Air force to look at risk of toxic fumes in planes

The air force will investigate the possibility the cabins of its two Boeing 757 transport aircraft could be at risk of contamination by toxic fumes after an international warning from a pilots' group.

The International Federation of Airline Pilots' Associations warned leaking toxic fumes could threaten the long-term health of passengers and crew.

It said several incidents had been reported of crew members falling sick over recent years and pilots had been instructed to put on oxygen masks when fumes were detected.

Two aircraft types, the Boeing 757 and the BAe146, had been mentioned by overseas commentators as being particularly susceptible to toxic fumes.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force has two 757 aircraft. Both are being modified overseas.

The air force said today it was aware of the suggestion of a fumes risk but there had been no reported incidents of fumes leaking into the cockpit of the New Zealand aircraft.

Air Force spokesman Squadron Leader Glen Davis said the air force's aviation safety team in Auckland was looking at the issue.

- NZPA

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