|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : den.airport|
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zdv.artcc|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||DC-10 Undifferentiated or Other Model|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||cruise : level|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : multi engine
pilot : instrument
pilot : atp
|Experience||flight time total : 12000|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : multi engine
pilot : commercial
|Anomaly||cabin event other|
non adherence : published procedure
|Independent Detector||other other : cab #1|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : diverted to another airport|
flight crew : landed as precaution
|Problem Areas||Environmental Factor|
At approximately XA30Z during cruise, a flight attendant came to the cockpit and advised us that 3 flight attendants working in first class were suddenly feeling ill, having some difficulty breathing and feeling faint due to an unknown cause. I asked the purser to confirm the condition of the flight attendants and assess their ability to continue to perform their crew member duties. We contacted dispatch and advised them of the situation. We told dispatch that we were assessing the situation and if we found them to be ill and unable to continue to perform their duties as crew members, our preference would be to divert to the nearest suitable airport, den. Dispatch concurred. The purser returned to the cockpit and confirmed the situation. According to the purser, one particular flight attendant appeared to be the most ill. The decision was made to divert to den. We advised dispatch, requested paramedics to meet our flight, and expeditious handling from ATC. We based our decision on several factors, including the unknown cause of the problem, the concern that the problem could become more severe or begin to affect other crew members and/or passenger, and the uncertainty that the affected flight attendants could perform their safety-related duties in an emergency. At den, 5 flight attendants were removed by paramedics and given medical aid. Some passenger also complained of symptoms, but none were removed to my knowledge. I watched as flight attendant xx was being attended to on the aircraft by paramedics and as she was removed from the aircraft in a wheelchair. She appeared to me to be seriously ill. The exact cause could not be determined by maintenance. However, maintenance found problems in the #2 pack and deferred it inoperative per the MEL. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: the reporter stated that he believes that the cause of the flight attendants' illness was a combination of a large amount of dry ice in the lower lobe galley, combined with the low air flow. He said that the most severely stricken flight attendants were the ones who spent time in the lower galley, especially the ones whose primary job was cooking and preparing carts to be sent upstairs. Once they got to denver and the mechanics discovered the problem with the #2 air pack and deferred it, the captain wanted to 'shoot down' the plane in denver, but the company made him take it on to las. On this segment, it got 'unbelievably' hot in the aft of the plane, with people and flight attendants in near rebellion over the unbearable heat. Once they got to las, the captain 'shot down' the plane.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PLT RPT, DC10. DIVERT TO DEN FOR MEDICAL HELP. 5 CABIN ATTENDANTS ILL, HARD TIME BREATHING. PARAMEDICS REMOVED ALL 5 CABIN ATTENDANTS. #2 PACK CHKED, HAD PROBS AND DEFERRED.
Narrative: AT APPROX XA30Z DURING CRUISE, A FLT ATTENDANT CAME TO THE COCKPIT AND ADVISED US THAT 3 FLT ATTENDANTS WORKING IN FIRST CLASS WERE SUDDENLY FEELING ILL, HAVING SOME DIFFICULTY BREATHING AND FEELING FAINT DUE TO AN UNKNOWN CAUSE. I ASKED THE PURSER TO CONFIRM THE CONDITION OF THE FLT ATTENDANTS AND ASSESS THEIR ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO PERFORM THEIR CREW MEMBER DUTIES. WE CONTACTED DISPATCH AND ADVISED THEM OF THE SIT. WE TOLD DISPATCH THAT WE WERE ASSESSING THE SIT AND IF WE FOUND THEM TO BE ILL AND UNABLE TO CONTINUE TO PERFORM THEIR DUTIES AS CREW MEMBERS, OUR PREFERENCE WOULD BE TO DIVERT TO THE NEAREST SUITABLE ARPT, DEN. DISPATCH CONCURRED. THE PURSER RETURNED TO THE COCKPIT AND CONFIRMED THE SIT. ACCORDING TO THE PURSER, ONE PARTICULAR FLT ATTENDANT APPEARED TO BE THE MOST ILL. THE DECISION WAS MADE TO DIVERT TO DEN. WE ADVISED DISPATCH, REQUESTED PARAMEDICS TO MEET OUR FLT, AND EXPEDITIOUS HANDLING FROM ATC. WE BASED OUR DECISION ON SEVERAL FACTORS, INCLUDING THE UNKNOWN CAUSE OF THE PROB, THE CONCERN THAT THE PROB COULD BECOME MORE SEVERE OR BEGIN TO AFFECT OTHER CREW MEMBERS AND/OR PAX, AND THE UNCERTAINTY THAT THE AFFECTED FLT ATTENDANTS COULD PERFORM THEIR SAFETY-RELATED DUTIES IN AN EMER. AT DEN, 5 FLT ATTENDANTS WERE REMOVED BY PARAMEDICS AND GIVEN MEDICAL AID. SOME PAX ALSO COMPLAINED OF SYMPTOMS, BUT NONE WERE REMOVED TO MY KNOWLEDGE. I WATCHED AS FLT ATTENDANT XX WAS BEING ATTENDED TO ON THE ACFT BY PARAMEDICS AND AS SHE WAS REMOVED FROM THE ACFT IN A WHEELCHAIR. SHE APPEARED TO ME TO BE SERIOUSLY ILL. THE EXACT CAUSE COULD NOT BE DETERMINED BY MAINT. HOWEVER, MAINT FOUND PROBS IN THE #2 PACK AND DEFERRED IT INOP PER THE MEL. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: THE RPTR STATED THAT HE BELIEVES THAT THE CAUSE OF THE FLT ATTENDANTS' ILLNESS WAS A COMBINATION OF A LARGE AMOUNT OF DRY ICE IN THE LOWER LOBE GALLEY, COMBINED WITH THE LOW AIR FLOW. HE SAID THAT THE MOST SEVERELY STRICKEN FLT ATTENDANTS WERE THE ONES WHO SPENT TIME IN THE LOWER GALLEY, ESPECIALLY THE ONES WHOSE PRIMARY JOB WAS COOKING AND PREPARING CARTS TO BE SENT UPSTAIRS. ONCE THEY GOT TO DENVER AND THE MECHS DISCOVERED THE PROB WITH THE #2 AIR PACK AND DEFERRED IT, THE CAPT WANTED TO 'SHOOT DOWN' THE PLANE IN DENVER, BUT THE COMPANY MADE HIM TAKE IT ON TO LAS. ON THIS SEGMENT, IT GOT 'UNBELIEVABLY' HOT IN THE AFT OF THE PLANE, WITH PEOPLE AND FLT ATTENDANTS IN NEAR REBELLION OVER THE UNBEARABLE HEAT. ONCE THEY GOT TO LAS, THE CAPT 'SHOT DOWN' THE PLANE.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.