Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Toxic fumes incapacitate Germanwings crew

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Toxic fumes incapacitate Germanwings crew

Old 28th Sep 2012, 09:56
  #1 (permalink)  
txl
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Berlin
Age: 51
Posts: 68
Toxic fumes incapacitate Germanwings crew

A recent interim report from BFU, Germanys Federal Authority for Investigation of Air Accidents, indicates that toxic fumes nearly incapacitated both pilots of a Germanwings Airbus A319 on final to CGN. According to the report, during final turns the crew smelled something they described as "electrical", "sweet", "burning" and "dense", which made them feel dizzy. Although they put on their oxygen masks, they felt dizzy and a tingling sensation and almost passed out. Though heavily incapacitated, they managed to land the airplane and were treated medically. The incident, which the BFU labelled "severe", happened on Dec 19, 2010. Flight was Germanwings 5X018 from Vienna.

Report in German (PDF)

Last edited by txl; 28th Sep 2012 at 10:35. Reason: Typos
txl is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2012, 10:17
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 645
FO was unfit to fly for 6 months afterwards. German safety board BFU got told that crew would be okay and didn't initiate any further investigation first. Only a year later they received additional info and started some investigation.
Kerosene Kraut is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2012, 11:06
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: CA
Posts: 82
Airbus 'nearly crashed' when pilots fell ill - The Local
gwillie is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2012, 13:18
  #4 (permalink)  
txl
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Berlin
Age: 51
Posts: 68
Media allege cover-up

German media reports allege an attempted cover-up by Germanwings. The airline supposedly downplayed the incident when it informed BFU a day after the incident. BFU didn't see grounds for further invetigation then, daily newspaper "Die Welt" says. Only when new information was available a year later a thorough investigation was initiated. [Edit] Cockpit voice recordings had been deleted by then, flight data has been available for investigation.

A speaker for the Lufthansa-subsidiary denied these reports. Both Pilots had been fit to fly throughout the incident, neither ones ability to fly had been incapacitated, the newspaper quotes a Germanwings spokesperson.

According to the preliminary report by BFU, both pilots say otherwise. With the FO nearly unconscious, the Captain was "at the limit of his capacity" and suffering from "tunnel vision", the report says. The plane was coming in too fast on final. "As the Captain felt neither physically nor psychologically able to perform a go-around, he told the Co-Pilot that he would overrule the 1000 feet safety gate" in order to get the plane down a soon as possible.

Last edited by txl; 28th Sep 2012 at 17:56. Reason: Correction regarding voice and flight data availability
txl is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2012, 14:11
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 49
Similarities

I seen this in some of the older posts, it was the day after, looks very similar, Aircraft type too ???


http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/4...ded-dizzy.html
Dry wretched thunder is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2012, 14:18
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 5,120
and the passenger
lomapaseo is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2012, 14:24
  #7 (permalink)  
Psychophysiological entity
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 80
Posts: 4,696
What the heck did the smoke consist of??!!
Loose rivets is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2012, 18:10
  #8 (permalink)  
txl
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Berlin
Age: 51
Posts: 68
They don't know what the fumes consisted of. Passenger cabin wasn't affected.

Same aircraft (D-AGWK) is said to have had a similar incident a couple of years before (ca 2008) with passengers and cabin crew getting nauseous after inhaling "burny" fumes.

Aircraft has been checked after both events, with no diagnosis. No fire or burning had been detected. According to the report, airline technicians think that fumes might have been caused by de-icing-fluid getting into air intake of one engine.

Last edited by txl; 28th Sep 2012 at 18:11.
txl is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2012, 18:23
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: France, near LFMU
Posts: 1
Autoland not an option ?

Quick question as SLF to all professional pilots out there.

Would auto-land not have been a better option in this case, given that the FO was more or less incapacitated and the captain "was at the upper limit of what he was capable to do in his bad bodily shape" (quote from avherald) ?

14L is CATIII and with the A-319 they could have done an auto-land with auto-roll-out down to taxi speed (according to the web).

