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John Hoyte

Chairman & Founder Aerotoxic Association Ltd. (2007)
Former BAe 146 Training Captain & Aerotoxic Survivor

John was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1955. He lived briefly in Ceylon and was boarding school educated at Town Close House & Woodbridge Schools in Norfolk & Suffolk, UK. John studied chemistry, physics & maths and initially trained as a North Sea Gas Measurement & Pollution control officer for Phillips Petroleum at Bacton, Norfolk.

After retraining as a pilot in 1976, John was Operations Manager for the Norfolk & Norwich Aero Cub at RAF Swanton Morley, then a full flying instructor for the Staverton Flying School, Gloucestershire for two years. He was next employed by Howard Avis Aviation at Old Buckenham airfield as an Aerial Crop Spraying pilot where he first became aware of the deadly dangers of organophosphates as stated in the CAA Operations Manual and ALWAYS took H&S precautions to avoid any exposure.

He flew in the UK (Norfolk, Suffolk & Shropshire), Kenya, & South Australia for seven years, where he also successfully pioneered Aerial Fire Fighting over three challenging fire seasons.

After getting married and believing low flying & chemicals to be fundamentally dangerous, he retrained to fly DC 3 Dakotas and was employed by Air Atlantique on day/night ad hoc freight in 1987 and also flew Maritime Pollution reconnaissance aircraft for two years which included the Piper Alpha & Ocean Odyssey oil rig disasters. John retrained in 1989 to fly the BAe 146 four engine jet for TNT on overnight parcel delivery on permanent night flying and racehorse (Istabraq 1998) delivery around Europe. However, despite always enjoying perfect health and a uniquely exciting job with a family of friends – in the spring of 1990 he experienced a sudden myriad of subtle, mysterious, severe neurological and physical symptoms but, logically putting them down to permanent ‘night flying’, did not communicate or share them to anyone, as he feared losing his job and failing his and wife young family financially.

By 1998 he was ready to quit night flying as a result of his permanent exhaustion, so joined Jersey European/British European/Flybe for Air France code share and others with passenger flying, still on the BAe 146. But he still 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 avoid line flying in order 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 or APU John experienced his first and only ever logged and recorded passenger oil ‘fume event’ in 2002.

Due to rapidly deteriorating health in 2004, he walked off a challenging flight, rather than endanger or risk his passenger’s lives, and was diagnosed with PTSD by Prof Gordon Turnbull of the CAA resulting in him going part time after a short break from flying. By mid-2005 John stopped BAe 146 flying altogether, like a zombie and suicidal at losing his career at the age of 49. Captain Tristan Loraine of BA & BALPA (British Airline Pilot Association) contacted John in early 2006 as he was organising some ‘Toxic air testing’ with University College London (UCL) and needed recently grounded and flying pilot volunteers to be tested. John had been formally diagnosed with ‘Chronic Stress’ by Professor Michael Bagshaw, a paid industry doctor, but John felt this was not the case, so agreed to be investigated by UCL along with other pilot colleagues. He was extensively assessed along with 26 other BAe 146 & B.757 BALPA pilots with a near 100% hit rate in early 2006.

John finally made a Statement on 22nd May 2006 about his discovery of organophosphate exposure, feeling it was in the public interest that his evidence be made public and he had seen enough evidence to confidently include the key words of ‘Criminal and covering-up’. John also discovered from Google that there had been an international BALPA Cabin Air conference in April 2005, which had concluded published black & white group conclusions of the supposed ‘Truth’.

In June 2006 John first became aware of ‘Aerotoxic Syndrome’, a medical term which had been first defined in 1999 by a US doctor and scientists from France & Australia after a decade of research. John founded the Aerotoxic Association Ltd. on 19th March 2007 and launched successfully at the UK Houses of Parliament on 18th June 2007 to support other survivors and campaign for the known, and available, technical solutions from September 2017 onwards when Michael Rawlinson QC stated publicly at the 11th annual Cabin Air conference in London that “Aerotoxic Syndrome (or a newly created term by some lawyers of Aerotoxicity) was at its ‘tipping point’…” which was widely reported by the media, as a matter of significant public interest.

