John Grahame Hoyte
Chairman & Founder Aerotoxic Association Ltd. Charity (2007)
Former BAe 146 Training Captain & Aerotoxic Survivor
John was born in Edinburgh in 1955. After working as a North Sea Gas Measurement and Pollution control officer, he trained as a pilot in 1976. He was Operations Manager for the Norfolk & Norwich Aero Club, then a full flying instructor for the Staverton Flying School. He was next employed by Howard Avis Aviation as an Aerial Crop Spraying pilot, when he first became aware of the dangers of organophosphate exposure, as published in the CAA Operations Manual, and
always took all precautions to avoid any exposure.
He flew in the UK, Kenya and South Australia for seven years, where he pioneered Aerial Fire Fighting over three challenging fire seasons.
Believing low flying chemical spraying to be dangerous, he trained to fly DC 3 Dakotas. He was employed by Air Atlantique on ad hoc freight in 1987, and also flew Maritime Pollution reconnaissance aircraft for two years. John then trained in 1989 to fly the BAe 146 four-engine jet for TNT on overnight parcel delivery and racehorse (Istabraq 1998) delivery around Europe.
However, despite having always enjoyed perfect health – in the spring of 1990 he suddenly experienced a range of subtle, mysterious neurological and physical symptoms. Putting them down to permanent ‘night flying’, he did not communicate this to anyone, as he feared losing his job and failing his wife and young family.
By 1998 he chose to quit night flying as a result of constant exhaustion, and joined Jersey European/British European/Flybe, flying passengers on the BAe 146. He experienced ever worsening multiple chronic neurological symptoms, which other pilots have described as being ‘permanently inebriated’. John became a BAe 146 Training Captain in 2001 in order to reduce flying hours, and to eventually fly a ‘BAe 146 Simulator’. Despite almost daily exposure to visible oil fumes over 16 years from the BAe 146 Auxiliary Power Unit, John experienced his first and only ever logged and recorded ‘fume event’ in 2002.
Due to rapidly deteriorating health, in 2004 he walked away from a challenging flight rather than endanger the passengers’ lives. He was diagnosed with PTSD by Prof Gordon Turnbull of the CAA, resulting in working part time after a short break from flying. In mid-2005 John stopped BAe
146 flying altogether, feeling like a zombie, and was distraught at losing his career at the age of 49. In early 2006, Capt. Tristan Loraine of BA and BALPA (British Airline Pilots Association) contacted John, as he was organising some ‘Toxic air testing’ with University College London and needed recently grounded and flying pilots to be tested. Prof Michael Bagshaw, an industry doctor, had diagnosed John with ‘chronic stress’, but John felt this was not correct, so agreed to being examined at UCL. After extensive testing, all but one of the 27 BAe 146 and Boeing 757 BALPA pilots were found to be affected by toxins.
John finally made a statement in May 2006 about his discovery of organophosphate exposure, believing it to be in the public interest that this evidence was made public. He had seen enough evidence to confidently include the words ‘criminal’ and ‘cover-up’. John also discovered that there had been an international BALPA Cabin Air conference in April 2005, whose conclusions about Aerotoxicity were absolutely clear. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxwxzHMekb4 In June 2006 John became aware of the term ‘Aerotoxic Syndrome’, a medical term first defined in October 1999 by US doctor Harry Hoffman, French forensic scientist Dr Jean Christophe Balouet and Australian toxicologist Professor Chris Winder. This was the result of many years of research into the illness caused by exposure to unfiltered, unmonitored bleed air in 1990s.
In 2007, John founded the Aerotoxic Association Ltd. Charity, launched at the UK Houses of Parliament on 18th June, to support other survivors and to campaign for the known and available technical solutions.
Capt. John Hoyte (far left), Dr Susan Michaelis, Capt. Tristan Loraine with oil can, and Capt. Julian Soddy of BALPA (far right) at the Houses of Parliament.
Capt. John Hoyte Dr Susan Michaelis Capt. Tristan Loraine 18th June 2007
John believes it is his duty to raise public awareness of this problem, and to help other survivors. He has attended 15 annual GCAQE (Global Cabin Air Quality Executive) conferences, having become a reluctant expert in the illness. A 2017 Dutch published survey estimated there to be a million frequent flyers and aircrew with Aerotoxic Syndrome in Europe alone.
Since 2007 he has helped countless aircrew and passengers around the world understand the possible cause of their ill health.
John liaises with many other international advocacy groups, such as Swiss-based AerotoxicTeam, Global Cabin Air Quality Executive and many international medical, legal and scientific experts in the field.
