raylee67
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Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:07 pm

News link in Chinese:
https://hk.news.yahoo.com/%E4%B9%9D%E9% ... 49420.html

I will try to translate:

On Jul 10, Air China flight CA106 from Hong Kong to Dalian experienced a sudden loss of pressurization, shortly after reaching cruise attitude. The plane made an emergency decent to about 10000 ft and oxygen masks were dropped. It was later suspected that the pilots closed the Isolation Valve accidentally when they wanted to turn off the fan so that they can smoke in the cockpit (which, of course, is itself against regulation). After a while at 10000 ft, they found out what they have done, and corrected the settings. By then, emergency oxygen supply was depleted in the oxygen masks, but the pilots elected to accent back to cruising attitude and continue the flight. The flight landed safely at the end. Air China refused to elaborate further except saying that it is investigating.

If the above turns out to be true, it is so shocking that there are so many actions against regulations being taken here by the pilots, on top of the carelessness.
319/20/21 332/33 342/43/45 388 707 717 732/36/3G/38/39 74R/42/43/44/4E/48 757 762/63 772/7L/73/7W 788 D10 M80 135/40/45 175/90 DH1/4 CRJ/R7 L10
AY LH OU SR BA FI
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TVNWZ
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:33 pm

Pilots smoking on any Chinease airline is a daily occurrence.
 
estorilm
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:50 pm

More concerned about them going back up to cruise altitude with no pax oxygen available for essentially the entire flight!
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:53 pm

estorilm wrote:
More concerned about them going back up to cruise altitude with no pax oxygen available for essentially the entire flight!


Yeah, this is what got me. Its bad enough lighting up for a smoke in the cockpit, but to go back up to altitude after your backup is now non-operative? Wow. That's just the cherry on top of a gross negligence.
 
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par13del
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:57 pm

+1...I guess they knew nothing else was going to happen....
 
Adipocere
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:00 pm

So how does this work? I remember experts saying that people have only minutes if not seconds to live in a depressurized cabin at altitude. But these pax made it all the way to Dalian with no oxygen at 30000 feet alright? Unless they were all Reinhold Messner's, something doesn't fit here...
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:03 pm

Adipocere wrote:
So how does this work? I remember experts saying that people have only minutes if not seconds to live in a depressurized cabin at altitude. But these pax made it all the way to Dalian with no oxygen at 30000 feet alright? Unless they were all Reinhold Messner's, something doesn't fit here...


They fixed their cockup and the aircraft was fully pressurized the rest of the way. But as they had depleted the backup oxygen system if anything else had happened they would have been in big trouble.
 
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XAM2175
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:26 pm

Adipocere wrote:
So how does this work? I remember experts saying that people have only minutes if not seconds to live in a depressurized cabin at altitude. But these pax made it all the way to Dalian with no oxygen at 30000 feet alright? Unless they were all Reinhold Messner's, something doesn't fit here...


It's not quite so severe, and you've misread the events too. In the event of a complete depressurisation at cruise altitude, passengers may have only 20-odd seconds of "useful consciousness" - time in which the majority of their mental and physical faculties are unimpaired - without supplementary oxygen. The emergency supply, which is usually provided by chemical generators but in certain configurations is bottled oxygen gas, is intended only to allow passengers to remain conscious while the aircraft descends to a safer altitude, as it is far preferable both medically and also in terms of preparing for a potential evacuation for passengers to have the lowest possible chance of having developed symptoms of hypoxia. Actual death takes some time longer to occur.

In this case the aircraft was repressurised and returned to cruise altitude without the passengers containing to rely on the emergency supply, but as said supply was exhausted this was extremely risky as it would have left the passengers with nothing had another depressurisation occurred.
 
bzcat
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:51 pm

The article is inferring that the cockpit crew was smoking but there is no proof. The source of the claim was "the internet" - "有網上消息指" :sarcastic:

So basically, we don't actually know why the plane depressurized. But at some point the crew figured out the problem and the plane re-pressurized. And we don't know if they were below minimum O2.

