APPENDIX 5: SUMMARIES OF INDIVIDUAL
As noted in paragraph 1.13 of this Report several
submissions to this inquiry were not treated as evidence or printed.
Instead they are summarised below. The full submissions are available
for inspection by appointment at the Parliamentary Archives (020
1. A former BAe 146 pilot who wished
to remain anonymous said that he was out of work due to ill health.
He suffered from toxic encephalopathy and neuropathy including
cognitive impairment and dysautonomia. He believed his ill health
to be caused by years of daily low level exposure to neurotoxins
such as organophosphates. A confidential medical report was enclosed.
2. Captain Colin Barnett-Higgins had
flown commercial aircraft for 32 years. During the later part
of his career he became more and more fatigued until he could
not complete his flight checks successfully. He underwent EEG
(body) and MRI scans, blood tests and neuropsychometric examinations.
The last test showed discrepancies between ability and performance
and in 2000 he lost his license as a result. He noted that, although
there were many fume events, nobody realised how dangerous they
were and therefore most fume events were not reported in Air Safety
3. Captain David Bowman flew his last
jet aircraft in 2000 after a 42-year career. He continued working
as a part-time instructor until 2003 when the CAA medical branch
deemed him to be "long term unfit to exercise any privileges
of his licence". Various specialists have diagnosed at different
times fronto-temporal dementia, Pick's disease, Alzheimer's and
Asperger's syndrome. Tests showed global atrophy of his brain
and an executive function score of 18 percent. He felt that his
brain functions had been diminished by exposure to organophosphates.
Leakage of seals could contaminate aircraft air with synthetic
ester based jet engine lubricants which usually contained organophosphates.
4. Geoffrey Brundett, a retired mechanical
engineer, expressed concerns at the lack of published data on
the effects of cabin altitude. Together with colleagues he had
measured actual cabin altitudes for 134 flights since 2001 and
found two were above the 8,000 feet limit and 75 percent were
under 7,000 feet. He stated that while blood oxygenation for healthy
people aged 25 was good up to 7,000 feet, the oxygenation of a
proportion of those aged 65 started to decline above 4,000 feet.
He called for more research on this area.
5. Jonathan Burdon wished to call the
attention of the Committee to the effect of aircraft air quality
on the health of air crew and passengers, and in particular to
the respiratory disorders which he had observed as a consultant
respiratory physician. To his mind there was no doubt that some
air crew experienced lung injury which in some cases was very
subtle and only detected through sophisticated lung function testing.
He listed a number of publications which outlined these disorders.
6. Captain Yvonne Burford had suffered
ill health through contaminated air while flying a BAe 146. Since
ceasing to fly her health had improved but she still suffered
from unexplained headaches which she did not have before flying.
She did not believe the Government would allow BAe to be convicted
of poisoning aircrew and passengers.
7. Mr Alan Carter flew for
30 years as an airline pilot, including 7,000 flying hours on
the BAe 146. At times, during his early morning pre-flight checks,
the aircraft cabin would fill with an electric blue haze after
starting the auxiliary power unit; this would clear after 10 minutes.
He felt that BAe 146 was well known for these problems but that
no one thought much of it as it was a common occurrence. In 1998
he felt unwell after a flight with constant flu-like symptoms,
fatigue, headaches, nausea and ears ringing. He stopped flying
in April 1999. By October he went voluntarily to a private psychiatric
hospital for six weeks where he was diagnosed with depression.
He did not agree with the diagnosis. In 2004 he underwent nerve
conductivity tests which confirmed damage to his nerve system
and peripheral neuropathy. He believed his illness was due to
8. Mr Ray Cockerton was a prematurely
retired Boeing 757 pilot. He suffered from poor memory, word-finding
difficulties, periods of mild confusion, persistent respiratory
infections, chronic fatigue, double vision and tingling fingers.
