For the third time in just three months, the same U.S. Airways plane has reportedly made passengers and crew members ill and complaining of an odd odor. This time, the seemingly cursed jet had 9 people, including 2 pilots, heading to the hospital.
The Boeing 767 had just pushed back from the gate in Charlotte, NC, en route to Jamaica, when complaints from passengers and crew of an “electrical” smell in the cabin had the plane heading back to the gate.
While initial testing couldn’t find a problem with the air quality on board the plane, the above-mentioned pilots, 5 flight attendants and 2 passengers were all taken to the Carolinas Medical Center complaining of symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic fumes.
“We’ve taken [the plane] out of service until we resolve the issue,” a rep for the airline said.
This is the same plane that has already been taken out of service twice in recent months.
The 767 was grounded in late December after crew members suffered ill effects from a hydraulic fluid leak. It was cleared to fly shortly thereafter.
Then on Jan. 16, 8 passengers and 7 crew members on board this particular plane fell sick during a flight from the US Virgin Islands to Charlotte. Once the plane landed, several people were hospitalized and the jet was once again taken out of service. This time, the headaches and nausea were credited to a fuel leak.
On Jan. 21, the repaired plane was back in the air, and had flown without reports of illness since.
“We’re still looking into the cause,” a rep said about the latest incident. “We’re just at the troubleshooting stage.”
US Airways plane again causes illness [Charlotte Observer]