other was coolant from the heat exchanger, propylene glycol IIRC.

For those that don't know, an aircraft pressurisation system is simple in theory; just bleed some air at a high pressure from the engine compressors and feed it to the cabin, but complex in the way it actually works.

Problem one is that the bleed air is very hot (it's been compressed, and as we all know compressing air increases its temperature). It therefore needs to be cooled down to a much lower temperature, using a cooling system. Luckily the OAT will always be pretty low whenever pressurisation is needed (from the adiabatic lapse rate, about 3 deg C drop per 1000ft increase in altitude, so typically around 0 deg C or so by the time 8000ft is reached (typical cabin alt in the things I used to fly in years ago, may be different now). This means that simple air heat exchangers could be used, but there can also be a need to cool the cabin air when on the ground, so usually there is a far more complex arrangement that includes some form of heat pump arrangement, using a variety of coolant gases or liquids.

A failure in the air handling system can result in contaminants getting into the cabin air from this source. There have also been a few oddball incidents, where stuff like hydraulic fluid (from a leak) has found its way into the cabin air.

Finally, theres the possibility of a fire, or hot component event, causing fumes or smoke to enter the air supply. This may well be the most common form of event. During the time I was doing a fair bit of Nimrod flying there was a constant paranoia about underfloor fires leading to fumes in the cabin, to the point where we did underfloor fire drills pretty regularly.

So, there's a pretty strong body of evidence that SOME aircraft types have suffered from aircraft fume or smoke in cabin events. Most of the evidence is from older types, but the risk still exists and everyone will be familiar with the bit in the safety drill that mentions donning masks for a smoke event (and it's SOP for all aircrew to don masks if smoke or fumes are suspected).

I think the problem is over-stated with newer A/C types, though, as the systems have been massively improved in the light of past experience. It does still happen (battery fires being, perhaps, the most recent example) but it's not a common occurrence.

Finally, the same air is fed everywhere in the cabin, and cabin air change rates are fairly high, so a localised fume event seems unlikely to me. I find it hard to see how fumes strong enough to make half the cabin crew unfit for duty could not have reached the pax, who are breathing the same air.

wiggy
30th Oct 2016, 10:49
ricardian

As you may be aware I've had enough of commenting on the known or not specifics of the 380 incident, but with regards to Aerotoxic:

They have their detractors and some have doubts about some of the data/evidence/info they produce but they are a "genuine" organisation with an agenda and aims. There's certainly been bad blood between them and some other organisations in the past so standing by for incoming.....

Edit to add: VP 959 beat me to it, I'd second his/her opening paragraph.....

KelvinD
30th Oct 2016, 11:22
ricardian: To be fair, it has an unsourced, unattributed piece that, in places, doesn't make much sense. If, as reported, the crew on the upper deck were so badly affected they were wearing smoke hoods and crew at the rear of the aircraft were "disoriented and acting strange", why was there no similar distress reported among the hundreds of passengers? Were the fumes equipped with crew seeking properties, ensuring only crew would be affected? And what about the fireman who was allegedly told not to talk about finding "evidence of fumes and a serious chemical leak" and was then thrown off the aircraft for talking to the crew?
The final comment re using "cheaper oils" being lethal.sounds a bit silly ....
Given that this outfit have an axe to grind (maybe they have a point, maybe not), I would treat it with a pinch of salt. Even BA management have the brains to figure out that, whatever was found to be the cause, the Canadian and UK authorities will eventually figure it out and publish results, so where is the incentive for BA to stifle or bury the truth?

wiggy
30th Oct 2016, 12:02
KelvinD

Agreed...

And what about the fireman who was allegedly told not to talk about finding "evidence of fumes and a serious chemical leak" and was then thrown off the aircraft for talking to the crew?

