I can recall my last flight as captain of a Flybe BAe 146 G JEAS as if it were yesterday – little did I know what lay ahead. First officer Nick Larkin and I flew from Birmingham (BHX) to Edinburgh (EDI) but on approach to the city of my birth we had a call from the rear cabin crew that there were bad fumes in the back of the jet.
As we were about 15 miles from landing I decided to carry on, land and investigate further after landing as we couldn’t do much and there were no fumes in the flight deck so we just carried on as normal.
After we’d landed and taxied to our parking position I went to the back of the jet to chat with the cabin crew who I didn’t know well as mostly we were a good bunch of friends.
Sure enough there was a stink of something and I was wondering what to do when there was a shout of ‘FIRE, FIRE’ from outside so I dashed down the aisle to the front and without a yellow hi viz vest (which is a very serious offence) I ran to the back of the jet and to the rear hold where two baggage loaders had shouted the FIRE warning from inside the loading bay.
There was a lot of smoke but no actual fire, as far as we could see.
At that point, our ‘smell in the cabin’ became a serious engineering problem to resolve before we flew again.
We organized an engineer to find out the cause of the smoke. It wasn’t long before the same Edinburgh Despatch agent who knew about the emergency was asking “When do you want the passengers?” which is the usual, unsubtle pressure to just keep going. “When the cause of the smoke has been fixed.” Seemed not an unreasonable reply for everyone’s benefit and what is termed in the trade as a ‘Command decision’.
So all of our crew of four waited in the cabin and what should have been a thirty-minute turnaround as we had left BHX on time at 0600 UTC and landed at EDI at 0702 UTC turned into a delay of three and a half hours as we waited for the engineer to resolve the problem.
I recall that after a while the engineer found the cause of the smoke, which as the BAe 146 was already around 20 years old turned out to be a burnt-out electric motor which wasn’t critical to flying, so it could be isolated which would allow us at least to return to BHX.
But we normally did four sectors daily and as the time went on I advised crewing that it was not looking good for our next two sectors to La Rochelle (I think) in France from BHX, as every crew member is only allowed to do so many hours, including an emergency extension of 2 hours, but we were all tired from being in an electrical smoky atmosphere – so I asked Crewing to find a replacement crew as we would be ‘Out of hours’ on return to BHX.
Eventually, the engineer declared the BAe 146 serviceable as he’d isolated the burnt-out motor and we could find the seriously delayed passengers and get them to BHX.
The return trip from 1030-1130 UTC was uneventful except that Nick was flying and I was the non-handling pilot doing the radios etc But as we prepared to land at BHX there was a sudden shout from the warning system of ‘TOO LOW, GEAR!’ which woke us up as we’d forgotten to put the landing gear down and it must have been triggered at 1500’ above ground level.
This woke us up and I quickly put the undercarriage down and Nick landed.
I remember then parking at an airbridge and we were amazed to see around 30 people in it – all wearing hi-viz vests – what a strange welcome for what would turn out to be my last flight – ever. These people turned out to be new ground staff who were being allowed to watch a jet arrive for the first time.
Once the passengers had got off, I called Crewing to confirm again that we were ‘well into discretion by now’ and would not be doing the next two sectors as we would be illegal to do them.
Then we were told by Crewing that we were the only crew – there was no standby crew, so could we please just do the two sectors?
No, we can’t as we’re all tired from the smoke exposure and would be illegal doing the next two sectors, anyway.
At that point, I found myself talking to a senior Flybe manager who I’d never met and explained the situation to him, which he accepted without too much trouble and he insisted that we all declare ourselves ‘formally sick’ and report to the sick bay to be checked over after our fume exposure, which I agreed was sensible and appropriate.
So instead of going home, we all four of us went to the BHX sickbay and were checked over by a doctor who asked ‘How are we?’ and took our temperature and within about 15 minutes we were free to go.
But I had to go the crew room and fill in an Air Safety Report (ASR) as it had been quite a serious incident but not life-threatening – I didn’t report ‘The too low gear’ warning as that was just Nick and me being a bit slow and although it would be on the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) I reasoned that it was just a consequent detail overall.
