BBC cover-up of Aerotoxic Syndrome? New evidence will be judged for the first time in a UK public court on 17 August 2022.
Aerotoxic Syndrome is a little-known public health disease caused by exposure to poisonous cabin air in most public transport jets, apart from the Boeing 787, and was first published in the USA, France & Australia in 1999.
John Hoyte is a 66-year-old career pilot who, after flying jets from 1989 onwards, became seriously ill with mysterious neurological symptoms. He stopped flying prematurely in 2005 and was then tested with 26 other Balpa Union pilots and diagnosed with Aerotoxic Syndrome. He founded the Aerotoxic Association in 2007 to help support other survivors. www.aerotoxic.org
However, as Aerotoxic Syndrome also involves large amounts of money – neither governments nor the aviation industry yet recognize the public ill health caused, which can affect both aircrew and passengers, even on a single oil ‘Fume event’ flight. Due to a 15-year cover-up by the BBC, little public awareness still exists – despite 1,000,000 aircrew and passengers unknowingly having aerotoxic poisoning in Europe alone, which was published in a 2016 Dutch survey.
However, after two new peer reviewed UK/USA scientific papers were published in July 2022 with a new theory that Carbon Monoxide is now the main chemical of concern, the BBC have once again failed to inform the flying public of this latest evidence and news.
This BBC inaction led to John Hoyte finally acting for a second time on 21 July 2022 which will lead to an appearance at Westminster Magistrates Public Court on 17 August 2022 at 0930 to face charges and explain his reasons for his actions, in the public interest, which are outlined below.
We welcome renewed interest in the long running Toxic Cabin Air story.
Aerotoxic Syndrome (AS) was first published on 20 October 1999 by a US doctor, a French forensic scientist, and an Australian toxicologist. AS is mostly neurological ill health which can affect any member of the public who flies in almost any commercial jet aircraft, even on a single jet flight (See Flight XLA120) but especially after a visible oil ‘Fume event’ flight.
All commercial jets, apart from the Boeing 787 which has been redesigned, rely on ‘Bleed air’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETRZDsgjEvE where all the breathable air in an aircraft cabin, first passes through jet engines, which can become contaminated by jet engine oil, when ‘wet’ seals which are actually designed to leak oil, become more worn – a known design flaw. Bleed air is neither filtered nor monitored.
Yet it is only in August 2022 that a probable BBC cover up of a little-known taboo /banned/prohibited Aerotoxic word from public debate of a public health and safety scandal will be judged for possibly the first time, in a public court, with full media reporting.
Aerotoxic Syndrome was renamed as Aerotoxic Poisoning (AP) by Aviation Minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton of the UK government on 26 May 2019.
The BBC interviewed John Hoyte in connection with the premature death of pilot Richard Westgate once only, and live on BBC TV News on 22 February 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGVL1N4LZYM
However, following the publication of two new UK/USA peer reviewed, published scientific papers on 8 & 14 July 2022 with new Aerotoxic Syndrome evidence and a new published scientific theory that Carbon Monoxide (CO), instead of Organophosphates (OPs), is now thought to be the main chemical of concern; whilst a mix of both CO & OP is agreed by most to be the reality:
8 July 2022: https://aerotoxic.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Aerotoxic-syndrome-A-new-occupational-disease-caused-by-contaminated-cabin-air.pdf
14 July 2022: https://aerotoxic.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Anatomy-of-an-Occupational-Hazard-by-UK-USA-A-Group-14-July-2022-FINAL.pdf
- The BBC first reported on toxic cabin air on 21 April 2008 in a BBC Panorama ‘Something in the air’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dsDznr4z5w
- BBC Radio 4 Today next reported on 24 September 2009 in ‘Can planes be poisonous? With ‘new published research’ and included the Aerotoxic Association. http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8270000/8270978.stm
3. The BBC last reported to the public on 25 February 2020: ‘Fume events: The toxic gases that may be harming aircrew and passengers’. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-51633897
“After years of gathering evidence, 10 lead cases against four UK airlines are due at the Royal Courts of Justice this year (2020). Unite, the union behind the action, says it wants the public to know about the aviation industry’s biggest secret. “An extraordinary amount of powerful evidence has been gathered,” says General Secretary Howard Beckett. “The simple reality for us is that our members are at risk from low-level exposure and it is a simple reality that frequent fliers will also be at risk as a result,” he told me.”
