BREATHE EASY, YOU’RE FLYING AIRBUS
The aviation industry has been dealing with a 60-year-old problem which is only getting worse and more dangerous in regards to VOC Contamination with airline cabin air which Pilots, Flight Attendants, and Passengers all breathe during a flight. Airline Management, Aircraft Manufacturers, and Governments have been involved in a very sinister game of lies, deception, cover-up and denial for over 6 decades when it comes to “Bleed Air Contamination, Organophosphate Poisoning, and Aerotoxic Syndrome.” Boeing has come up with an answer to the problem with the introduction of the first non-Bleed Air designed aircraft since the 1950s with the introduction of the Boeing B-787 Dreamliner aircraft.
The 787 utilizes a bleed-free separate air source which does not obtain passenger cabin air from a dirty contaminant-ridden and risky engine air source. Airbus has chosen to go a different, less expensive and far more dangerous route to address this same problem of VOC air contamination. They have decided to still keep the risky and ineffective bleed air design on all new aircraft including the new mega widebody Airbus A380 aircraft. The Airbus solution is to provide a brand new Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) converter cabin air filtration system. They launched their new ad campaign to push the concept entitled, “Breathe Easy: You’re Flying Airbus.” This is a good concept, in theory, that is if it actually worked which it DOES NOT ! Yet, the far more sinister, dangerous and potentially deadly consequence is that the system removes odor without all the toxins, often converts them to new toxins and changes the noxious odor to odorless or when it begins to fail sometimes even a sweet odor has been recently reported in recent Airbus Fume Events. This creates a new sinister danger to Pilots, Flight Attendants, and Passengers since now the toxins are often no longer detectable by the foul noxious “Wet Dog – Dirty Socks” smell. The most crucial fear is that Pilots now may not have enough notice of the problem until they have already fallen unconscious. When they have notice of the initial contamination due to its pungent noxious odor, then they still have a chance to place their Quick Don emergency oxygen masks on to ensure the safety of the aircraft.
That was the case in this week’s British Airways A380 where 22 Flight Attendants, 3 Pilots, and 2 Passengers were hospitalized during a Fume Event. Jet Blue Airways was the roll out airline customer for the new VOC Converter filtration system. However, this did not stop a massive Fume Event on Jet Blue Airways A320 at Long Beach in Sept 2014. These were both aircraft with the new Airbus VOC Converter filtration system. So these crew and passengers were clearly not “Breathing Easy on Airbus.”
There has also been a rash of multiple horrific crashes which have taken out all life onboard. The interesting trend on each was the fact that the cockpit lost all communication with the tower followed by erratic flying pattern or the aircraft went missing. The incidents were Egypt Air, German Wings and Malaysia Airlines. Each time we are given every unexplained reason from Pilot Error, Mechanical Error to the often alleged Suicidal Pilot scenario. I have flown for over 32 years around the world. This has given me the chance to encounter literally hundreds if not thousands of pilots. Most were really great professional guys and did their jobs very well. Some were egotistical or not as friendly. Yet, even the ones I did not find as nice, never would I categorized them ever as suicidal. I personally believe that we have already been given our FAA tombstones. I feel that we have certainly already had our full loss of life for all onboard with some major Fume Events from at least one if not more of these allegedly Suicidal Pilot Crashes. Yet, the plot and network are so corrupted throughout our FAA and NTSB. Even if this evidence was found to be fatalities from Fume Events, airline management, and the extremely powerful aviation aircraft manufacturers lobby can never let that ever see the light of day. This continues to remain hidden from the flying public and will remain this way until we have a consumer passenger outcry for disclosure.
VOC Volatile Organic Compounds Converter Testing and Research:
The Pall Photocatalytic Regenerable Adsorption (PCRA) system. The PCRA system uses a unique combination of adsorbent and catalyst technologies to remove particulate and gaseous contamination from the cabin air supply.
Bleed Air: However, some particulate contamination, odor causing compounds and volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs and SVOCs) may enter from the outside air system where filtration is not normally provided.
In order to provide a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for the passengers and crew, consideration needs to be given to providing adequate purification of both the outside air (‘bleed air’), as well as the recirculated air, for both existing and future aircraft designs.
“However, the filter efficiency decreases as contaminants accumulate on the adsorbent, so the elements require removal and replacement at regular maintenance intervals. It is known that catalytic converters accumulate contaminants and gradually lose efficiency as they accumulate operating hours and cycles. In addition, these units may be poisoned by “episodic” fume events, when a high concentration of oil contamination enters the air system in a short time interval. Poisoning or masking of the catalyst requires the catalytic converters to be either completely replaced or the catalyst has to be regenerated or recored. ”
Non-Thermal Plasma Oxidation Testing and Research:
It should be noted that the residence time of the contaminated gas in the plasma reactor has to be long enough to allow complete oxidation of the VOCs/odor compounds. If the residence time is too short, partially oxidized reaction intermediates will be returned to the aircraft cabin in the recirculated air stream and it is possible that these new compounds will be equally as unwanted as the original compounds.
In conclusion a typical cabin air recirculation system, the air supplied into the cabin consists of approximately 50% outside air from the engine’s compressor stage (engine ‘bleed air’) or APU which is mixed with approximately 50% of filtered, recirculated air.
Most commercial aircraft have HEPA filters or absorbers located in the recirculation loop but some particulate, odor compounds, and trace chemical VOCs may enter from the outside air system via the mixing chamber where filtration is not normally provided.
Therefore, in order to provide a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for the passengers and crew, consideration needs to be given to providing adequate purification of both the outside air and the recirculated air for both future and existing aircraft. The only 100% healthy and safe option is to leave the bleed air design altogether by reintroducing the non-bleed air design much like the one utilized in the Boeing B787 Dreamliner.