So I was actually due the next day in the Flight Simulator at Woodford Manchester at 0600 UTC so wanted to get back and into shape for the long 3-hour drive north and then 6 hours of practice emergencies the next day 1st July 2005.
I got through the simulator check the next day, but it was always a worrying time as one could lose one’s job if one made a major mistake, but I managed to get through.
I then did an annual SEP refresher course with others in Birmingham where we had a practice hijack (which I’d already experienced for real) and other good training so I felt well prepared to keep going.
But a few days later I had a call from the Flybe Flight Safety officer because we had refused to do the extra two sectors and he explained that after the ‘Fume event’ at EDI – we had operated the BAe 146 back to BHX and because we had then ‘Gone formally sick’ – which I had been told to do, I had operated the flight illegally and that there would be an inquiry as it was a very serious thing to do.
So that is what happened on 30th June 2005 and anyone reading this might think that the BAe 146 and ‘Fumes’ are two words which somehow go together as millions of others have also been affected all over the world since 1921 by fumes in confined spaces.
I have spent the past 16 years trying to persuade others that the Balpa (British Airline Pilot Association) conference on Cabin Air quality of ALL bleed air jets of 20/21 April 2005 – just two months previously, has all the information anyone could possibly want about this H&S scandal.
Yet, some people still claim that there is ‘No positive evidence’ of any harm to human beings.
If you suspect that something is not quite right, please contact Sir Stephen Hillier, Chair of the UK Civil Aviation Authority who is now aware of this H&S issue.
OR his PA Philip Clarke
Former BAe 146 Training Captain
Chairman Aerotoxic Association Ltd – The Charity (2007)
Aerotoxic Solutions Consultancy Ltd. (2021)
Aerotoxic Association – The Charity (2007) Press Release
Tuesday 29 June 2021
Nine US airline CEO’s are put on notice of the ongoing contaminated Toxic Cabin Air public health scandal.
After decades of inaction and cover-up over the serious health and safety issue of Toxic Cabin Air which can affect anyone who flies – but particularly professional aircrew and frequent flying passengers a letter and supporting evidence dated 28 June 2021 has been sent by former USAAF pilot and aviation insurance specialist John Lind to nine US airline CEO’s putting them on notice of their corporate responsibility to recognise this well-known, covered-up cause of public ill health and introduce the known and available solutions – urgently.
Captain John Hoyte founded the Aerotoxic Association in 2007 to provide support to those survivors of Aerotoxic Syndrome or Poisoning which was first identified in 1999 by a US doctor, a French forensic scientist, and an Australian toxicologist.
In 2017, a peer reviewed Dutch published paper estimated that there are 1,000,000 frequent flyers and aircrew with Aerotoxic Syndrome in Europe alone with 27,000 in The Netherlands, but the public still remain unaware of this hidden cause of serious illness or the treatments available.
A recent successful 10 years long legal case in The Netherlands of Evelyn van den Heuvel, a former KLM cabin crew confirms that the public are being harmed, yet public justice for many is glacially slow and open public awareness and debate remain non-existent.
As many jet planes with this seven decade old known, fundamental design flaw remain grounded due to the Covid-19 pandemic – now is the time to begin to fix the problem and stop the doubting and arguing over whether the public are being permanently injured or not in modern day gas chambers as the solutions are both known and available since 2017.
International authorities remain in denial both of the cause of serious public illness and the known, available solutions, which are in the public interest after 14 years despite overwhelming, dated positive evidence going back to 1921.
It has now been decided to take direct action in the public interest to expose the continuing cover-up of any mention of this public poisoning, which will speed up the imminent recognition of Aerotoxic Syndrome as an Occupational Disease and the continued claim of ‘No positive evidence’ as criminal fraud.
The Aerotoxic Association – The Charity (AeA) works hard to spread awareness of a little known cause of mass public ill health by representing and supporting all aerotoxic survivors who travel in aircraft and expresses serious concerns about the media cover-up of any mention of the aerotoxic word in recent years.