However, No BBC news report to the public has yet resulted after the new international published evidence was communicated to the BBC in July 2022, which directly led to and caused the following premeditated, announced actions, which are not denied, but no guilt is admitted, whilst countless millions of the public have been, are and will be unknowingly made seriously ill and dying from by flying, both in the past, present and future.
Proportionate, non-violent, measured, rational ‘Ghandi style’ action.
1.AERO TOXIC was sprayed on BBC property on 18 June 2021 in Oxford and 2.AEROTOXICO was sprayed on BBC property on 21 July 2022 in London as a public protest, both in ‘Banksy style’ with information leaflets & super glue on a pedestrian crossing in London only which was all recorded on CCTV. See 2 evidence photos at end.
This ongoing public H&S issue has regrettably finally found its way into a UK public court for possibly the first time ever for a reason other than Aerotoxic Syndrome. There are known to be over 260 Unite the Union aerotoxic individual legal cases still awaiting legal judgement since 2017. https://www.unitetheunion.org/news-events/news/2020/february/airlines-must-stop-buck-passing-and-take-immediate-action-on-toxic-air/ & https://www.unitelegalservices.org/services/toxic-cabin-air after ‘Aerotoxicity expert’ Michael Rawlinson QC stated in public at the 12th annual Cabin Air conference, London on 19/20 September 2017 that: “Aerotoxicity was at a tipping point…”.
As Aerotoxic is so big, global and seemingly impossible to solve, there can never be a ‘good time to expose any cover-up’. But perhaps September 2017, on reflection, was the best opportunity for the UK Government & EasyJet etc to install cheap Carbon Monoxide sensors and filters in jets as the UK media was then awash with news of an industry breakthrough.
Yet now, post Covid 2020 with the airline industry in serious difficulties but, because Aerotoxic is primarily about mass public ill health – my actions on both 18 June 2021 & July 2022 are regretted, but not unreasonable, after I and countless others have been persistently lied to and misled over 16 years since my first personal ‘discovery Statement’ of 22 May 2006. Aerotoxic should never be any one single person’s problem and I have done my best to work with others and the ‘other side’ (especially CAA, AAIB & EASA) in recent years to resolve this cause of public ill health amicably and always in a positive way and style – for no financial charge for a trillion-dollar known design flaw.
The ‘Aerotoxic cover-up’ story was first identified and published by Daily Telegraph on 24 June 2007: https://aerotoxic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Christopher-Bookers-notebook-Telegraph-1.pdf
John Hoyte’s (JH) flying story.
JH was first an industrial chemist for North Sea gas & pollution from 1974-1977; a professional, varied career pilot from learning to fly in 1976; a flying instructor from 1977-1979; Aerial crop spraying pilot in Norfolk, Shropshire, Kenya and South Australia from 1980 -1987 – where Aerial Fire Fighting was pioneered from 1983-1986; DC3 Dakota ad hoc freight & Maritime pollution patrol pilot including Piper Alpha rig disaster from 1987-1989; TNT BAe 146 pilot from 1989-1998 with the beginning of aerotoxic illness in spring 1990; Flybe BAe 146 pilot and Training Captain 1998-2005; all evidence is date stamped in five log books, medical reports & diaries. I was initially misdiagnosed by Professor Bagshaw and the NHS with ‘chronic stress’. In early 2006 I was properly diagnosed, advised and treated by Dr Sarah Myhill of Wales : https://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Aerotoxic_syndrome
I first discovered Aerotoxic Syndrome through British Airline Pilot Association (Balpa)/UCL research and testing and made a formal Statement on 22 May 2006. See four previous SOT’s.
I was interviewed anonymously by Channel 4 News in June 2006 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYM4soshMcU).