John and the Aerotoxic Association featured in “Welcome aboard Toxic Airlines” a freely available documentary film in 2007, and helped to fund “A Dark Reflection”, later known as “Flight 313: The conspiracy” a fictional, aircrew-produced project, predicting the now known and available solutions.
John has largely recovered from his severe neurological symptoms. In 2011 the UK NHS scored his cognitive ability at ½ / 10, and when retested in 2019 he scored 7-8 / 10 – an excellent recovery. John regained his Class 2 Aviation Medical and Flying Instructors rating in 2014 and briefly returned to flying and teaching.
In September 2017 Michael Rawlinson QC stated at the 11th annual Cabin Air conference in London, “Aerotoxicity was at its ‘tipping point’”.
When meeting many of the key Aerotoxic experts in Europe (2019-20), he found that French lawyers had conclusive evidence of the cause of the syndrome, and that Aerotoxique Syndrome would be formally accepted in France as an occupational disease within two years.
In January 2020 John attended the first EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) ‘Cabin Air’ workshop in Cologne, Germany with other associations/unions, airlines, manufacturers, researchers and regulators. John presented to EASA the associations/unions’ ‘wish list’ for some of the 1.5 million Euros of EU funding available for ‘further research’ into Aerotoxic Syndrome.
Capt. John Hoyte presents the associations/unions wish list for the 1.5 million euros of funding available for ‘Further research’ at EASA’s first Cabin Air workshop, Cologne on 31st January 2020. (photo credit Capt. Loraine)
Further to a 2008 Panorama investigation, the BBC did finally provide an update on Aerotoxicity in February 2020 with a hard-hitting report: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000fp62
BBC Transport Correspondent Tom Burridge stated: After years of gathering evidence, 10 lead cases against four UK airlines are due at the Royal Courts of Justice this year. 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.
But once again, they failed to mention the work of the Aerotoxic Association Ltd. Charity.
John was interviewed live by the BBC Norwich in February 2015, on the condition that he didn’t mention the airlines he had flown for or the words ‘cover-up’. Any future media interviews with should deal with the story of the 15-year cover-up, which was identified by Daily Telegraph journalist Christopher Booker on 24th June 2007
Investigations reporter (now Chief Editor) David Powles of the Eastern Daily Press wrote two excellent articles in August 2015:
John believes that it is his responsibility to do all he can to expose a covered-up matter of public health and has updated his 2014 book published by Pilot Press – “Aerotoxic Syndrome – Aviation’s Darkest Secret” with a new book “How Planes Poison You! Aerotoxic Syndrome – Aviation’s Dirtiest Cover-Up” – co-authored with Brett Preiss (Australian/Dutch author). It was published in April 2020 and will be updated with further international evidence and republished in 2021.
The existing government position of ‘No positive evidence’ of chronic public ill health comes from a deliberately and fundamentally flawed and unsustainable position of cover-up.
The 17th Annual Cabin Air conference was held online in March 2021 https://www.aircraftcabinair.com/schedule
The Aerotoxic Association Ltd. Charity (2007) held a Richard Westgate Memorial 2nd Aerotoxic Poisoning Workshop on Friday 19th
March 2021 from 1200 UTC until late.
This was an opportunity for the public to meet some of the many victims from the past 15 years – both passengers and aircrew.
It included Aerotoxic experts Engineer Graeme Davidson, Dr Michel Mulder of NL, Professor Jeremy Ramsden, and Dr Sarah Myhill who published the following evidence in 2007 https://www.aerotoxicteam.com/uploads/6/0/3/8/6038702/4aea_website_aerotoxic_syndrome_dr_sarah_myhill.pdf
The 1st Aerotoxic Workshop was held in October 2011 at Cranfield University, following the UK Government Cabin Air research report of 2011.
Countless aircrew and members of the public from all over the world have contacted the Aerotoxic Association for help. One of these was British pilot Richard Westgate; in March 2012 he was advised to seek specialist treatment with Dr Michel Mulder in the Netherlands. Richard did so, but sadly died in December 2012.
Aerotoxic Pilot Richard Mark Westgate Died 12.12.12
The Aerotoxic Association Ltd. Charity (2007) has registered a new company Aerotoxic Solutions Consultancy Ltd. on 24th March 2021
https://aerotoxic.org/memorandum-of-association-of-aerotoxic-association-ltd-the-charity/ with US lawyers https://www.kjclawfirm.com/toxic-cabin-air.html and other likeminded commercial parties. It will focus solely on the known and available solutions to Aerotoxic Poisoning.
Chairman & Founder Aerotoxic Association Ltd.
Aerotoxic Solutions Consultancy Ltd (2021)
Former BAe 146 Training Captain