And of course we don't know if the pilot reported the problem to CA dispatch and were told to continue their flight.

I'm not defending the pilots... just saying this article from a tabloid is not a reliable source of what happened.
 
WkndWanderer
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:46 pm

bzcat wrote:
The article is inferring that the cockpit crew was smoking but there is no proof. The source of the claim was "the internet" - "有網上消息指" :sarcastic:

So basically, we don't actually know why the plane depressurized. But at some point the crew figured out the problem and the plane re-pressurized. And we don't know if they were below minimum O2.

And of course we don't know if the pilot reported the problem to CA dispatch and were told to continue their flight.

I'm not defending the pilots... just saying this article from a tabloid is not a reliable source of what happened.


I think this article is a bit better "Pilots investigated, suspected of smoking in cockpit, after Air China flight from Hong Kong to Dalian drops 25,000 feet in 10 minutes":

"The People's Daily, said the crew were suspected to have been smoking in the cockpit. Addressing the claims of misconduct, Air China confirmed the pilots were under investigation by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). "If the investigation reveals that the crew has violated regulations, the company will seriously deal with the responsible person with zero tolerance," Air China said on Weibo."

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/com ... 00-feet-10
 
PBNZ
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:54 pm

As an aside, does (either officially / unofficially) a crew (or cleaning crew) do anything if they smell cigarette smoke when they take over? Given how it seems to hang around, I can't imagine the next flightcrew wouldn't notice.
 
c933103
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:29 am

bzcat wrote:
The article is inferring that the cockpit crew was smoking but there is no proof. The source of the claim was "the internet" - "有網上消息指" :sarcastic:

So basically, we don't actually know why the plane depressurized. But at some point the crew figured out the problem and the plane re-pressurized. And we don't know if they were below minimum O2.

And of course we don't know if the pilot reported the problem to CA dispatch and were told to continue their flight.

I'm not defending the pilots... just saying this article from a tabloid is not a reliable source of what happened.

Source of that claims seems to come from an aviation-related weibo SNS account, which included a photo of a Word Processor on computer screen saying it is the cause. So yeah it is not truly a reliable source, but it isn't a complete random theory come out of nowhere either. https://finance.sina.cn/chanjing/gsxw/2 ... l?from=wap
 
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EightyFour
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:45 am

WkndWanderer wrote:
bzcat wrote:
The article is inferring that the cockpit crew was smoking but there is no proof. The source of the claim was "the internet" - "有網上消息指" :sarcastic:

So basically, we don't actually know why the plane depressurized. But at some point the crew figured out the problem and the plane re-pressurized. And we don't know if they were below minimum O2.

And of course we don't know if the pilot reported the problem to CA dispatch and were told to continue their flight.

I'm not defending the pilots... just saying this article from a tabloid is not a reliable source of what happened.


I think this article is a bit better "Pilots investigated, suspected of smoking in cockpit, after Air China flight from Hong Kong to Dalian drops 25,000 feet in 10 minutes":

"The People's Daily, said the crew were suspected to have been smoking in the cockpit. Addressing the claims of misconduct, Air China confirmed the pilots were under investigation by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). "If the investigation reveals that the crew has violated regulations, the company will seriously deal with the responsible person with zero tolerance," Air China said on Weibo."

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/com ... 00-feet-10


I wonder if there will be an actual investigation with actual consequences, or if CAAC will do everything to help Air China save face and thus potentially save national embarrassment. I know which one I find the most likely.
 
OccasionalVisit
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:47 am

My Air China flight last year from HK to Chengdu - the smell of cigarette smoke coming thru the ventilation was most obvious. It was only afterwards that I clicked that it was originating from the cockpit rather than a lav !
 
Milesdependent
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:05 am

Flightradar24 data on 10 July does not support the flight dropping to 10k feet and then reclimbing.
 
anshabhi
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:15 pm

bzcat wrote:
The article is inferring that the cockpit crew was smoking but there is no proof. The source of the claim was "the internet" - "有網上消息指" :sarcastic:

So basically, we don't actually know why the plane depressurized. But at some point the crew figured out the problem and the plane re-pressurized. And we don't know if they were below minimum O2.

