Smoke, Odor and Fumes on US Airlines

INTRODUCTION. Air transport cabin air quality has been a major concern for more than 30 years. The advancement of engine technology resulted in increasing engine temperatures, requiring synthetic engine oils which contained organophosphate additives. When synthetic oils are heated to high temperatures there is a potential to contaminate aircraft air supplies due to maintenance failures or design deficiencies. The purpose of this paper is to describe the rate of occurrence and define the symptoms surrounding human exposure to air contaminants on U.S. commercial airlines. METHODS. Air supply contamination reports were collected for U.S. commercial operators for a 3-year period (January 2016 through December 2019) from the SDRS database. Text description fields were searched for specific search terms using Python®. RESULTS A total of 6,661 unique smoke, odor and fume events were identified.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $0.0
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Department of Transportation

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Federal Aviation Administration

      800 Independence Avenue, SW
      Washington, DC  United States  20591
    • Project Managers:

      Wyrick, Brent

    • Performing Organizations:

      Civil Aerospace Medical Institute-Federal Aviation Administration

      P.O. Box 25082
      Oklahoma City, OK  United States  73125
    • Principal Investigators:

      Greenhaw, Richard

    • Start Date: 20210301
    • Expected Completion Date: 20230615
    • Actual Completion Date: 20230914
    • USDOT Program: Aeromedical Research
    • Subprogram: aviation safety

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01782609
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Federal Aviation Administration
    • Contract Numbers: N/A
    • Files: RIP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Sep 22 2021 3:21PM