I founded on 19 March 2007 the Aerotoxic Association Ltd. The Charity (not for profit) https://aerotoxic.org/memorandum-of-association-of-aerotoxic-association-ltd-the-charity/ to help other public survivors for FREE and the Association was launched with other aircrew and passenger Samantha Sabatino in London on 18 June 2007. I have invested (lost) over £300,000 over 15 years and I founded the Aerotoxic Solutions Consultancy Ltd. in 2021 to make the now known and available solutions available to the public with anticipated government grant funding and private public investment money for public good.
Experts now require urgent government and public/private funding in exchange for 39% remaining shares of both JH’s Limited companies with appropriate unlimited, generous government grant funding for a known multi trillion $ public health scandal, with full media support. Our A Group published a cost-effective method of redesigning existing jet engines in June 2021: ‘A cost efficient design change for enhancing the aircraft cabin air design’.
I pioneered Flight Simulation Ltd. (Sim-Fly Norfolk) with basic teaching and Aerial Combat for public entertainment only from 2015-2019 and I will continue this unfinished project and fly light aircraft again as soon as possible. I am neither a doctor nor lawyer, but I know far more than many after 16 years of reluctant investigation into this health cover-up.
Pilot Press was founded in 2014 to publish unique aviation stories and will be re-established to publish more books. Four flying books have been published to date with more to come.
It is also planned to produce unusual aviation story film documentaries in the near future eg. New Zealand pilot Oscar Garden who flew from UK to Australia in 1930 and also trained at the Norfolk & Norwich Aero Club and other known, unique RAF flying stories.
John Hoyte plans to return to live and fly back in Shropshire, where journalist Sue Austin and others of the local Shropshire Star have reported consistently on Aerotoxic Syndrome since: 2017: https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/health/2017/05/29/grounded-angel-says-flying-wrecked-her-health/
BBC & Shropshire Star reporting.
BBC radio Shropshire only reported my aerial crop spraying flying career in June 2022: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-61722345
The Shropshire Star also reported my aerial spraying career in June 2022: https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/features/2022/06/06/pilots-anniversary-pilgrimage-to-scene-of-his-first-air-crash/
The Shropshire Star also published this ‘public interest news’ about carbon monoxide and aerotoxic syndrome on 16 July 2022:
However, despite informing the BBC both locally and nationally of the two new research aerotoxic papers published in July 2022 – no reports at all resulted, which led to the conclusion that there could be a definite ongoing BBC cover-up of Aerotoxic which is understandably known to be a difficult story to share with the UK public both now and in the future.
Professional Referees & References:
Professor/Dr Sarah Mackenzie Ross (SMR) of University College London.
SMR has known about Aerotoxic Syndrome for around 20 years and attended the conclusive Balpa Cabin Air conference on 20/21 April 2005: https://www.anstageslicht.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Geschichten/Aerotoxisches_Syndrom/BALPA-CAPC-London-2005_WINDER.pdf & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxwxzHMekb4
“We need better health systems that treat affected employees with sympathy and respect and not contempt.
We need better models for monitoring, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and compensation of affected workers. We need this for the legacy we have of pilots and flight attendants who have been affected, forced out of the industry and have been in the wilderness ever since.
All of us need to be involved, and if I can paraphrase Moira Somers, all of us needs to ask: Am I going to make myself available? Am I willing to do difficult and complex work? Am I prepared to work outside my comfort area? Am I prepared to stay independent?
What emerges from the conference is: There is a workplace problem resulting in short term and long term illness among flight crew (both pilots and cabin crew); The workplace where these illnesses are being induced is the aircraft cabin environment. This is resulting in significant flight safety issues, in addition to unacceptable flight crew health problems
Consideration should be given to passengers, who may also be suffering from similar symptoms to those exhibited by flight crew.
We urgently call upon Government, industry and Regulators to work in partnership with cabin environment medical and analyst specialists and representatives from flight crew unions to analyse, quantify and remedy the cabin air quality problems that we have identified exist. We also need to be making sure that there is a better future for this industry, and its staff, and its customers.
The Conference closing statement is attached”.
SMR tested John Hoyte & 26 other Balpa pilots in early 2006.
SMR et al published on 8 July 2022 a new Aerotoxic paper with carbon monoxide introduced as a new theory.
