Turbine Training Center Blog for Cessna 208 Caravan & Beechcraft King Air pilots
One of the hotter topics right now in the Aviation World is the death of 43 year-old BRITISH AIRWAYS pilot Richard Westgate. According to the Senior Coroner for Dorset, Stanhope Payne, it appears that Westgate's death was the result of toxic fumes in cabin air. As a result, Payne has urged BRITISH AIRWAYS (BA) and the CIVIAL AVIATION AUTHORITY (CAA) to do something about the situation. The question is, should all pilots be skeptical of extended flying?
"First of all," Jason Wolcott, Vice President of TURBINE TRAINING in Manhattan, Kansas, observed, "the Aerotoxic Fumes in question are encountered in commercial airlines, and as a result are not something that needs to be considered when contemplating Cessna 208 training, King Air 90 Training, King Air 200 Training or King Air 300 Training."
It is said that the Aerotoxic Fumes create a situation known as "Aerotoxic Syndrome," which was discussed in a study by former US Navy flight surgeon Dr. Harry Hoffman, French environmental forensics expert Jean Christophe Balouet and Chris Winder, professor of Toxicology at the University of South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Supposition is that, over a long period of time, it can create symptoms such as headaches, numbness in the extremities, and loss of memory. In the extreme case, as with Mr. Westgate, it can apparently result in death as well.
(To learn more about this topic check out "Toxic Fumes" and "Aerotoxic Fumes."