It seems that yet again problems have emerged with the German Air Force’s transport aircraft A400M : apparently toxic fumes appear in the cockpit and cabin of the Airbus A400M, as has been reported by SPIEGEL.
Oil fumes appear in cockpit and cabin during flight. So far the cause could not be found.
Although crews and passengers suffer with “immediate effects” from “discomfort and eye irritation“, as stated in a secret 414-page report presented this month to the Ministery of Defence , according to SPIEGEL reports, „the health impact assessment will be postponed for the time being.“
How dangerous the fumes are is to be determined by measurements. However, these had to be postponed because of the “currently very limited availability of operational A400M”, it further says in the report. So far, it seems that no technical solutions to the problem could be found.
“The cause of the smell is the (gear) transmission”, an Airbus statement says . “We now understand that the cause of the smell or odor is in the bleed air; remedying the cause requires modifications that we are currently making and will complete in a timely manner.”
In the past oil odor was perceived by crews on A400M flights, a Air Force spokesman said. Since then, the Air Force has adopted a method of air conditioning the aircraft.
Airbus comments that since the incident became known, (quote source)“Immediate action has been taken to assess whether this will affect the safety and health of the crews and the operational readiness of the aircraft. Several independent studies in European laboratories have revealed that there are no influences on health and flight safety.”(unquote)
Criticism came from the Green MP Tobias Lindner: “Although the A400M is a new transport aircraft, the chain of problems and shortcomings does not seem to end.” Before Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen pushes new arms projects, they must analyze the root causes of the mishaps.
source© : original article in SPIEGEL online, authors© Gerald Traufetter and Matthias Gebauer
Excerpt translation/phrasing Bearnairdine Beaumont Aerotoxic Team