And of course we don't know if the pilot reported the problem to CA dispatch and were told to continue their flight.

I'm not defending the pilots... just saying this article from a tabloid is not a reliable source of what happened.


Accordding to avherald, the airline itself suspects smoking in cockpit:
http://avherald.com/h?article=4bb06499&opt=0
 
c933103
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:22 pm

Milesdependent wrote:
Flightradar24 data on 10 July does not support the flight dropping to 10k feet and then reclimbing.

Image
 
eamondzhang
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:30 pm

c933103 wrote:
bzcat wrote:
The article is inferring that the cockpit crew was smoking but there is no proof. The source of the claim was "the internet" - "有網上消息指" :sarcastic:

So basically, we don't actually know why the plane depressurized. But at some point the crew figured out the problem and the plane re-pressurized. And we don't know if they were below minimum O2.

And of course we don't know if the pilot reported the problem to CA dispatch and were told to continue their flight.

I'm not defending the pilots... just saying this article from a tabloid is not a reliable source of what happened.

Source of that claims seems to come from an aviation-related weibo SNS account, which included a photo of a Word Processor on computer screen saying it is the cause. So yeah it is not truly a reliable source, but it isn't a complete random theory come out of nowhere either. https://finance.sina.cn/chanjing/gsxw/2 ... l?from=wap

Check out 10 July's CA106 on FR24 and you'll notice the emergency descend and the subsequent climb-up to 7500m (26600ft). There's also indication that during the emergency the plane went to collision trajectory course with a business jet (Rego VP-CJY flying HGH-HKG) which activated Resolution Advisory. Per my source the Chinese ATC authority has already sent out notifications to those leaders concerned.

Michael
 
eamondzhang
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:35 pm

EightyFour wrote:
WkndWanderer wrote:
bzcat wrote:
The article is inferring that the cockpit crew was smoking but there is no proof. The source of the claim was "the internet" - "有網上消息指" :sarcastic:

So basically, we don't actually know why the plane depressurized. But at some point the crew figured out the problem and the plane re-pressurized. And we don't know if they were below minimum O2.

And of course we don't know if the pilot reported the problem to CA dispatch and were told to continue their flight.

I'm not defending the pilots... just saying this article from a tabloid is not a reliable source of what happened.


I think this article is a bit better "Pilots investigated, suspected of smoking in cockpit, after Air China flight from Hong Kong to Dalian drops 25,000 feet in 10 minutes":

"The People's Daily, said the crew were suspected to have been smoking in the cockpit. Addressing the claims of misconduct, Air China confirmed the pilots were under investigation by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). "If the investigation reveals that the crew has violated regulations, the company will seriously deal with the responsible person with zero tolerance," Air China said on Weibo."

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/com ... 00-feet-10


I wonder if there will be an actual investigation with actual consequences, or if CAAC will do everything to help Air China save face and thus potentially save national embarrassment. I know which one I find the most likely.

Your view is outdated and biased as CAAC will not even hesitate to suspend AMECO's maintenance licence (which is still ongoing btw; AMECO is not allowed to perform any aircraft maintenance other than line checks at the moment). Ameco is CA's own maintenance subsidiary if you are not aware of.

Michael
 
c933103
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:38 pm

CAAC said the co-pilot was using e-cigarette
https://finance.sina.cn/2018-07-13/deta ... 975.d.html
Air China said they will suspend the cockpit crews from flying and fire them, and will also recommend CAAC to cancel their pilot license after investigation
https://news.sina.cn/gn/2018-07-13/deta ... 462.d.html
 
c933103
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:46 pm

https://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/chinese-news-44811863
According to BBC report, It was only in 2017 that CAAC banned smoking in cockpit officially and there's also two years of grace period. However, Air China have already implemented rules against smoking in cockpit before that (despite the reality), and this flight departed from HKG and as such should be an international flight which mean smoking should not be allowed.
 
peterinlisbon
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:04 pm

par13del wrote:
+1...I guess they knew nothing else was going to happen....