Given that comment it sounds to me like the source was at best "Galley FM" ........:hmm:

Note to self: Write out 100 times "I did say I am not going to comment on this incident"

:oh:

vapilot2004
30th Oct 2016, 12:23
This means that simple air heat exchangers could be used, but there can also be a need to cool the cabin air when on the ground, so usually there is a far more complex arrangement that includes some form of heat pump arrangement, using a variety of coolant gases or liquids.

A failure in the air handling system can result in contaminants getting into the cabin air from this source. There have also been a few oddball incidents, where stuff like hydraulic fluid (from a leak) has found its way into the cabin air.


Good post, generally, VP, however I would like to correct this one area. Just about everything that happens in a modern commercial aircraft's ACM or pack, is done with air pressure and movement. There are no 'coolant gases' or 'liquids', other than air from the atmosphere and liquid water that is wrung from that air during the cooling/compression/expansion cycle.

Sallyann1234
30th Oct 2016, 12:34
If, as reported, the crew on the upper deck were so badly affected they were wearing smoke hoods and crew at the rear of the aircraft were "disoriented and acting strange"
The crew will have been ordered by the captain to don the smoke hoods so that they would not become affected by the reported fumes, and could continue doing their jobs while the situation was resolved.

As to the 'acting strange' at the rear, they were looking for a potential safety issue, very different to their usual activities.

lomapaseo
30th Oct 2016, 14:19
The largest mystery in fume events is a measure of toxicity.

Neither the engine manufacturers nor the airframers argue that fume events don't/can't occur. However the subjectivity among passengers and crews can not be understated.

Nobody likes to be trapped in a closed space with an unusual smell that persists, hence the panic factor.

don't flap the bed linens

VP959
30th Oct 2016, 14:21
Good post, generally, VP, however I would like to correct this one area. Just about everything that happens in a modern commercial aircraft's ACM or pack, is done with air pressure and movement. There are no 'coolant gases' or 'liquids', other than air from the atmosphere and liquid water that is wrung from that air during the cooling/compression/expansion cycle.
Thanks, my experience was with non-commercial stuff, and some of them did have liquid/air heat exchangers in the cabin air circuit. IIRC (not having the tech manuals to hand) at least one used external air fed to liquid coolers, that then fed coolant to the cabin air heat exchangers that were located a fair way from the under-wing cold air intakes. That was the one that gave us a whiff of propylene glycol from the cockpit footwell, where the all the cabin feed air came it (not a great location - your feet were always too hot or too cold!).

My guess is that using just air or water in a modern commercial A/C is one of those things done to mitigate the cabin air contamination risk.

GearDown&Locked
31st Oct 2016, 13:34
Nobody likes to be trapped in a closed space with an unusual smell that persists, hence the panic factor.
don't flap the bed linens

just like a tent fart :E

vapilot2004
1st Nov 2016, 00:28
Thanks, my experience was with non-commercial stuff, and some of them did have liquid/air heat exchangers in the cabin air circuit. IIRC (not having the tech manuals to hand) at least one used external air fed to liquid coolers, that then fed coolant to the cabin air heat exchangers that were located a fair way from the under-wing cold air intakes. That was the one that gave us a whiff of propylene glycol from the cockpit footwell, where the all the cabin feed air came it (not a great location - your feet were always too hot or too cold!).


I thought as much regarding your experience. We still have 3 King Airs in our fleet alongside the larger commercial aircraft, and I recall the freon based AC system in the nose compartment back when I sat in the front of those lovely machines.

My guess is that using just air or water in a modern commercial A/C is one of those things done to mitigate the cabin air contamination risk.

I like your thinking, but there are other reasons at work here. The primary reasons air cycle machines (ACM or packs) are used on large commercial aircraft are weight and complexity, both of which are characteristics of a freon-based (or ammonia) system with the capacity to cool and dehumidify the aircraft's cabin. Another reason, once at altitude, the apparatus would have little use as cooling is switched to heating overall, after a temp reduction of the compressor air from the engines has been accomplished, which brings me to the final consideration - compared to small turbine powered aircraft, in a large commercial airliner, there is an excess of compressor air available that at worst merely effects fuel economy (and for the brief takeoff and early climb phase, causes a slight power loss), so the thinking is, why not put it to good use.