He was invited to take part in the UCL study to examine cognitive
function in 27 pilots. Tests showed that large amounts of heavy
metals (mercury, arsenic, cadmium, tin, tungsten and nickel) and
traces of lindain and nitrosamine were present in his blood. Also,
traces of organophosphates were detected in his fat cells. Serum
tests revealed that he had acute brain damage and deterioration
of the nerve fibres in the extremities consistent with chemical
induced nervous injury. The cognitive problems were permanent
but the chronic fatigue was getting better. His solicitor was
currently pursuing a case of personal injury against his previous
employer. He believed that the consistent low levels of air contamination,
cumulative over a period of time, had caused his health problems.
He was angry that nobody told pilots of the risks associated with
flying the 757.
9. In 1998 Mr Andrew Gibbs began
to fly the BAe 146. He noticed that the aircraft was quite smelly,
particularly in the mornings, but this was regarded as normal.
After 18 months he became ill suffering from a sore throat, headaches,
aching joints, constant fatigue, muscular weakness, hot/cold flushes,
light-headedness and poor short-term memory. Whilst recovering
at home his symptoms would diminish but on returning to work he
would suffer a relapse. He was dismissed from his employment in
late 2000 after only 1,300 flying hours. In 2005 he started flying
pressurised aircraft again but after only 100 flying hours he
experiences an in-flight malfunction of the cabin air system and
the cabin became filled with visible fumes. His ill health returned
subsequently and he was still unwell after more than a year. He
believed that exposure to poisoned cabin air was the cause of
his ill health. At no time was he warned by his employer, BAe
or the CAA that the BAe 146 was a high risk type of aircraft.
10. Mr Raymond Godfrey started flying
in 1952. From 1987 to 1999 he flew the BAe 146. He recollected
mist in the cabin on every flight, more particularly when starting
up on the first flight of the day. In 2005 he was referred to
a neurological consultant and in July 2006 he was diagnosed with
Bulbar motor neuron disease. He believed his condition was a direct
result of being in an atmosphere that was contaminated with organophosphates.
11. Mr David Hall flew from 1960
to 1992 as an airline pilot, the last two years of which were
on a BAe 146. This aircraft had a continual and distinctive smell
resembling dirty wet socks being dried on a radiator, a smell
which persisted long after the flight was over. Also, he found
operating the BAe 146 excessively tiring. He retired in 1992 and
in 1997 he has diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Tests in 2004 revealed that his lung function was some 25 percent
of that predicted for his age. In 2005 he had a blood sample analysed
and the results were consistent with chemical-induced nervous
12. Professor Malcolm Hooper sent
the Committee a copy of his report entitled "Aerotoxic Syndrome"
which he presented at the launch of the Cabin Air Association.
13. Mr John Hoyte flew the BAe 146
from 1989 to 2005. He was constantly aware of fumes, sometimes
visible, which lasted approximately 10 minutes. These fumes were
more common on the first flight of the day. He experienced progressive
ill health, suffering from poor memory, speech difficulties, internal
head pressure, chronic fatigue and character changeall
of which he believed led to mild depression. In 2004 he was grounded
by the CAA and diagnosed with operational stress and post-traumatic
stress disorder. In February 2006 Professor Bagshaw officially
diagnosed him with chronic stress, which enabled him to get a
loss of licence payment. During 2006 he took part in the UCL study
programme, which involved testing of blood and tissue. He was
very angry at losing his job, income and health. He had started
an association to help others who believed that they might have
been affected by contaminated air.
14. Mr John Kendall, a 49 year old
Training Captain with Thompson, flew the 757 and 767 aircraft.
He experienced contaminated air events and suffered light-headedness,
nausea and short term memory loss. He believed he had recovered
from his symptoms but he no longer had the stamina that he used
to have. He was extremely concerned for his long term health.
15. Mr Leonard Lawrence sent a copy
of a letter describing the results of medical tests.
16. Ms Lucy Mayorga said that on 10 August
2005 she experienced exposure to organophosphates on an Airbus
329 while working as a flight attendant. Due to the side effects
of that incident she suffered from memory problems, depression,
anxiety attacks, body aches and chronic fatigue. She had become
physically crippled and no one seemed to want to take responsibility.
17. In 2001, at the age of 51, Mr Trevor
Mercer had to stop flying due to ill health. He was diagnosed
as possibly suffering from depression, then epilepsy and lastly
Alzheimer's disease. However, after further investigations, it
had been confirmed that all his problems were consistent with
exposure to polluted fumes.