Yes, and they probably had already finished their packet of cigarettes.
 
max999
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:45 pm

You can blame this on the overwhelming cigarette smoking culture in Mainland China. I've observed NO SMOKING signs and rules routinely ignored and flouted in all sorts of public spaces.
All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
 
barney captain
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:51 pm

bzcat wrote:
And we don't know if they were below minimum O2.


There is no "minimum O2" - there are oxygen generators. They are activated when pax "pull down firmly on the mask to start the flow of oxygen". They are good for about 15 minutes and, once activated - are gone for good.

The cockpit, of course, is supplied with bottled O2.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
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zeke
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:05 pm

Local paper was saying both plots fired from Air China.

“Co-pilot was smoking a e-cigarette without the Captain knowing” (I don’t believe)

Wanted to turn the fans off, turn something else off instead next to it.

CAAC will investigate, possibly loss of licence and other penalties.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
crazyplane1234
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:24 am

c933103 wrote:
...this flight departed from HKG and as such should be an international flight...

That statement right there opens up a whole new can of worms...
 
anshabhi
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:59 am

zeke wrote:
“Co-pilot was smoking a e-cigarette without the Captain knowing” (I don’t believe)


He must have some superhuman capabilities which allow him to close his nostrils at will, for extended durations !! :rotfl:
 
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Buyantukhaa
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:19 pm

Besides the smoking and the pressure problems (very bad already), what struck me as incredible was that after the oxygen masks had deployed, they climbed back to cruise altitude!! What if there would have been a depressurisation after that?
I scratch my head, therefore I am.
 
ChrisKen
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:29 pm

Buyantukhaa wrote:
Besides the smoking and the pressure problems (very bad already), what struck me as incredible was that after the oxygen masks had deployed, they climbed back to cruise altitude!! What if there would have been a depressurisation after that?

There would be a plane full of ex passengers.
 
MANMatthew
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:40 pm

Why am I not surprised this is China-related? I’ll pass thanks.
 
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LockheedBBD
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:38 am

zeke wrote:

“Co-pilot was smoking a e-cigarette without the Captain knowing” (I don’t believe)

Wanted to turn the fans off, turn something else off instead next to it.



Ahh, so he was doing what the young folks call, "vaping" :lol: . Perhaps the pilot should have considered a lavender smelling e-cigarette, the passengers would have been none the wiser even if the cockpit doors were open. ;)
 
prebennorholm
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:58 am

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
Adipocere wrote:
So how does this work? I remember experts saying that people have only minutes if not seconds to live in a depressurized cabin at altitude. But these pax made it all the way to Dalian with no oxygen at 30000 feet alright? Unless they were all Reinhold Messner's, something doesn't fit here...


They fixed their cockup and the aircraft was fully pressurized the rest of the way. But as they had depleted the backup oxygen system if anything else had happened they would have been in big trouble.

According to FR24 they climbed back to roughly FL250, not to the original cruise altitude FL350.

Planes, which are certified with a ceiling of not higher than FL250 (like certain turboprops), are not required to be equipped with passenger O2 masks. The reason is that it is assumed that from FL250 you can descend fast enough to safe altitude (FL100) without serious consequences like unconsciousness or worse.

So no "big trouble" there.

But sure, assuming this event has been reported accurately, the flight crew will be facing other sorts of big trouble,
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
c933103
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Re: Air China pilots depressurize plane accidentally to smoke in cockpit

Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:19 am

CAAC issued following punishment to relevant parties for the incident
Air China Holding should perform safety improvement in 3 months time
Permanent cancellation of pilot's airlines transportation and commercial license
Permanent cancellation of sitting co-pilot's commercial license
Suspend the commercial license of observing co-pilot for 6 months and suspend flying for 24 months
Suspend the dispatcher license for 24 months
50,000 CNY (7,000USD fine for Air China)
Air China shall cut its headquarter's Boeing 737 flying by 10%, i.e. 5400 hours per month.

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