It would be interesting to know more about the liquid cooler setup with the glycol based mixture and what sort of aircraft used them, VP. Thanks for responding. :ok:

As an aside, the 787 has done away with the bleed system for cabin air systems, WAI, and engine starting in a quest for maintenance and system simplification, weight savings, and engine efficiency.

FLCH
1st Nov 2016, 01:19
Maybe their stockings had ladders in them ?

oldchina
1st Nov 2016, 07:29
"As an aside, the 787 has done away with the bleed system for cabin air systems, WAI, and engine starting in a quest for maintenance and system simplification, weight savings, and engine efficiency"

So instead of using the engines (which were there anyway) to supply cabin air they've installed massive new items: the electrically powered ECS compressors!

Krystal n chips
1st Nov 2016, 07:46
For the benefit of VP959, whose knowledge of air conditioning systems would appear to be based on the now defunct Nimrod, here's a few helpful schematics to enhance your knowledge.

The 757 / 767 can follow later if you wish.

And yes, I do know exactly how the systems work.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=b737+air+conditioning+system&biw=1280&bih=855&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiamvzU-YbQAhXJAcAKHXIyCEoQsAQIPQ

vapilot2004
1st Nov 2016, 07:48
So instead of using the engines (which were there anyway) to supply cabin air they've installed massive new items: the electrically powered ECS compressors!

It's true. Weight savings and projected maintenance costs in a bleedless airplane have worked out very well, although I have read the direct fuel savings of not having to use bleed air outside of the engines is not as good as they thought it would be.

VP959
1st Nov 2016, 10:15
Thanks for all the info, much appreciated (and, just for the benefit of the sarcastic K'n'C, there's around 46 types in my logbooks, only one of which was the MR2 (edit: just checked, there are a few tens of hours in the MR1 too), I'm 63 years old, and yes, I do struggle at times to recall all the technical details of all the types).

Going back to separate cabin air compressors reminds me of the first supercharger I tried to fit to a car, when I was in my late teens. That had started life as a cabin air compressor for a small piston engined aircraft, no idea what, but the double screw compressor was French made, IIRC. What goes around comes around, I guess.

vapilot2004
2nd Nov 2016, 08:10
Thanks for all the info, much appreciated (and, just for the benefit of the sarcastic K'n'C, there's around 46 types in my logbooks, only one of which was the MR2 (edit: just checked, there are a few tens of hours in the MR1 too), I'm 63 years old, and yes, I do struggle at times to recall all the technical details of all the types).

Going back to separate cabin air compressors reminds me of the first supercharger I tried to fit to a car, when I was in my late teens. That had started life as a cabin air compressor for a small piston engined aircraft, no idea what, but the double screw compressor was French made, IIRC. What goes around comes around, I guess.

Right seat,at least half the time just riding along, I bet I have less than two dozen aircraft in the book, and in the 'command' seat from GA up, barely over a dozen at 13. My hat's off to you ,VP959. Placing it back on my head as I'm getting a little sparse on top at the corners, and it's windy outside. :cool:

You say 'tried to fit to a car', eh?

VP959
2nd Nov 2016, 09:54
The compressor was intended to be fitted to a 3 litre Ford V6 I had. I got as far as having the input shaft support shortened and machined to take a toothed belt pulley, and plates made to take a four barrel carb on top and some sort of adapter to fit the engine intake header, but that's as far as I got. The thing sat around gathering dust for years until a colleague bought it to fit to a hill climb car, but I never heard whether he got it working or not.

It was a double helical screw type compressor, with drive gears at the end that were on tapered shafts. When I got it, it was in bits, so I had some fun timing up the gears so that the two alloy screws ran in mesh but with just a very tiny clearance. My best guess is that it came off a small pressurised piston engine twin, but I never found out the type.