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Last Updated: Friday, 20 February, 2004, 12:19 GMT
Pilot suffers from oil leak fumes
Air Traffic Controllers at Birmingham Airport
The captain felt nauseous but managed to land the plane safely
A co-pilot on a UK-bound passenger plane had to stop and take oxygen after feeling nauseous because of an oil leak, according to an official report.

The captain of flight BAe 146 also felt light-headed and had difficulty judging height as his plane came in to land at Birmingham airport.

The plane, which came from Paris with 75 passengers, landed safely.

An investigation revealed there had been an engine turbine oil leak into the cabin and cockpit air supply.

An Air Accidents Investigations Branch probe, which was launched after the flight in November 2000, found a number of similar incidents involving Boeing 737, Boeing 757 and Fokker 100 aircraft.

On those occasions, there was a lesser effect on the flight crew.

'Dreadful'

The report said that before he felt ill, the BAe 146 co-pilot had gone into the cabin and spent a few minutes talking to one of the cabin crew.

On returning to the flight deck, he began to feel sick and light-headed and his arms started shaking.

Asked by the captain how he felt, the co-pilot replied: "Dreadful."

His face was white and his pupils highly dilated.

He went on to 100% oxygen and took no further part in the flight.

The captain was also feeling unwell and became "progressively worse".

He considered declaring an emergency landing but was able to bring the plane in normally.

'Reasoning ability'

The AAIB said this incident and others indicated that the "irritant of some kind" to which crews could have been exposed "can cause degradation in decision-making and the reasoning ability of flight crews".

The report said that in May 2001 the AAIB had issued five safety recommendations to ensure there was no repeat of the incidents.

The carrier British European became low-cost airline Flybe in July 2002.

A Flybe spokesman said none of the passengers in the November 2000 incident had been affected by the oil leak.


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