The Aerotoxic Logbook (ATLB) in English (EN)

The problem has been known since the 1950s - roughly 70 years and nothing has ever been done about it.  The air in the cabin is still ‚bled off’ (the engines) in airplanes - with the well-known possible consequences for flight safety and health, in particular that of  flight crew. We have the cultural history on 'Flying is safe' and the ongoing problems investigated at www.ansTageslicht.de/cabinair (EN).

Although the cabin air is 50% re-circulated in modern aircraft types, the basic problem remains unsolved. With one exception: the Boeing B787.  This is/was also the state of knowledge at the first big conference on this topic in London in September 2017. The presentations can now be viewed here: www.aircraftcabinair.com  

There are many reasons why no solutions are found: the targeted influencing of scientific discussions, the airlines’ economic interests, the links between politics and air transport industry and other reasons.

The ‚Aerotoxic Logbook’, launched in January 2017, is a first comprehensive documentation addressing the problem of potentially contaminated cabin air (www.ansTageslicht.de/Kabininenluft - German) and documents what is happening in this area.  Or, what is not happening. And why not. This German language blog (www.ansTageslicht.de/ATLB) is now also available in English and can be accessed directly via this permalink: www.ansTageslicht.de/ENATLB.

The information we collect in German is translated by Bearnairdine BEAUMONT who operates the network www.aerotoxicteam.com  and the blog www.aerotoxicsyndrombook.com/blog.

With the ‚Aerotoxic Logbook’ we want to achieve international networking,  bringing together all initiatives and activities to communicate about this unsolved problem and to initiate solutions. At the same time it is a scientific experiment: What must happen before a problem is addressed?

Other initiatives providing information on the contaminated air issue you can get here (right side).

July 2019

Is the German Judiciary independent?

Many doubt it. Mostly for a good reason.

Such doubts have overcome a judge from the administrative court in Wiesbaden that he has submitted this question to the European Court of Justice in Brussels (EuGH) for decision. The judge does not seem to believe in the constitutionally codified independence of the judges and the courts in Germany.

Background:

As early as April 2019, the European Court of Justice - unnoticed by most - made a statement on the independence of German public prosecutors - they denied their "independence." Because: German public prosecutors are dependent - e.g., on instructions of the executive branch, i.e., their highest boss, the respective minister of justice - laid down in the court constitution law. Moreover, that has nothing more to do with the independence of a public prosecutor, according to Europe's highest judges. That is why German public prosecutors can no longer enforce European arrest warrants in other EU countries. Because for lack of independence, they do not comply with European law (Az: C 508/18, C 82/19, C 509/18).

Many examples, which were documented by us, always made that clear:

www.ansTageslicht.de/Rocker , www.ansTageslicht.de/Mollath www.ansTageslicht.de/HaraldFriedrich , www.ansTageslicht.de/KW , www.ansTageslicht.de/RG , www.ansTageslicht.de/Theisen , www.ansTageslicht.de/DZBank , www.ansTageslicht.de/Zahnschmerz

However, now it is official, i.e., EU official.

The file question:

Now it concerns the European application of the law, which must decide on the following question:

"Is the referring court an independent and impartial court? so the reference resolution of the Wiesbadener of the administrative judge (Az: 6 K 1016/15).

According to European requirements, a "court" must

  • be autonomous and hierarchically independent in order to
  • to be able to decide impartially.

Something the referring judge does not regard as a given because, in this country, there would be "only functional judicial independence, but not institutional independence of the courts."

He argues:

  • Judges are not appointed by an independent institution (e.g., Federal President), but by the respective justice ministers
  • They also decide on promotion.
  • The ministry is also responsible for "judging" a judge.

In other words, the executive 'controls' the judiciary. And not vice versa, since there are things such as instructions and indirect influencing, which can steer the decisions of judges. "The mere danger of political influence on the courts (by equipment, personnel allocation by the Ministry of Justice) can cause a danger of the influence on the decisions of the courts and their independent perception of their tasks to impair.

For example, this could generate "anticipatory obedience," e.g., through alleged pressure to get things done, which is exercised, for example, through "stress statistics (Pebbsy) operated by the ministry."

In summary:

The executive decides on a judicial career and its control. Whoever adapts to the currently desired mainstream has good chances — also, vice versa.

Should the ECJ retain its previous criteria for "independence," as it did with the question of the independence of public prosecutors, then its vote is - actually - predictable. The case number at the ECJ is C 272/19.

Further information can be found here:

The "DokZentrum ansTageslicht.de" will 'stay tuned' for further progress,  and will report about any possibly necessary consequences.

June 17th 2019

Cabin Air Literature Study by the BDLI in 2017: Third Attempt

On April 15th of this year - two years after the BDLI (Bundesverband der Deutschen Luft- und Raumfahrtindustrie = German Aerospace Industries Association) had pompously announced it - we asked when the results of the so-called „FuSe“ study (Fume and Smell Events) which had been carried out by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) would be published. They had announced the publication for the end of 2017.

