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Bad smells in flight

av8tr1

"Never tell me the odds!"
#21
Also, just to make you feel great, be aware that smells are particulate. If you're smelling brown, that means actual particles of brown are being absorbed by your nose.

You have died of dysentery.
Yep, remember that the next time you or someone else passes gas.

It's basically the same as chitting on someone.

Only half joking.....
 
#22
You're flying a unpressurized cargo airplane single pilot. You are the sole person on board. Cargo loaded. Before startup you notice a significantly bad smell of the eye watering type. Have rampers unload cargo to find the source of the smell. You trace it down to a box that is leaking unknown substance. Box removed, cargo reloaded. You get ready to fire up and notice the smell is still there but you know the offending box has been removed. Do you start up and go or do something else?

Let say you decide to go as you are climbing up to cruise the smell returns but the departure is below mins. Smell is strong enough for O2 mask. What do you do?
HAZMAT team ought to be called. You hold until that odor is gone and they figure out what it is.
 
#23
So this actually happened to me recently (obviously). Flying about a ton of cargo. I had some freight loaded from the USPS that was leaking but in a bag we were not authorized to open and inspect (something about a felony to mess with US Mail). And right behind the flight deck. The bag smelled like actual ass juice so I figured a medical test sample (think quest diagnostics) had broken open (Rampers said it smelled like bad fish). So we offloaded the bag which was leaking pretty bad. The rampers "supposedly" inspected everything else. I close up (single pilot) smell still there. I go back to the rampers and had a talk with them. They swear up and down it's just residuals from the original offending bag. I'm on a timeline and got some pressure to go (get there itis real bad but didn't realize till later, no one ever does).

I take off and climbing through 1.5-2k the smell gets worse. I put on the O2 mask. I look to go back but due to the west coast being pretty much on fire the smoke has the approach below minimums. So going back wasn't an option. Only choice was to head elsewhere but the smoke made my destination the only option.

I get to altitude, smell is worse and leaking through the mask. I get on with center and request direct my destination and I am denied. Seattle is in flow control mode. I then request priority handling but clearly state I am "NOT" declaring an emergency, twice just to be sure it's understood. It's just a really bad smell, no emergency. But I gotta get out of this airplane. They give me direct to my destination. And let me keep warp factor 10 in all the way in.

I got asked for fire rescue standing by and declined again stating there is no emergency. Company comes up on company freq and tells me I need to have fire/rescue standing by just to check me out when I land. I let center know that company wants rescue waiting to check me out when I land. I am thinking they will meet me at the ramp and ask a few questions and that would be it. Maybe take a vital or two. (if shes cute maybe I get a date out of it).

NOOOOPEEE.....As I am coming in to land, they have the runway shut down, 5-6 heavies on both sides of the runway holding for me to land. Fire/rescue has everything rolled and waiting to follow me as I touch down. I touch down and taxi with 6 freaking rigs following me. I come to a stop near our area and they surround my aircraft. HAZMAT guys get out and come running towards me in full MOPP 4. I get out of my plane set the chocks and walk over to meet the guys in space suits. Explain the situation. They do their thing. And then come back and give the all clear.

Our DG guys then off load all the stuff, find two boxes the mail bag had leaked on and put the rest on the trunk aircraft. By then most of the liquid has dried and the smell mostly dissipated but people can definitely smell it in the airplane. But it isn't anywhere near as bad as it was upstairs.

Not a word was said to me but I feel pretty ridiculous for all the attention and overreaction. Wasn't in any way an emergency though I didn't know what the smell was. I was pretty sure it wasn't anything dangerous. Just wanted to get some different viewpoints on my decision making. I am second guessing myself.
That's not an over reaction. You shouldn't have taken off at origin. If it were me, I would have called Rescue/HAZMAT in at origin to make the determination on what it was and if its safe. If they clear it, then you are fine. If not, sorry you'll have to wait.
 

Toobdrvr

State of the Bad-Assed Art
#24
Personally, I define an emergency situation as "Any time a successful outcome is in question".

Declaring an emergency costs nothing. Sure, it draws attention, but keep in mind that what you are experiencing may just be the tip of the iceberg. That smell may actually be toxic. It could be a reaction that is starting to eat through part of your aircraft. It could be fire.

Sure, declaring might turn out to be more than necessary. It may also be the best decision you've ever made. Why not just do it?

If I need any kind of special handling or attention, I go ahead and declare. I've done it more times than I can remember (including single pilot cargo). Never caused any heartburn...
 
#26
We had a lady who spilled car gas on her on the way to the airport. We were all boarded up and our FA's and passengers were complaining about a gasoline smell. I went outside and couldn't see any leaks. Our FA's made an announcement and asked if anyone spilled gas on them. No one came forward. We were about to deplane then finally a woman came up and said she spilled gas on her on the way to the airport.
This one's easy to expedite. Just walk down the isle with a lighted match in hand. Your transgressor will 'fess up most ricki tick. ;)
 

WiskatoPilot

Well-Known Member
#32
We had a lady who spilled car gas on her on the way to the airport. We were all boarded up and our FA's and passengers were complaining about a gasoline smell. I went outside and couldn't see any leaks. Our FA's made an announcement and asked if anyone spilled gas on them. No one came forward. We were about to deplane then finally a woman came up and said she spilled gas on her on the way to the airport.
Did you ground the airplane or proceed on with the flight?
 

FlySooner9

Well-Known Member
#33
Last airline I was at drilled into us to always declare if there is every any doubt in our minds. Again it costs nothing, you never know when you might have the real deal on your hands. Id much rather be questioned for declaring when it turned out to be a non event vs being questioned why I didn’t declare and people may have lost lives or metal bent.

To me it falls under that category of not being to prideful to admit you might need help. Like someone else said the ARFF guys probably like to get out and play with their toys anyway.

I’ve declared twice in my career. Both times were for smoke. Both times ended up being non eventful minor deals but you never know. First time we even did a full evac at DFW on the runway.