Professor Sarah Mackenzie Ross is still keen to research John Hoyte’s 32 year long story of ill health but must at last be adequately funded with unlimited funds by the UK government for this specialist work for the public good. https://www.sarahmackenzieross.com/
BAe 146 Captain Julian Soddy formerly of Balpa.
A former RAF Test pilot & Norfolk BAe146 captain who became ill in the 1990’s, was prematurely grounded in 2000 and Chaired the Balpa Cabin Air London conference of 20/21 April 2005 and has appeared in many international toxic cabin air documentaries including Welcome abord Toxic Airlines in 2007 and BBC Panorama ‘Something in the air’ in 2008.
David Learmount pilot & journalist of Flight Global.
A former RAF C.130 pilot who also became ill from flying and was prematurely grounded in the 1970’s and went on to be a journalist for Flight International (Flight global) writing about Aerotoxic Syndrome and appearing in many BBC and international film documentaries since 2006. He also wrote the following Foreword for my first book ‘Aerotoxic Syndrome – Aviation’s Darkest Secret’ which was published by Pilot Press in October 2014. https://davidlearmount.com/
Aerotoxic syndrome exists. But so does systematic denial by the aviation industry and its government backers. As an aviation journalist for 35 years at the time of writing this Foreword, for a long time I believed the industry when it told me, hand on heart, that the dangers to pilot and passenger health of engine oil fumes entering aircraft cabins were dramatically exaggerated and very rare. But eventually I agreed to meet two former airline pilots who had suffered damage and lost their careers to aerotoxic syndrome. I had, however, met others before and had not been convinced, so what made the difference this time? Tristan Loraine and Susan Michaelis provided me with the technical data and evidence of something that had been going on for years – about 50 years. They informed me about the chemicals
involved, the ongoing biochemical research into the damage these can cause to humans, the fume event occurrences and what makes them happen, and the human stories of pilots and cabin crew affected. And through them I met a network of aeromedical specialists and biochemists who were studying the issue in detail. Then I started asking questions again in the industry, but I was much better informed this time. No aircraft or aero-engine manufacturer denies that fumes from engine oil can get into cockpits and cabins, nor do they deny that these ‘fume events’ happen from time to time. They do not deny either that these engine oils contain organophosphate materials that can cause neurological damage in humans. The oil containers even have warnings on them to that effect. The reason the industry and its government backers can keep the lid on this issue is that the burden of proof
about the damage these fumes can cause rests with the victims. The industry answers charges about health damage by denial and dissembling, which the system lets them do because of the rules about where the burden of proof lies. The industry’s lawyers are masters of technical points of law that enable them to claim that the victims have no legal proof of the connection between Aerotoxic Syndrome a fume event and the symptoms that the victims suffer as a result. The lawyers can argue that the cause might lie elsewhere in the victim’s life, or in their
metabolism, and this ‘negative’ allegation is very difficult to disprove. There is a precise parallel here between the legal war fought for years between the tobacco industry and damaged smokers and the medical world who were looking for the proof of a connection between tobacco smoking and lung cancer. Everybody knew that there was a connection, but the burden of proof was with the victims, and until a precise biomarker could establish that the cancer was initiated by the effects of tobacco-based chemicals in specific individuals who smoked, the industry could go on denying. The only difference between these two cases is one of scale. The health effects of tobacco affected billions of people worldwide, whereas although aircraft fume events happen regularly, they only occur once every several hundred flights.
And when they do, some individuals are affected while others are not, because of metabolic differences between individual humans and the frequency of exposure that any individual suffers. The fact that fewer people are involved makes it easier for the industry and government to continue the denial, and more difficult for those damaged to seek any form of redress – or even acknowledgement of their medical condition. It means ordinary doctors are kept in ignorance of the syndrome and its symptoms, making misdiagnosis more likely. The fact is that, for those who are affected, the effect of aerotoxic syndrome on their lives can be devastating. For that reason it is obscene that the industry washes its hands of the issue, and even worse that governments collude, because there are ways of reducing or even eliminating
the risk of airborne fume events. But while denial exists and governments collude with the manufacturers and airlines, these remedies will not be applied. That is what this book is about.