The AeA has continued to work with mitigating strategies that must be urgently undertaken in order to supply aircrew and passengers cleaner breathing air, rather than the current method of piping air directly off the jet engines or Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) without any filtration, a process known as ‘bleed air’ into the cabin.
To also install ‘toxic air detectors’ to monitor poisonous gases in all jet airliners urgently as using human noses and eyes makes no common sense in 2021.
However, it has become clear that the industry and some key consumer groups within Europe (see: https://www.gcaqe.org/gcaqe-response-to-anec-may-2021) appear to be undermining the work undertaken in order to delay or eliminate the need for new Air Quality standards to be published according to GCAQE (Global Cabin Air Quality Executive) in May 2021.
John Hoyte, the Chairman of AeA and a former BAe 146 Training Captain commented: “There is a clear attempt by industry and some other groups representing consumers to prevent the public from knowing about Aerotoxic Poisoning – as the UK government now calls this 22-year-old, known occupational disease. Yet now a strong letter to nine US airline CEO’s has put them all on notice of their corporate responsibility to put human health first as a matter of public interest.’
The AeA calls upon industry, consumer groups for freedom of speech, and for the regulators EASA, FAA, CAA and others to support the need for transparency, as a way to protect the health, safety and welfare of the travelling public and aircrew. This in turn will be a great advance for the long-term future of the aviation industry.
For further information contact: Captain John Hoyte of AeA Spokesperson
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0) 7773771867
Aerotoxic Association Ltd. The Charity (2007)
27 Old Gloucester St, London WC1N 3AX
Notes to editors:
Dated Evidence from US passenger Ms Robin Montmayeur to US Congress of 4 June 2003 (available at www.aerotoxic.org ) is possibly the strongest past dated evidence of a system failure and the earliest AOPIS (Aviation Organophosphate Information Service) documentary of 2004 explained in detail and also featuring Ms Montmayeur and other international professional aircrew such as Captain Julian Soddy of Balpa (British Airline Pilots Association).
The GCAQE (Global Cabin Air Quality Executive) which was established in 2006 and is the leading group in the world representing airline employees in relation to the issue of contaminated air on aircraft recently began a global multi lingual ‘clean air campaign’, with short videos available at: https://www.gcaqe.org/cleanair
- Cabin breathing air on all aircraft apart from the Boeing 787 is taken directly from the engines and provided unfiltered to the aircraft. This is known as ‘Bleed Air’.
- Bleed air is known to become contaminated with engine oils and/or hydraulic fluids. These are hazardous especially to the unborn.
- Contaminated bleed air events have been recognised as occurring since the 1950s.
- No aircraft currently flying has any form of detection system fitted to warn when these events occur.
- Flight safety is being compromised by contaminated air events.
- Crew and passengers have been reporting short and long-term health effects as a consequence of exposure to contaminated air.
- Contaminated air events are not rare and known to be under reported.
- Passengers are never told about the risks or these exposures.
- The aviation industry has and continues to fail to adequately address this issue.
- A recent US ruling supporting that contaminated cabin air is a health and flight safety issue can be seen here: (https://perma.cc/98B9-34JY). This US ruling comes 10 years after the High Court of Australia upheld a ruling that inhaling heated engine oil fumes were harmful (Joanne Turner case) and twenty-one years after the Compensation Court of New South Wales in Australia ruled, on 28 April 1999 in the Alysia Chew case. Alysia Chew had flown for Ansett and East West Airlines and had been exposed to fumes on the BAe 146 between January 1992 and October 1993. The New South Wales Compensation Court reviewed her claim that she was: “exposed to fumes, toxic substances and other irritants whilst carrying out her duties as a flight attendant” and ruled she had: “Suffered injury arising out of and in the course of her employment”.
Since I began flying commercially in 1977 by teaching other members of the public to fly – I first flew briefly in Norfolk but quickly moved away to a busier part of the country and enjoyed two years of teaching flying at the Staverton Flying School in Gloucestershire.
I would then move back to Norfolk to begin my aerial spraying career, but by 1982 I was ready to move away again and began aerial crop spraying in Shropshire which seemed to have such friendly and decent farmers and where I flew until 1987. I spent the winter times in Kenya and South Australia pioneering aerial fire fighting – huge fun.
