Sand0rf
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Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:31 am

Everyday I start with reading the Aviation Herald with all the incidents and accidents that have been reported. During the last couple of months I've noticed a large amounts of accidents/incidents with German aircraft (Lufthansa, Germanwings) where a strong odour onboard the aircraft caused problems and, in some cases, required the crew to visit a hospital for checkups.

Germanwings A319 enroute on Feb 1st 2017, captain dizzy, both flight crew on oxygen
Lufthansa B748 at Mexico City on Jan 30th 2017, rejected takeoff due to odour
Germanwings A319 near Paris on Jan 30th 2017, chemical odour, both flight crew on oxygen
Germanwings A319 at Hamburg on Jan 29th 2017, unidentified odour on board
Lufthansa B748 near Moscow on Jan 20th 2017, electrical odour prompts inflight return following ground return
Lufthansa A319 at Naples and Munich on Jan 24th 2017, odour on board injures flight attendant
Germanwings A320 at Amsterdam and Stuttgart on Jan 12th 2017, fumes on board
Lufthansa A319 at Brussels on Jan 7th 2017, strong oil fumes on approach
Germanwings A319 near Stuttgart and Krakow on Oct 15th 2016, fumes injure passenger and 2 cabin crew

I'm not saying that other companies haven't got this type of problems but it just seems like a very high number of these types of incidents in the last months. Is something wrong with maintenance of these aircraft?
 
PanHAM
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:48 am

It could be a theory which has been voiced already that German Airlines have a high number of pilots who want to Keep their "Beamtenstatus" (civil servant fringes). A similar Situation is the unusual high nuber of assumed vortexes, causing damages to roofs, but only in a certain area with a high Proportion of NIMBYs. Happens nowhere else but in Raunheim and Floersheim.
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
VSMUT
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:10 am

I had a briefing about this at some point. I think it was something to do with Lufthansa group pilots feeling that management didn't take their concerns about safety seriously, so now they just report everything as some sort of protest. The fumes are supposedly real enough, and happen on most aircraft of those type, not just German planes. We are talking the smell of fuel from the ventilation etc.

I'm not blaming them if that is indeed the case.
 
oldannyboy
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:56 am

Sand0rf wrote:
Everyday I start with reading the Aviation Herald with all the incidents and accidents that have been reported. During the last couple of months I've noticed a large amounts of accidents/incidents with German aircraft (Lufthansa, Germanwings) where a strong odour onboard the aircraft caused problems and, in some cases, required the crew to visit a hospital for checkups.

Germanwings A319 enroute on Feb 1st 2017, captain dizzy, both flight crew on oxygen
Lufthansa B748 at Mexico City on Jan 30th 2017, rejected takeoff due to odour
Germanwings A319 near Paris on Jan 30th 2017, chemical odour, both flight crew on oxygen
Germanwings A319 at Hamburg on Jan 29th 2017, unidentified odour on board
Lufthansa B748 near Moscow on Jan 20th 2017, electrical odour prompts inflight return following ground return
Lufthansa A319 at Naples and Munich on Jan 24th 2017, odour on board injures flight attendant
Germanwings A320 at Amsterdam and Stuttgart on Jan 12th 2017, fumes on board
Lufthansa A319 at Brussels on Jan 7th 2017, strong oil fumes on approach
Germanwings A319 near Stuttgart and Krakow on Oct 15th 2016, fumes injure passenger and 2 cabin crew

I'm not saying that other companies haven't got this type of problems but it just seems like a very high number of these types of incidents in the last months. Is something wrong with maintenance of these aircraft?


...It's the Sauerkraut und Bratwurst diet that's gas-emission inducing! :lol: :lol: :lol:
 
HHScot
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:01 am

What I find interesting is that the BFU don't seem to start any investigation even in cases where flight crew or pax are taken to hospital and have prolonged sick leave afterwards.

I would have thought that at least the number of cases would warrant an investigation.
 
WIederling
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:18 am

My impression is that German Airlines have an unusually high percentage of "Stinky Union Members".
Strong sense of entitlement and the will to force things. ( compare to bigthree US airlines.)
Any path to create pressure goes.
Murphy is an optimist
 
A350
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:39 am

Well, it's perhaps our mentallity, we Germans don 't like it if something is going on we can't understand and control.
 
lancelot07
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:45 am

WIederling wrote:
My impression is that German Airlines have an unusually high percentage of "Stinky Union Members".
Strong sense of entitlement and the will to force things. ( compare to bigthree US airlines.)
Any path to create pressure goes.