Operations and safety editor, Flight International
Captain John Lind.
A former Vietnam USAF C.130 pilot who was in the aviation risk business in the 1970’s, 80’s and whose Flight Attendant daughter became ill in 2011. John has dedicated his life to research and identified the new Carbon Monoxide factor around 5 years ago and mostly authored our recent A Group paper published on 14 July 2022 with the simple known solutions clearly stated.
Deanne DeWitt Freise. A US Flight Attendant who became ill in 1992 after an oil fume event and has since advocated for increased public awareness of Aerotoxic and contributed to our A Group paper of 14 July 2022.
There are many other professional family, friends and colleagues including A Group & A2 Group who will confirm this dated evidence, if required.
Founded in early 2021 to openly debate Aerotoxic Syndrome weekly with a view to publishing the new Carbon Monoxide theory and then proposing the known and available solutions as soon as possible. John Hoyte – leader; John Lind Spokesman; Deanne DeWitt Freise affected USA Flight Attendant; a former anonymous senior UK medical practitioner with an injured pilot son; Professor Jeremy Ramsden scientist and publisher; Graeme Davidson – engineer; a former anonymous RAF pilot affected by aerotoxic syndrome; an active Canadian filtration expert; two affected former anonymous US Flight Attendants; a former sub postmaster & chartered accountant – outsider passenger representative.
A recently established group to help with financial investment in the solutions.
Books & Films.
Since 2006, John Hoyte has written and published four books on his unusual and varied flying career and Aerotoxic Syndrome.
- “Aerotoxic Syndrome – Aviation’s Darkest Secret” in 2014.
- “A Tale of Two Ag Pilots” by John Hoyte & Peter Lawton published in 2017.
- “How planes poison you!” by John Hoyte & Brett Preiss published in 2020.
- “Aerotoxic Pandemic 1921-202?” by John Hoyte published in 2021.
- Title to be confirmed – John Hoyte’s next Aerotoxic book will be published by the end of September 2022 and will include the new UK/USA Carbon Monoxide theory media reaction and will predict the future for the global aviation industry, if the known and available solutions either are; or are not introduced urgently.
In 2013, John Hoyte donated £75,000 to Captain Tristan Loraine of Fact not Fiction Films to produce A Dark Reflection fictional docudrama film, which prophesised the endgame of Aerotoxic Syndrome, which is now available for FREE on Amazon prime.
Statements of Truth (SOT)
In 2022 particularly, four new name redacted Statements of Truth (SOT) dated 10 January 2022, 30 May 2022, 29 June 2022 and 13 July 2022 with key evidence leading up to the planned action on 21 July 2021 will be available at www.aerotoxic.org
This Witness Statement is the 5th SOT dated 10 August 2022.
These will be available to any public court as dated, signed, witnessed Statements and also to the media.
I make these quotable, comments to both Public Court & the Media without any intentional contempt:
“After 15 years of a probable cover-up by the BBC of toxic cabin air, which may not be in the flying public’s interest, I believe it is unacceptable for the BBC to not fully share with the UK public the latest published scientific evidence and news of Aerotoxic Syndrome which the BBC are aware of, for full and open public scientific debate and which is still well known by only a few to cause mass public ill health and premature deaths since 1999.
At last, Aerotoxic Syndrome or Poisoning will be in a UK public court, and I have no further public comments to make (silence) before 0930 local on Wednesday 17 August 2022 when in Westminster Magistrates public court.
Evidence has been published since 2007 at www.aerotoxic.org and www.gcaqe.org and www.aircraftcabinair.com since 2006 of forthcoming ‘Cabin Air’ conferences up until in March 2023 and into the future where ‘no positive evidence’ is still being claimed.
We are all obviously disturbed that a probable BBC cover-up is delaying formal public recognition of Aerotoxic Poisoning and possibly perverting the course of justice for the flying public.
This probable BBC cover-up is also most seriously directly preventing and actively blocking the many known and available solutions from being urgently introduced for the public’s wellbeing and in the public interest.
