An unknown story on a British Airways flight from Athens to London shortly before landing at Heathrow Airport was revealed by the Daily Mail.
The flight had taken off from Eleftherios Venizelos Airport on January 2 and four miles before the London airport the pilot sent a "Mayday" signal to the control tower informing them that the oxygen masks in the cockpit had fallen when his co-pilot felt ill while holding in his hands the rudder of the plane.
According to the report, this is the latest incident of "fume events", when the cockpit is filled with odors causing the pilots to feel unwell, while an investigation by the British Air Accident Investigation Commission (AIB) is under way.
According to the report, the co-pilot of the Britsh Airways A320 aircraft was deemed capable of piloting before taking off from Athens. However, when the aircraft approached Heathrow, the co-pilot complained of severe illness. Sources within the British airline claimed that the co-pilot had fainted, a version that was categorically denied by a British Airways spokesman.
After the co-pilot's illness, the helm was taken over by the commander who briefed Heathrow on the progress. Two minutes after the alert the plane landed safely, the passengers disembarked without knowing much of what happened in the cockpit but the aircraft remained on the ground for 48 hours to be checked.
The so-called fume events can be caused by a number of causes such as burnt food or an electronic cigarette although experts note that the main causes have to do with an oil leak. According to a report in 2019, a total of 300 fume events were reported on British Airways flights and investigations of 100 of them have been brought to justice.
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