We did not receive an answer to our first inquiry on April 15th, 2019. Neither did we receive an answer to our second query one month later. We now have made a third attempt.

It appears as if the BDLI is trying to let its original announcement disappear into oblivion. Just in the same way as VW did at the time when the diesel fraud scandal became known worldwide: the announcement to have everything checked by an external law firm and then to make it transparent, resp. to publish it has still not been fulfilled.

June 2019

Fume Events

As already emphasized several times, we do not document fume events (any more). We had done this as a test for some years until the end of 2016 at www.ansTageslicht.de/incidents and had to find out that there are no valid numbers for it. The reporting channels are a) neither uniformly organized nor b) mandatory and c) the airlines are 'not amused' about such reports. As a result, on-board personnel are reluctant to pass on such information, or only if it cannot be avoided. The responsible supervisory authorities in Germany, such as the BFU and the LBA, are only occasionally notified of such incidents, and EASA only in very rare cases anyway, and - as it regularly turns out - it is also not in their interest to take up such incidents or communicate them to the public. We have already reported on this problem several times.

Several dramatic incidents have now become known to the Aviation Herald and have been researched by them. Their blog is the most important source of information for this kind of incident:

Case 1

concerns a Lufthansa flight from the year 2016, the details of which are only now being made public: a LH Airbus A340-600, which was on its way from Hong Kong to Munich on 10th January 2016. Several flight attendants complained about the well-known symptoms such as dizziness, severe headaches, impaired vision and concentration. Three of them became so ill that they have been unable to work ever since, i.e. are unfit to fly.

After landing, the plane had to stay grounded for sixteen hours to replace all the textile equipment in the cabin. The Aviation Herald only now became aware, that this was the second of a total of three consecutive fume event incidents. There had already been a fume event on the outbound flight. The next day, on 12th January 2016, such an event took place again, this time on the way to Dubai.

The BFU, which apparently became aware of these incidents because of their frequency, was not prepared to initiate an investigation. For them, such incidents are not worrying and are only classified as "incident". The fact that flight personnel become chronically ill and unable to work does not bother the supervisory authority.

Lufthansa and the responsible employers' liability insurance association have classified the incident of the three sick crew members as an "accident at work". With the additional note: "At the same time, compensation payments  ... beyond 12.1. 2016 are denied, as the complaints filed by the crew are no longer causally attributable to the alleged event."

To this end, the Aviation Herald has posted a letter online, from Lufthansa to one of the cabin crew members, listing the complaints.

Case 2

is no less dramatic. Even the daily "Die Welt" reported on this incident on 10th June 2019: "Biting Odor" in the cabin of a Lufthansa jumbo jet.

It happened on 7th June 2019 and concerned a Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 jumbo jet on its way from Mexico. It was already on the runway, but had to return to the gate because of the "biting smell". Four or five of the crew members were taken to hospital.

Lufthansa apparently did not respond to the newspaper's inquiries and only spoke of an "indefinable smell" - supplemented by the usual standard sentence: "The safety of the passengers and crew members has top priority for us at all times".

Case 3

is probably the most dramatic, because it also affected the two pilots, who - as the only ones in an airplane - can fall back on oxygen masks (if they are still able to do so).

This time it concerned a British Airways Airbus A 321 from London to Copenhagen. And it concerned the two pilots who were able to 'save' themselves with oxygen masks during the landing approach. But they had to go to hospital afterwards. The return flight had to be postponed by 29 hours.

Note

As usual, the agencies are silent. And the hospitals. The airlines anyway. Because of these reasons there is little to learn on a regular basis. But it would be important to be able to convey this matter and kind of drama to the (sleeping) politicians.

We therefore call on the flight crews but also the passengers (who usually do not know at all what is going on) to at least report it to the Aviation Herald which is (so far) the only valid information platform. However, they themselves know that they can only convey the tip of the iceberg.

According to official data from Lufthansa itself, which is based on figures from the British Committee on Toxicity from 2007, there is an average of 2,000 flights to one fume event. Converted to the amount of only LH flights, this would correspond to 10 incidents per week.

still May 2019

Social Court Giessen (SG)

We have just learned that a ruling from the SG Giessen has rejected the complaint of a Lufthansa flight attendant who claimed the health consequences of a fume event. The court acknowledges the scientific background and speaks of "smells" which the judges regard as a "fume event" but on the other hand say that the toxic effect of the alleged „smell“ is not fully proven.

From the fact that the ruling has not yet been finalised and the reasons for the ruling have not yet been given, it can be assumed that the plaintiff intends to appeal.

We do not know more for the time being, but are investigating.

15th May 2019

Literature study on cabin air by the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI) from 2017

Exactly one month ago we wrote to the BDLI asking for the results of a study that they had announced at the time: a comprehensive literature evaluation about the problem of cabin air. Publication was scheduled for December 2017, which is now 16 months ago. Allegedly a total of around 800 publications found worldwide were evaluated.

We have not yet received an answer. Now, exactly four weeks later - we are following up. We will report when we have feedback.