As it is now believed and forecast, that when low-cost ($15) Carbon Monoxide (CO) sensors are soon fitted to all ‘bleed air’ public transport jets – most jets will be technically ‘unairworthy’, with social media spreading the actual levels of CO in cockpits and cabins.
Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odourless, and tasteless hazardous gas which has been cited in most published toxic cabin air science since the1950’s but ignored until recently.
It is disturbing and reprehensible that deliberate misuse of recreational drugs, alcohol and substances is vilified by society – whilst all professional flyers who have been, are and will be poisoned by toxic cabin air are still being treated with contempt and not believed, which is hypocritical of governments, who must place ALL human health – first, always.
The key question now for all of those in authority, who are accountable and who have final responsibility for public health is: “Why are low-cost CO sensors NOT fitted in bleed air public transport jets, yet are mandated in most domestic places?”
Why is there still no free, open public debate about science, freedom of speech or public duty allowed by the BBC who now appear to be actively discriminating against all public flyers over the past 15 years but particularly in 2022?
All cover-ups are eventually exposed and where public health is always claimed to be first – this public health cover-up is long overdue for exposure as the solutions are available and well known. Our work has always been for the benefit of the public good, particularly the next generation – my two children and grandchild – not the financially rich, who are also unknowingly affected.
We look forward to a fair public hearing, based on all of the available evidence from the 1950’s not only from 21 July 2022 action after all other means of reasonable communication failed embarrassingly, but I believe that public courts, judges and lawyers should be made aware in the future of so-called by some (who have never experienced the illness) – ‘Aerotoxicity’ as some so-called lawyers call the public health disease as they, their families and friends can and will also be affected the same as any other passengers.
Anyone who wishes to be fully aware of this public health issue in the future, in any way, should invest a minimum three hours of their personal time by reading and watching the published evidence for Flight XLA 120, which is added as an Addendum at the end of this Witness Statement as a precondition, before attempting to understand how Aerotoxic can affect any member of the public who flies, on any ‘bleed air’ flight, at any time – including wealthy first class passengers, Royalty and the reader of this Witness Statement.
This first possible public court action is dedicated to the memory of pilot Richard Westgate who died prematurely on 12 December 2012 and who first contacted Aerotoxic Association in March 2012 for free help and support; Ms Samantha Sabatino and the 40 other UK passengers of flight XLA 120 on 1 February 2007 who also contacted Aerotoxic Association and 1,000,000 frequent flyers and aircrew in Europe alone who have Aerotoxic Poisoning, but do not know that they are invisibly ill and all other global victims and survivors of Aerotoxic Poisoning.
I am personally content and satisfied that I have, over the past challenging 16 years since first finding out about Aerotoxic Syndrome in early 2006 , made every possible effort to do my public duty by legal means. I am now left embarrassed having to appear before a public court with the media, to explain my actions for a second time into why I took premeditated, proportionate action to ensure that the public eventually became aware of a known, inconvenient, fixable at a cost cause of mass public ill health and death which has been caused directly by continued BBC inaction.
I suggest that the sooner that I and other aerotoxic aircrew experts are believed and are helped to begin the urgent work necessary towards the many known and available solutions and further urgent research conducted and directed by Professor/Dr Sarah Mackenzie Ross of UCL with unlimited public funding.
I personally anticipate returning to where I expected to be in August 2022, both financially and domestically, for the well-being of the flying public.”
- Like other professional aircrew, I was tested and scored by the NHS cognitive tests at ½ / 10 in October 2011. But I was retested by the NHS in 2019 when I scored 7-8/ 10 and whilst I have felt ‘back to normal again’, I still must have an ‘Acquired brain injury’ disability from flying jets, which means I can multitask as any pilot but I find changing the subject matter suddenly difficult to follow – for which I plead for outside help, support and understanding.
John Grahame Hoyte
Chairman Aerotoxic Association Ltd. The Charity (2007)
Aerotoxic Solutions Consultancy Ltd. (2021)
Former BAe 146 Training Captain
Probably the best example of recorded and published evidence of Aerotoxic Poisoning over the past 15 years was when a large (40) group of unrelated passengers (including young children) who were aerotoxic poisoned on Flight XLA120 on 1 February 2007 after their non-fume event flight.
