CBS Bay Area asks Mike Danko about the open secret in the airline industry: A flawed design in most airliners puts at risk pilots, flight attendants, and passengers. The risk sometimes leaves flight crew members unable to function.
“They have known about it for a long time,” said aviation attorney Mike Danko, who is a pilot himself. “Most studies suggest that we get about five fume events per day in the U.S.”
Danko says toxic cabin air has been a known concern on almost all makes of jet aircraft going back 50 years to the first commercial fleets.
In an email from 11 years ago, a Boeing engineer openly discussed it with co-workers, concluding: “I think we are looking for a tombstone before anyone with any horsepower is going to take interest.”
Danko said the source of the contamination is jet engine oil. At extremely high temperatures, all oils used in jet engines give off fumes.
“The fumes contain something called organophosphates. Organophosphates are neurotoxins. Same stuff that is used in nerve gas,” explained Danko.