After I got married in 1986, I thought that aerial spraying was a ‘risky type of flying’ due to the highly toxic chemicals which we were careful to completely avoid and so moved away from more from Shropshire to Warwickshire and nearer to the big airfields of Birmingham, Luton, Stansted & Heathrow.
I was lucky enough to get a job at Air Atlantique, Coventry in 1987 for two years doing ad hoc freight and maritime pollution patrol work which was fascinating.
In 1989, I got a job ‘break’ to night fly jet BAe 146 aircraft for TNT until 1998 and day fly on the BAe 146 with Flybe until 2005 when I had to stop all flying prematurely due to serious, chronicle ill health caused by flying jets known as Aerotoxic Syndrome since 1999.
Since early 2006, when I worked out the cause of the mass public poisoning because it was all written down and perfectly documented back to 1921 – I continued living in Warwickshire, but after my unwanted divorce in 2007 I decided to move back to Norfolk in 2013 to ‘get away’.
Some of the best Aerotoxic evidence from November 2007 of Dr Sarah Myhill, near Shropshire.
Norfolk proved over six years to be a very negative move, with NFN (Normal For Norfolk) people and place to live which led me to move away again to Europe in 2019 and travel around the major European countries of Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy before finally settling in The Netherlands to make contact with most of the key experts of Aerotoxic poisoning in Europe.
I moved back to Norfolk in early 2020 at the time outbreak of the so-called ‘pandemic’ of COVID-19 but since then I’ve been trying to get away from the negativity of Norfolk people and provide the known solutions in a fourth book about the Aerotoxic pandemic of 1921-202? which was published on 18th June 2021.
In March 2021, I moved back to Oxfordshire to be near my two grown up children, but after two months of trying to get Oxford University Neuro Science department, Oxford University Aeronautical Society & other Oxford University Departments, Oxford BBC and the local Oxford media to cover the Aerotoxic air health issue without any success due to the 15 years long Aerotoxic cover-up which means trying to earn a living from the SOLUTIONS ONLY – challenging.
I decided to return to Shropshire where I had spent the happiest years of my life and flying career for five years in the 1980s and where the farming people have a kindlier, much more intelligent view on life with positive, open outlooks and an ability to fix known problems and to make honest money from the known and available $olution$.
If you want to learn more about my flying and work I have written four books.
Shropshire used to be affectionately known as: ‘The Graveyard of all ambition’ – let us see…!!!!
For the past 14 plus years we have been literally begging the media and especially the BBC to cover Aerotoxic Syndrome as a cause of mass public ill health, which has been well known to some since 1999, 2005 you pick the date it was first understood.
For me personally, it was 22nd May 2006, that’s the day I worked it out and the reasoning has been presented in books since 2014 but on TV, Conferences – it’s been covered but the mass poisoning still goes on as if no one cares…Gas chambers, no other words describe it.
How do they get away with something which has become normal over 100 years?
But now of course everyone knows that the airline industry plus many other industries are being destroyed by a so-called ‘pandemic’, but one that everyone can discuss openly – not a covered up pandemic.
But the Aerotoxic Pandemic of 100 years MUST be solved BEFORE flying recommenced as it’s killing many more than any virus.
So by the end of Friday 18th June 2021 – by using legal means – this public COVER-UP will have been exposed, or begun anyway – as full exposure will take more than a day…
But when a Crime has been knowingly taken place for at least the last 20 years – it becomes a public duty to stop it.
So the Thames Valley Police have been informed using Crime # IMC 2021 0409/1038 since 9th April 2021 and updated.
Any criminal action must be resolved in a public Court.
To understand what has happened in the past 14 months – read my latest book “Aerotoxic Pandemic – A Poisoning – My Part in its Establishment” because that’s only up until 18th June 2021.
There’s more BLOGS to come…
Come on MEDIA do your jobs.
But the MOST worst part is working with those on one’s own side – who take dirty money – yuk…Embarrassing.
£75,000 prize value available…..tomorrow! for anyone who finds ANY evidence in the past 100 years!!