Thanks for any input.
SLF68 is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2012, 18:42
  #10 (permalink)  
Psychophysiological entity
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 80
Posts: 4,696
One engine for the flightdeck air only?
Loose rivets is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2012, 19:15
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: S 51 N
Age: 79
Posts: 194
LR and lomapaseo

An independent aviation expert and pilot has stated - in German TV 1st channel - that he has studied the briefings of the two CMīs in depth. The captain has stated that the smell appeared to him not to be ingested and burned de-icing fluid but oil !!
Oil - if heated can release some very dangerous chemicals. Thatīs so his - the experts - statement - is what really happend.
The poisoning scheme of the two pilots fits in an oil contamination and not an de-icing fluid.
Similar - burned oil fumes in tap air - have happened before - with other flights of AB and LH, although the latter seem to denie any comment on that.

As far as I have read the air for the cockpit is normally tapped from the left engine, while the cabin is served from the right. That - if proves correct - will explain why there was nothing detected in the cabin.
Annex14 is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2012, 22:32
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: U.K.
Age: 64
Posts: 374
Oil fume exposure medical protocol

This will help anyone who has been exposed to oil fumes whilst flying:

Medical information

The official word is that there is 'no evidence' of ill health from oil fumes - but also there are officially 31 UK pilots grounded because of 'a suggestion of illness associated with the cabin environment'.

An earlier German TV report:

Dream Buster is offline  
Old 29th Sep 2012, 18:25
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: S 51 N
Age: 79
Posts: 194
TCP

Latest information spread in german media point towards a TCP - tricresylphosphate - contamination.
It is one of the questions raised here why TCP is withdrawn from use almost everywhere and at the same time is an additive used in jet engine lubricating oil in quantities of up to 5 vol. percent.
here an wikipedia report about that material.
Tricresyl phosphate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Annex14 is offline  
Old 30th Sep 2012, 06:23
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: UK/OZ
Posts: 1,677
TCP - tricresylphosphate - contamination.
Is this and other toxic fumes checked for in pilots of fatal crashes?
Does it remain in the system and leave a trace?
mickjoebill is offline  
Old 30th Sep 2012, 08:05
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: S 51 N
Age: 79
Posts: 194
mickjoebill

I donīt know since this was never part of my tasks during the time in Accident&Incident Investigation. However, seen the capabilities of modern Clinical Chemistry I assume it is checked routinely.
As for the case in question, a subtract of data from that BFU report.
The day after the incident the Co-Pilot went to the hospital again. The bloodcheck performed on that day revealed two substantial deviations from standard values:
Creatinase in general 26804 UI - normal value 0 - 170/200 UI
CK MB (heart reference) 270 UI - normal value 0 - 25 UI
Here also another Wikipedia copy:
Creatine kinase - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What causes most of my concern is the fact that as long as that TCP is added to jet engine oil a similar incident can happen any time any where in the world again.
Annex14 is offline  
Old 30th Sep 2012, 08:35
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: England
Posts: 1,384
With "burning" being mentioned wouldn't carbon monoxide be a concern? Doesn't that cause similar symptoms such as tunnel vision?

Carbon Monoxide - Pilots of America Message Board
cwatters is offline  
Old 30th Sep 2012, 08:58
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Memory Lane
Posts: 34
Why only L.H. failures?

Surely if this left hand air supply theory is correct then it can only be a matter of time before a cabinful of S.L.F. become incapacitated, if the R.H. system is the same as the L.H.
However, if the L.H. system differs from the R.H. system, i.e. because one (main cabin) has to be of greater capacity, then the difference should provide a clue to the cause.
OldBristolFreighter is offline  
Old 30th Sep 2012, 09:04
  #18 (permalink)  
Green Guard
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Why only on LH ?

and why only a cockpit became a Gas-Chamber ?
 
Old 30th Sep 2012, 09:34
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Choroni, sometimes
Posts: 1,975
Why only on LH ?

and why only a cockpit became a Gas-Chamber ?
Source LH Engine/Pack?
hetfield is offline  
Old 30th Sep 2012, 12:11
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Europe
Posts: 625
Is more under the carpet then this issue within German Aviation. Time to look closer !
B737NG is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright Đ 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.