- HOUSE OF LORDS Science and Technology Committee 1st Report of Session
2007–08 Air Travel and Health: an Update. Page 53.
- Mrs Samantha Sabatino and her family flew from London to Florida in February 2007.
During the flight some 40 passengers became ill, including herself and three members of her
family. Upon arrival to Florida she was hospitalised suffering from wheezing and crackles in
her chest. No infection or viruses were found either in Florida or upon her return home. Her
family were still experiencing ill health including violent nausea, tummy cramps, blisters on
arms and hands, chest pain, severe headaches, vertigo, insomnia and loss of balance. She had
complained to the carrier, XL Airways, who had denied that other passengers had complained
of ill health. The Environmental Health Department have not carried out an investigation into
the issue. She received unsatisfactory replies from the Health Protection Agency, the CAA
and the Air Transport Users Council. She complained of being swept aside and questioned
the effectiveness of these organisations.
- Documentary film 2007: ‘Welcome aboard toxic airlines’. 1 hour & 30 mins
- 3. 21 April 2008 BBC Panorama ‘Something in the air’ 30 mins:
- Stewarts Law Aviation
Stewarts Law +44 (0) 207 822 8000 (London)
+44 (0) 113 222 0022 (Leeds)
Boeing 767 Flight Number XLA 120 Aerotoxic Poisoning
03 May 2010
The Stewarts Law Attorney Group represents 20 British passengers who were seriously injured by aircraft toxic fumes exposure on 1 February 2007. The incident occurred when they were flying on board an XL Airways Boeing 767 from London Gatwick to Sanford International, Florida.
The dangerous toxins were released into the cabin through the bleed air system which (as on most airliners) draws high pressure air from the core of the engines to pressurise the aircraft with breathable air. It has long been known that this design can result in the cabin air becoming contaminated with toxic oil vapour when the engine oil seals leak.
The toxins were detected by passengers as they began to notice and odd smell similar to ‘smelly socks’. The cabin seemed more ‘stuffy’ and ‘hot’ than any previous flight they had been on and the air severely their eyes, nose and throat. The passengers quickly became ill, suffering respiratory symptoms, severe headaches, vomiting, bowel problems, skin blistering and extreme fatigue. The toxic air also caused long term chronic effects
such as respiratory problems, memory loss, sleep disturbances, chronic fatigue, mood swings, cognitive difficulties, infections, and joint/limb pains.
In order to put pressure on the US manufacturers to deal with these known cabin air problems and to obtain fair compensation for the passengers, on 29 January 2009 specialist litigation firm Stewart’s Law filed the case in Illinois, the state where the Boeing has its Headquarters. In addition to Boeing, the case was filed against Hamilton Sundstrand (which manufacturers air systems components), United Technologies (which manufacturers the Pratt & Whitney engines) and the owners of the aircraft – AAR Parts Trading Inc.
This is an out right US product liability case against US defendants. However, the defendants were intent on having the case sent back to the UK courts (which are much more expensive for claimants and award much lower compensation) so they filed a forum non conveniens motion arguing that the UK is the most convenient place for the litigation.
After the prolonged legal battle, on 3 May 2010 Judge Quinn decided in favour of the passengers and dismissed the defendants’ forum non conveniens motion. Stewart’s Law has achieved a great victory for the passengers.
Securing US jurisdiction along with the prospect of a high profile jury trial is a wake up call for US manufacturers unless they take measures to improve the quality of cabin air now, they will face the credible prospect of expensive and public US litigation for future incidents where there is an identifiable toxic fumes leak that causes injury.
Aviation and Travel Department
5 New Street Square
London, EC4A 3BF
T: +44 (0)20 7822 8000
- 3 December 2013 60 minutes ABC Australia TV documentary. ‘Toxic Flyer’. 15 mins.
Q: How did UK passenger Samantha Sabatino’ s legal case conclude and how much financial compensation was awarded and won?
Evidence photos from 18 June 2021 & July 2022 follow.
BBC Oxford – 18 June 2021
BBC London – 21 July 2022