British Airways flight crew fall ill after ‘foul odour’ detected

A British Airways A320 on the taxiway.
Alf van Beem, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The two operating crewmembers of the British Airways Shuttle service operating from Newcastle to London on October 19 both became ill whilst in flight due to the presence of what has been described as a ‘foul odour’.

BA Shuttle 13C Newcastle – London

Flight data shows that the aircraft operating the BA Shuttle 13C flight from Newcastle Airport (NCL) to London Heathrow (LHR) made a delayed departure out of Newcastle on the morning of Thursday, October 19 at 07:54 local time.

The short hop flight then proceeded normally, climbing to flight level FL270.

According to reports, the operating crew reported a foul chemical odour which affected both the captain and first officer.



The flight deck crew were forced to don oxygen masks as a precaution and were able to land the plane safely at London Heathrow Airport at approximately 09:06 local time.

Describing the problem as a “minor technical issue”, British Airways said that the flight subsequently landed safely and passengers were disembarked normally.

It is understood that the flight was carrying 180 passengers, with no reports of any issues or ailments except for the flight crew.

Captain and First Officer referred for medical assessment

According to The Sun, with concern was that the two flight crew members had suffered exposure to toxic chemicals. It is understood that they were subsequently taken to British Airways Crew Report centre to be assessed by medical staff.

From there they were referred to hospital for further testing. A statement by the London Ambulance Service confirmed the pair were assessed for smoke inhalation:

“We were called at 10.39am on 19 October to reports of an incident at Terminal 5 Heathrow Airport, Hounslow. We sent an ambulance crew, an incident response officer and members of our hazardous area response team to the scene.

“We treated two patients at the scene for smoke inhalation and took them to a local hospital,” the statement read.

Airbus A320-200

Photo Credit: Alf van Beem, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Shuttle 13C from Newcastle was operated by an Airbus A320-200 registered G-EUUF; a 21-year old narrowbody aircraft belong to the national carrier British Airways.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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