But although the TO only cites incidents on Lufthansa planes, i get the impression that those incidents happen to AirBerlin, too, and maybe even more often (even in absolute numbers, certainly when taking sizes of the respective airlines into account).
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:48 am

While I don't discount union theory, rash of fume events also suggest a mx issue.

If these birds came back from scheduled maintenance, it could a case of pencil whipping at a cheap facility (or) a technician not (re)connecting hydraulic lines properly. Pencil whipping is very common with fast and cheap outsourced maintenance.
 
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LTU932
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:15 pm

PanHAM wrote:
It could be a theory which has been voiced already that German Airlines have a high number of pilots who want to Keep their "Beamtenstatus" (civil servant fringes). A similar Situation is the unusual high nuber of assumed vortexes, causing damages to roofs, but only in a certain area with a high Proportion of NIMBYs. Happens nowhere else but in Raunheim and Floersheim.
Pilots with Beamtenstatus??? Was that common when LH was still state-owned? I know of employees from Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Post who are still state servants, but LH??

When I flew UA last year, the cabin would always stink for a few moments during engine startup, both on 737 and 767. It smelled like exhaust fumes, but after a while, the air was better. This wasn't the case when I flew KL and CM in December, and neither with BA and AA in 2014. Just to put some perspective on things.
Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. - Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 208
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:44 pm

Two thoughts. First thought is how are deicing procedures being followed? Leaving the air conditioning system powered on during deicing will cause a lot of fumes. Could there be a training issue? January and february are peak deicing season and once that fluid gets in the air conditioning and bleed system, it can cause lots of unpleasant odors for multiple flights.

Second, How are the pilot negotiations and flight attendant contract negotiations going? I know it might sound sinister, but when there are fierce contract negotiations and strikes threatened, crews sometimes write up more issues with the airplanes. Airlines track pilot reports and during negotiations, many airlines see a spike in crew reports for things that can't be clearly defined. At one airline, during pilot negotiations pilots would hold up a flashlight and look at the corners of the flight deck window. They can ground the airplane for the smallest blemish on the window by claiming it affects vision. Similarly smells and odors can cause havoc because they are so hard for maintenance to diagnose. I don't know if this is the case or not, but when there are reports of odors it is at least worth looking at the cause. Every company has a few bad apples if you know what I mean.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:14 pm

WIederling wrote:
Any path to create pressure goes.


Yes, and one path is the one that the sauerkraut und bratwurst follows! :D
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
Sand0rf
Topic Author
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:27 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
Two thoughts. First thought is how are deicing procedures being followed? Leaving the air conditioning system powered on during deicing will cause a lot of fumes. Could there be a training issue? January and february are peak deicing season and once that fluid gets in the air conditioning and bleed system, it can cause lots of unpleasant odors for multiple flights.


I was also thinking about that but Jan 30th incident was in Mexico City and there's no de-icing required there. Might be a one-off and the other incidents are related to de-icing though,
 
WIederling
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:23 pm

Revelation wrote:
WIederling wrote:
Any path to create pressure goes.


Yes, and one path is the one that the sauerkraut und bratwurst follows! :D


That can sometimes also result in monologues with "Jörg" and "Ulrich" :-)
Murphy is an optimist
 
WIederling
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:31 pm

Just thinking.
If there are potential fumes from small contaminations in the engine compressor
is it a good idea to purge bleed air ducts from the engine _before_
activating the packs with engine bleed? i.e. dump bleed air to wing deice
or just to the environment for some time ( minutes?) to get rid of
evaporating oil spills while the compressor temps rise to working values?

This would obviously not work for constant leaks.
But a lot of seal designs require rotation and or pressure differential to actually
work as intended.
Murphy is an optimist
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:24 pm

WIederling wrote:
Just thinking.
If there are potential fumes from small contaminations in the engine compressor
is it a good idea to purge bleed air ducts from the engine _before_
activating the packs with engine bleed? i.e. dump bleed air to wing deice
or just to the environment for some time ( minutes?) to get rid of
evaporating oil spills while the compressor temps rise to working values?