Protest

Capt. John Hoyte (far left) Dr Susan Michaelis with paper, Capt Tristan Loraine with oil can & Capt. Julian Soddy of BALPA (far right) at Houses of Parliament, London on 18th June 2007.

John still strongly feels that it is his public duty to raise public awareness of the issue and help other survivors. He has attended 13 annual GCAQE (Global Cabin Air Quality Executive) Cabin Air conferences since 2006, becoming a reluctant expert in the inconvenient mass public illness where a published 2017 Dutch survey estimated 1 million frequent flyers & aircrew with Aerotoxic Syndrome alone. Since 2007 he has helped countless other aircrews and passengers globally understand a possible cause of their acute and chronic ill health.

He also began networking and corresponds with many other international advocacy groups such as AerotoxicTeam, GCAQE and international aerotoxic medical, legal and scientific experts. Both John and the Aerotoxic Association featured in “Welcome aboard Toxic Airlines a now feely available factual documentary film in 2007 and helped to fund “A Dark Reflection”  later known as “Flight 313: The conspiracy” a fictional aerotoxic aircrew produced effort predicting the known and now available aerotoxic solutions in 2015, which is also now free to view. John has mostly recovered from his severe neurological symptoms but in 2011 the NHS scored him cognitively at ½/10 but the NHS retested him in 2019 when he scored 7-8/10, a fair recovery. John regained his Class 2 Aviation Medical in 2014 & 2019 and Flying Instructors rating and briefly returned to flying and teaching.

He then discovered and pioneered Simulator Flying for public entertainment with Sim-Fly Norfolk from 2015-2019 with a simple novel flight simulator system & Combat flying for groups in Spitfire & Messerschmitt cockpits; but he decided to rededicate his efforts to Aerotoxic in April 2019, as human health is paramount. From September 2019 to March 2020 John toured Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and The Netherlands meeting many of the key Aerotoxic experts  However, on 30/31 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 & Regulators. John was elected to present the Associations/Unions ‘wish list’ to EASA for some of the 1.5 million Euros of EU funding available for ‘further research’ into Aerotoxic Syndrome.

Report

Capt. John Hoyte presents the Associations/Unions wish list for the 1.5 million euros of funding available for yet ‘Further research’ at EASA’s first Cabin Air workshop, Cologne on 31st January 2020. (photo credit Capt. Loraine)

UK Public Service Broadcasters – the BBC did finally cover Aerotoxic Syndrome again in February 2020 with a hard-hitting ‘File on 4’ programme on Radio 4 ‘Something in the air’ but once again, failed to mention the public work of the Aerotoxic Association Ltd. John reluctantly returned to the UK in early March 2020 at the outbreak of Covid19.

As part of his work plan for ‘Solutions only’, John has decided to offer lo-cost, personal 1:1 consultation to any passengers or aircrews interested in finding out more about Aerotoxic Syndrome or flying in general. John feels strongly that it is his moral responsibility to do all he can to help others expose a covered-up matter of public health and is therefore in the process of updating by rewriting and abbreviating his 2014 book published by Pilot Press – Aerotoxic Syndrome – Aviation’s Darkest Secret”  with “How Planes Poison People – Aerotoxic, Aviation’s Dirtiest Secret “ for publication in the spring of 2020, as a matter of public duty.

Whilst his second flying book A Tale of Two Ag Pilots” about his early flying career was co-authored with Captain Peter Lawton, who taught John to fly in 1977, and which was also published by Pilot Press in 2017. John has two grown up and independently successful children Lucy Alice & Jamie John and is presently single but always seeking outside, friendly help. John and other aircrew only wanted to fly safely in aeroplanes and the formal position of ‘No positive Evidence’ of chronic public ill health is almost certainly, deliberately and fundamentally flawed and is unsustainable, where public health may not be paramount, as is always claimed…

John Hoyte

Captain John Hoyte
Chairman & Founder Aerotoxic Association Ltd. (2007)
Former BAe 146 Training Captain & Aerotoxic Survivor

26th March 2020