Category Archives: Incident

The responsibility of the airlines: Here, Lufthansa-Germanwings-Eurowings

The recurrence of a fume event on a Eurowings flight and how it was handled

Each workplace is subject to certain requirements which are described in the relevant workplace regulations(1). These regulations are intended to ensure the safety and health of workers when setting up and operating in workplaces. In commercial aircraft the cockpit is the pilots’ workplace. Therefore, any airline commercial carriers are responsible for ensuring healthy working conditions. In this Eurowings (formerly Germanwings) case, the responsible carrier is the parent company, Lufthansa. The health of cabin crew personnel – whose workplace is, of course, the aircraft cabin – is also the responsibility of the operating carrier. And we must not forget the passengers in the aircraft.

A news headline dated 09.01.2018 has shocked us again:

“Several injured crew members after fume event on A320 of Eurowings” (successor company of Germanwings).

Although no solutions have yet been implemented to prevent such fume events, the airline’s handling of it is much worse, as the report(2) makes clear. The fume event occurred enroute to London Heathrow , but after landing Eurowings concluded that a simple “airing” of the aircraft by opening the doors was sufficient to make conditions safe, and intended to board passengers for the return to Düsseldorf. However, the collapse of a flight attendant and his hospitalization convinced Eurowings to cancel the flight. Subsequently, pilots flew the aircraft back to Düsseldorf – wearing oxygen masks. A good airing clearly is not enough.

After such an incident, all ventilation ducts must – from the compressor in the engine to the aircraft interior – be disassembled and cleaned, and any engine leaks corrected. For this, an aircraft must be in maintenance for at least two days, as such a problem cannot be remedied on the ground within the standard turnaround time.

Furthermore, the manner in which the BFU (German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation) prefers to ignore such “accidents” leaves much scope for speculation…

In this context, we would like to refer again to the flight log(3) of Andreas, who completed 88% of his flights on machines that have fume events in their histories.

 “These are not all hypochondriacs”

On the other hand, it is gratifying that the aero toxic syndrome is finally being discussed in the medical trade press(4). It would be desirable if all doctors were informed and trained in this subject in order to  understand and treat affected flight crew and passengers in the future.

Always remember: it can happen to anyone.









Recent fume event in Eurowings aircraft D-AGWV

Five crew members and one passenger injured

According to a report in Austrian Wings aviation magazine, Eurowings flight 7764 departed Hamburg shortly after 18:00 on 07 November 2017 with Zurich as its destination. The aircraft was an Airbus 319, registration D-AGWV.

Soon after takeoff there occurred an obvious fume event on board, prompting the pilots to immediately return to Hamburg. According to a report in Hamburger Morgenpost, one passenger complained of nausea and respiratory irritation. Together with five crew members the passenger went to a local hospital for medical examination.

Reference links:

On several occasions in July of 2014 our son flew as copilot in this specific aircraft (Airbus 319, reg. D-AGWV). On 08 July 2016 this aircraft had an official report of a fume event which is documented in the BFU database.

See link below to Andreas’s logbook:

Aside from the two mentioned above, it is not known whether any other previous fume events in this aircraft might have occurred or whether Andreas was affected. The noticeable evidence of toxic fumes in an aircraft cabin is a result of a gradual process, rather like the beginning of an oil leak in one’s automobile that does not reveal itself from one day to the next. As already stated in recent news, there was a very high risk for Andreas to belong to the group of people who catabolize the toxins only with difficulty and over time, or not at all. The consequences of which can often be irreversible neurological damage.
Even if there is only one passenger injured, our hope is that this article will encourage people to consider that there are daily incidents involving toxic cabin air and anyone who flies can be affected.


matching article:

Evaluation of Andreas’s flight logbook