2012 Indy Info
Thanks to Frank - Laura
Two top BA pilots died within days of each other after complaining about being exposed to toxic oil fumes on passenger planes.
Karen Lysakowska, 43, was buried last Tuesday, while the funeral of Richard Westgate, also 43, was held four days before.
Both claimed they had been poisoned by the fumes that can contaminate cabin air and which regularly force pilots to wear oxygen masks.
Concerns: Both pilots claimed before their deaths that they had been poisoned by fumes in the cockpit
Before he died, Mr Westgate had instructed his lawyers to sue BA for alleged breach of health and safety guidelines.
The lawyers want to ‘give him the trial he never got’ by suing the airline in a case they say will be a ‘moment of truth’ for the aviation industry.
They say they are on the cusp of proving in court the existence of ‘aerotoxic syndrome’, a chronic physical and neurological condition they insist will one day be seen as ‘the new asbestos’.
Thousands of pilots are currently ‘unfit to fly’, one specialist doctor believes.
Official records from the Civil Aviation Authority show that pilots and crew have to put on their oxygen masks at least five times a week to combat suspected ‘fume events’.
In some cases, crew members have passed out – while passengers have been left in the dark.
Ms Lysakowska, one of the most talented pilots of her generation, had begged bosses at BA to address the issue after she was grounded with ill health in 2005, according to the Sunday Express.
Suffering: One of the now deceased pilots write to her bosses at BA about her exposure to contaminated air
In a letter to them in 2006, she wrote: ‘My objective is to get well and carry on flying and not enter a protracted legal battle because of the impact exposure to contaminated air has had on my life but if I have to I will.’
She later developed cancer however, and did not go ahead with suing BA.
Mr Westgate, a world record-breaking paraglider as well as a commercial pilot, voluntarily grounded himself in 2011 after suffering whiplash in a car crash.
Aviation medic Dr Michel Mulder said he had by then become concerned about his health and memory, suffering persistent headaches, chronic fatigue, loss of confidence and mood swings.
Dr Mulder, who himself flew for KLM and suffered similar symptoms, said Mr Westgate did not tell his employer because he feared losing his job.
He sought private medical advice to avoid any blemishes on his health record.
Mr Westgate, who was not married and had no children, died on December 12 in Amsterdam, where he had been having treatment.
He had been there since last April after diverting to the Dutch city while on his way to Swiss suicide clinic Dignitas, having given up all hope of finding a cure.
Frank Cannon, a pilot and one of Mr Westgate’s lawyers, said BA is liable under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations because it fails to monitor the quality of air on board planes.
Despite calls from pilots and the Aerotoxic Association, BA and all other airlines do not install air quality detection systems.
Instead, they rely on the results of Government commissioned studies, the most recent of which by Cranfield University, Buckinghamshire, concluded in 2011 that cabin air was safe.
Mr Cannon is now trying to force a groundbreaking British inquest into Richard’s death in which BA would be asked questions about aerotoxic syndrome.
He said: ‘I see this as an impending tsunami for the airline industry — it’s been hushed for and ignored for so long. We hope to use the inquest to give Richard the trial he never got. It would be the first judicial recognition of his condition.’
A spokesman for BA said: ‘Our thoughts are with the families of the two pilots at this very sad time and we offer our sincere condolences.
‘We are not aware of any legal claims relating to the two individuals.
‘It would be inappropriate for us to comment or speculate upon the individuals’ cause of death.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2269059/Two-BA-pilots-die-days-complaining-long-term-health-effects-breathing-toxic-oil-fumes-flying.html#ixzz2JDVZCwko
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Health & Wellness, Natural & Herbal Remedies, Whole Foods, Diet, Recipes, Home & Garden...
BEYOND THERAPY--Become All That YOU Are!
Bringing the plight of the rhino to as many people as I can.
the personal blog
My Personal Opening to the World
Sorting out the crazies...and other ruminations
giving it all away...
where the illusions of scarcity meet the reality of abundance
All Themes around Ascension 2012, Sirius and the Galactic Federation of Light