18. Ms Tracey Morey was a former flight
attendant who was exposed to contaminated air while working. Although
the flight was very short she experienced a headache and nausea.
On the return sector she became increasingly nauseous, her hands
and face were numb, her heart was racing and the headache returned.
After this incident she was off work for six weeks. It took seven
years for a tribunal finally to rule in her favour that she had
in fact been exposed to a toxic substance.
19. Mr Michael Perdios was diagnosed
with left remoralpopliteal DVT following a flight to Cyprus in
1999. He spent five days in hospital receiving treatment with
Warfarin and undergoing tests. After receiving permission from
doctors to fly back to London he did so on 15 October. He was
due to consult his GP four days later but he collapsed at home
and died. His wife told us that a post mortem revealed the cause
of death was subarachnoid haemorrhage and ruptured cerebral aneurysm.
20. Captain David Phillips flew the Boeing
757 for approximately 10 years. During this time he had frequent
occurrences of a strong oily wet sock smell just after take off.
He was told that this was caused by engineers overfilling the
engine oil level overnight. He suffered a number of symptoms such
as mouth ulcers, throat irritation, non-migraineous headaches
and tremors. His flying licence was suspended temporarily in 1994
and he was finally declared as medically unfit in May 1998. He
now suffered from Parkinson's disease.
21. Mr Andy Queen flew the BAe 146
for 8 years. Normally there would be fumes in the cabin first
thing in the morning from the air conditioning system. There were
constant smells in the cabin which included wet dog, sweaty socks,
and rotten cheese. At times other intermittent smells were present
such as oily fumes, exhaust fumes, burning paper and rubber. Mr Queen
suffered from acute symptoms such as oily exposed skin, tiredness,
concentration difficulties, dry eyes and throat, lack of concentration,
tingling limbs and headaches, which would subside within an hour
or two after leaving the aircraft. He also suffered chronic symptoms
such as hoarseness of voice, memory loss, tremors, emotional changes,
lethargy and numbness in three toes. Exhaustive medical testing
showed damage consistent with chemical exposure. He had taken
swab samples from furnishings and air vents on the flight decks
of various BAe 146 aircraft, all of which have tested positive
22. 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
23. Captain Julian Soddy felt the aircrew
community had been let down by the various government-funded research
committees. He was a retired airline captain who flew the BAe
146 for 5 years and had been grounded by the CAA due to ill health.
He had undergone a series of medical and neurological tests with
a diagnosis as having been affected by organophosphate or chemical
induced symptoms. He believed there was sufficient evidence to
ask the oil manufacturers to exclude dangerous chemicals.
24. Dr Moira Somers was a medical
practitioner registered with the West Australian Medical Board.
Since 1999 she had seen 39 flight crew who had reported exposure
to contaminated cabin air while on the BAE 146 and other aircraft.
In 2005 she reviewed all of the consultations and produced a paper
titled "A General Practitioner's Experience with Cabin Air
25. Captain Jonathan Tribe had been a
qualified pilot for 26 years, for the last 19 of which he had
been employed by one large UK charter airline. In this capacity
he had predominantly flown the Boeing 757 and 767. Over his career
he had been aware of repeated exposure to engine oil fumes and
has often reported it to his employer and the CAA. On 29 February
2002 while flying the B757, the left engine suffered technical
failure that allowed large quantities of pyrolysed engine oil
to enter the air conditioning system. Within weeks he developed
a skin rash on his tongue and acute sensitivity, severe digestive
symptoms, fatigue and cognitive deterioration. In 2006 he underwent
blood and fat tests as well as a cognitive function test that
showed impairment. He was still a full time airline pilot and
confirmed that he was still exposed to engine oil fumes on a regular
basis. He had written to the CAA and his employer on this issue
but neither party recognised this as a health or flight safety
26. Ms Joanne Turner worked in aviation
for 22 years in Australia. During this time she was exposed to
oil leaking into the air supply of the aircraft. In March 2000
she had her lungs washed out because of exposure to a fume event.
She now had a medical condition called Reactive Airways disease.