|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : zzz.artcc|
|Altitude||msl single value : 33000|
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zzz.artcc|
tower : ewr.tower
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||MD-80 Series (DC-9-80) Undifferentiated or Other Model|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||cruise : level|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Anomaly||cabin event other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
flight crew : declared emergency
|Problem Areas||Passenger Human Performance|
|Primary Problem||Passenger Human Performance|
Level at FL330 80 mi east of ZZZ; a strong odor similar to paint thinner was detected by both pilots. Cockpit crew initiated fume checklist. After securing mask and goggles; cockpit crew established communications with flight attendants. The #1 flight attendant reported that he also smelled a strong odor and a flight attendant in the aft of the aircraft also reported an odor smell. Since we were not able to determine the source of the strong odor; and considering that all of the flight crew reported noticing the smell; the flight crew determined that an emergency should be declared followed by a divert to ZZZ. After declaring the emergency; ATC cleared the flight to turn 180 degrees for vectors towards ZZZ. As the aircraft was in the turn; the #1 flight attendant called the cockpit and informed the crew that the source of the fume-like odor was idented. Apparently; 2 children sitting in first class had just begun to color with ink markers. The flight attendant reported; without a doubt; that the smell was coming from the ink being applied to the paper. This was verified by the other flight attendants working the flight; as well as a pilot in uniform commuting to work. The #1 flight attendant reported that the marker is printed with a warning to avoid use of the marker at high altitudes; or in confined spaces. Since the source of the odor was now discovered and noticing that the smell had dissipated; the flight crew determined that an emergency situation no longer existed. ATC was then informed that we discovered the source of the unusual odor; and that the situation was now safe and under control. We rescinded the emergency declaration and requested vectors to continue the flight on to our destination. We landed on time; without incident.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: MD80 FLT CREW REPORTS STRONG SOLVENT SMELL AT FL330 AND DECLARES AN EMERGENCY. STRONG ODOR IS TRACED TO CHILDREN IN FIRST CLASS USING COLORED MARKING PENS AND EMERGENCY IS UNDECLARED WITH FLIGHT CONTINUING TO DESTINATION.
Narrative: LEVEL AT FL330 80 MI E OF ZZZ; A STRONG ODOR SIMILAR TO PAINT THINNER WAS DETECTED BY BOTH PLTS. COCKPIT CREW INITIATED FUME CHKLIST. AFTER SECURING MASK AND GOGGLES; COCKPIT CREW ESTABLISHED COMS WITH FLT ATTENDANTS. THE #1 FLT ATTENDANT RPTED THAT HE ALSO SMELLED A STRONG ODOR AND A FLT ATTENDANT IN THE AFT OF THE ACFT ALSO RPTED AN ODOR SMELL. SINCE WE WERE NOT ABLE TO DETERMINE THE SOURCE OF THE STRONG ODOR; AND CONSIDERING THAT ALL OF THE FLT CREW RPTED NOTICING THE SMELL; THE FLT CREW DETERMINED THAT AN EMER SHOULD BE DECLARED FOLLOWED BY A DIVERT TO ZZZ. AFTER DECLARING THE EMER; ATC CLRED THE FLT TO TURN 180 DEGS FOR VECTORS TOWARDS ZZZ. AS THE ACFT WAS IN THE TURN; THE #1 FLT ATTENDANT CALLED THE COCKPIT AND INFORMED THE CREW THAT THE SOURCE OF THE FUME-LIKE ODOR WAS IDENTED. APPARENTLY; 2 CHILDREN SITTING IN FIRST CLASS HAD JUST BEGUN TO COLOR WITH INK MARKERS. THE FLT ATTENDANT RPTED; WITHOUT A DOUBT; THAT THE SMELL WAS COMING FROM THE INK BEING APPLIED TO THE PAPER. THIS WAS VERIFIED BY THE OTHER FLT ATTENDANTS WORKING THE FLT; AS WELL AS A PLT IN UNIFORM COMMUTING TO WORK. THE #1 FLT ATTENDANT RPTED THAT THE MARKER IS PRINTED WITH A WARNING TO AVOID USE OF THE MARKER AT HIGH ALTS; OR IN CONFINED SPACES. SINCE THE SOURCE OF THE ODOR WAS NOW DISCOVERED AND NOTICING THAT THE SMELL HAD DISSIPATED; THE FLT CREW DETERMINED THAT AN EMER SITUATION NO LONGER EXISTED. ATC WAS THEN INFORMED THAT WE DISCOVERED THE SOURCE OF THE UNUSUAL ODOR; AND THAT THE SITUATION WAS NOW SAFE AND UNDER CTL. WE RESCINDED THE EMER DECLARATION AND REQUESTED VECTORS TO CONTINUE THE FLT ON TO OUR DEST. WE LANDED ON TIME; WITHOUT INCIDENT.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 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.