This would obviously not work for constant leaks.
But a lot of seal designs require rotation and or pressure differential to actually
work as intended.


Just about every airplane engine start procedure either has the flight crew turn off the air conditioning packs before the engine start sequence begins or automatically closes the valves connecting bleed air to the packs. Essentially the air is purged since the valves are closed. Air is usually going away from the engines during start since the APU is providing pressure to the engines, and not the other way around. I do see the chance for a little air to be left in the ducts or manifolds that could go to the packs, but there are other places where bleed air goes during start like reservoirs and water tanks.

Packs are usually turned back on when the APU is turned off, which should be well past any fumes from engine start have dissipated. Deicing fluid can get stuck in the system if engines or APU are running when the airplane is getting deiced. Deicing procedures vary by airline, but most have air conditioning packs off during deicing. Some procedures even have the APU turned off.
 
F9Animal
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:52 pm

I remember when National Airlines based out of LAS in the 1990's, first plane to arrive in the fleet. I think the plane came from a German or Turkish Airline? The 757 was stunning with the new paint job. We went up to check out the plane, as the airline was still doing proving runs to get FAA certified.

We walked into the cabin after the mechanics said we could go on board. Holy smokes!!! It stunk something terrible in this plane! It smelled like an elephant enclosure in a zoo. They had replaced the interior from the prior airline too, but it didn't take away the awful odor. The mechanic said the previous airline the plane flew for allowed animals on the plane, and that is why it smelled so bad. I wonder if that smell ever left that plane?!!! LOL!!!
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
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ua900
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:08 pm

As others have said, 90% of this is due to union issues. I don't usually favor unions, but when I as a frequent *A flyer look at how LH Group has structured their intra-EU ops in particular, I can't help but notice the parallels in the race to the bottom that I saw in the U.S. in the 90s, the likes of TED and Shuttle come to mind. LH risks doing what AB did, trying to be everything to everyone.

Leisure routes on EW, as if Jump isn't sufficient (Jump maintains LH service standards, EW doesn't), LH EU point to point flying not involving FRA or MUC to EW with once again low service standards, Intra-EU LH J cabin being a total joke compared to say TK or U.S. domestic first (no path for customers at the top end to spend their money well), parts of SN and OS being / becoming a quasi EW operation, etc...

LH needs to do a major quality offensive for high yield passengers, including short haul. They could cut down the J cabin to 8-12 recliners on a 319-320 and have everyone else go to exit rows etc. LH premium economy shows that they're enough demand for a paid just above economy experience. Dumbing everything down to FR and U2 doesn't help LH group. Pilots know that and therefore they fight these efforts. As a customer, I'm with them on that one.
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zkojq
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:59 pm

People keep implying that this stuff is made up, but several of the incidents have hard data to the contrary:

A Germanwings Airbus A319-100, registration D-AGWZ performing flight 4U-7048 from Hamburg to Stuttgart (Germany), was on approach to Stuttgart when the flight crew declared medical emergency reporting two cabin crew had become ill and were incapacitated. The aircraft continued for a safe landing on Stuttgart's runway 07.Just prior to commencing the descent into Stuttgart both cabin crew collapsed and became unconscious for a moment, after regaining consciousness they suffered from increasing tickle in arms and legs. After landing, while attempting to walk to the front of the aircraft, both were unable to get there. Emergency services, paramedics, arrived and took measurements for carbon monoxide, one of the flight attendants showed a value of 9 (normal values 0-3) prompting the paramedics to immediately call an emergency doctor, who confirmed carbon monoxide poisoning, a second ambulance was called, one paramedics team per flight attendant, with the emergency doctor coordinating efforts to stabilize the patients, carbon monoxide levels in the blood still rising until reaching a value of 13.


http://avherald.com/h?article=49964d75&opt=0

This one is particularly frightening;

A Germanwings Airbus A319-100, registration D-AGWK performing flight 4U-753 from Vienna (Austria) to Cologne (Germany) with 144 passengers and 5 crew, was on approach to Cologne when the crew reported smoke in the cockpit. The airplane continued for a safe landing. Paramedics needed to treat both flight crew at the airport and subsequently took them to a hospital.

