Internal reports at Lufthansa reveal that two of its Airbus A340-600 flights to the USA have suffered contaminated cabin air that made the pilots and cabin crew unwell. On one, the flightcrew had to don oxygen masks to land the aircraft safely.

The airline's internal reports, leaked to German aviation journalist Tim van Beveren, refer to A340-600 (D-AIHO) flight LH452 from Munich to Los Angeles on 15 December, and to another flight by the same type (D-AIHL) from Frankfurt to Orlando on 18 December.

Both reports were filed by cabin crew. A flight attendant on the Los Angeles flight says the pilots had considered turning back to Munich soon after departure because of oily fumes. Having decided to press on the crew were forced to don oxygen masks during the descent into Los Angeles.

Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 
 © Airbus

The flight attendant says the cabin crew reported symptoms of nausea, drowsiness, bad headaches and difficulty in breathing because of narrowed respiratory channels. Headaches and dizziness, she says, were still affecting her five days later, when she filed the report.

This has all been acknowledged internally at the airline, although Lufthansa has refused to comment on the incidents. The fact that the pilots on the Los Angeles flight had to use oxygen masks makes reporting that event to the aviation authority compulsory, but so far it has not been passed to them.

A purser on the Orlando flight described a smell of burned engine oil or hydraulic fluid, and reported that some passengers and crew members complained about severe headaches, irritated mucous membranes and coughing fits.

A340 cockpit
 © Airbus

Source: Flight International