Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Pilot Smoking Mid-Air Forces Air China Flight's Emergency Descent

Vaping co-pilot caused Air China plane to plummet officials say	 	 	 			Vape stock Vaping co-pilot caused Air China plane to plummet officials say Vape stock
Jeannette Daniel | 14 July, 2018, 09:48

The co-pilot has been accused of sending the plane he was flying into a "rapid emergency descent", as the vapour from his e-cigarette depleted oxygen levels on board.

A co-pilot attempted to vape in the cockpit shortly before the incident, Chinese authorities confirmed.

The Boeing 737 jetliner was carrying 153 passengers and nine crew members on the three-hour journey and landed safely in Dalian, CAAC said Thursday.

In a video of Flight CA106 obtained by the Beijing News, a flight attendant is seen walking down the aisle to check on passengers, some of who are putting on oxygen masks in response to a pre-recorded announcement in Chinese and English asking them to do so. The shutdown caused oxygen levels to drop, prompting the plane's emergency systems to instruct the pilots to start descending immediatelly.

"In the preliminary investigation, the co-pilot was found to be smoking an e-cigarette", China News reported of the Civil Aviation Administration of China's findings, citing a news conference.

Flight 106 was headed from Hong Kong to Dalian, China, Tuesday night when it lost the altitude over a span of just 10 minutes.

More news: PH lauds Thailand for daring cave rescue of boys soccer team

However, he "mistakenly switched off the air-conditioning unit that was next to it, resulting in insufficient oxygen in the cabin and an altitude warning", said Qiao Yibin of the China's air traffic regulatory body CAAC.

Now, officials are reportedly investigating the incident "in greater detail", reviewing the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder for more information.

Chinese flight regulations prohibit all flight crew from smoking, and banned passengers from using e-cigarettes on board in 2006.

"[We] didn't know what was going on, nor did the flight attendants, it seemed", said Hoby Sun, a passenger on flight CA106.

According to the Telegraph, Air China said it has a "zero tolerance" policy for such behaviour.

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