The aircraft finally departed Vienna with a delay of 3 hours, the flight was uneventful until the aircraft turned onto the left base leg for Cologne's runway 14L when both flight crew smelled a strong electrical burning odour. While the aircraft turned to intercept the localizer the first officer reported he felt seriously sick close to vomiting (German "kotzübel"), he smelled a strong electrical sweet odour and would don his oxygen mask. Alerted by that remark the captain noticed his legs and arms were tickling, his senses were literally vanishing and his sight abruptly reduced to a tunnel view. He too donned his oxygen mask. The first officer needed two attempts to don his oxygen masks. After both flight crew had donned their oxygen masks, the captain improved slightly, while the first officer's condition continued to deteriorate.

While the first officer was communicating with tower declaring emergency and reporting strong smell in the cockpit the tower instructed an aircraft ahead of the A319 to go around. At that point the first officer felt overwhelmed, he could no longer overview the scenario, could no longer process the arriving information and had difficulty to focus on single aspects of the scenario. The captain felt that while manually flying the aircraft he was at the upper limit of what he was capable to do in his bad bodily shape.

After the crew managed to configure the aircraft for landing, the aircraft was still too fast, the captain decided that a go-around was not possible and thus cancelled the stability criteria (gate at 1000 feet), their only option was to put the aircraft down as quickly as possible. The first officer described the time between 1800 feet and touchdown as an eternity, he was however able to recognize that the aircraft had reached and was maintaining correct approach speed and realized they had not worked the landing checklist. He thus processed the landing checklist which required all his efforts, it was difficult to process the checklist, it was difficult to concentrate and think. Both pilots reported that just prior to landing they perceived their situation as surreal and like in a dream.

The aircraft touched down on the runway, the automatic brakes slowed the aircraft to about 40 knots, the captain subsequently applied manual brakes, the aircraft began to skid, the captain however managed to slow the aircraft to taxi speed and vacate the runway via taxiway A3. Shortly before arriving on stand the first officer noticed they had not yet run the after landing checklist, the checklist was now executed. After reaching the stand and applying park brake both crew realised the APU had not yet been started, the APU was started.

The first officer wanted to open his side window, but needed three attempts to do so. After the window was open he removed his oxygen masks, but immediately noticed the acrid smell again and donned his oxygen mask again.

Emergency services subsequently entered the cockpit, the first officer needed assistance to get off the aircraft, while the captain remained in the cockpit until all passengers had disembarked. Emergency services measured oxygen levels in the blood of both pilots and found the captain substantially below 80% (at about 70%) and the first officer below 80%, paramedics commented both pilots were close to faint.


http://avherald.com/h?article=434e753b/0019&opt=0
First to fly the 787-9
 
NYC2SFO
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:31 pm

I have flown AB and LH (both longhaul and shorthaul) numerous times and have never noticed any odors different than any other national carriers. The best was when the AF flights would come into LAX from PPT and you would open the aircraft door and it was a combination of French cheese, rotting flowers and feet.
 
Jetty
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:30 pm

Not only does Germany have stinky aircraft, they now have stinky airports as well. :yuck:

http://www.dw.com/en/hamburg-airport-te ... a-37519422
 
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LTU932
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Re: Do German planes have a unusually high amount of 'stinky aircraft'-incidents?

Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:45 pm

Jetty wrote:
Not only does Germany have stinky aircraft, they now have stinky airports as well. :yuck:

http://www.dw.com/en/hamburg-airport-te ... a-37519422
I read about it and it wasn't something "stinky". Apparently, pepper spray spreading through the A/C to the central security checkpoint was responsible for this. Passengers and staff reported irritation in their respiratory tracts and some even nausea. Flight operations were suspended for 1.5 hours and the airport evacuated.

http://www.heute.de/dutzende-verletzte- ... 33450.html (German only)

I'm surprised that there wasn't a dedicated thread on this. This was headline news in Germany, along with the presidential election. I presume the investigation is in the hands of the Federal Police, as airports and rail stations are federal jurisdiction. If this turns out to be a prank, the prankster gets a huge bill for this.

EDIT: Changed the links and replaced them with the news report.
Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. - Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 208

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