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The co-pilot reported that during the BAe 146 handover, the previous crew stated that the aircraft had an air-conditioning contamination problem and that it appeared to emanate from the No. 2 air-conditioning pack. On entering the aircraft the co-pilot noted that only the No. 2 pack was operating and the ambient air was contaminated. The crew switched off the No. 2 pack until the engines were started and the aircraft had taxiied to the runway holding point.

After take-off, the co-pilot reported that he began to feel nauseous and had developed a headache. After discussing the problem with the aircraft captain, he donned an oxygen mask and gradually felt better. During the flight, a flight attendant entered the cockpit and reported a soreness of the head, and that she felt nauseous.

On the return flight, the crew left the No. 2 pack switched off. They reported that the contamination was far less noticeable than the previous flight.

Inspection by the company maintenance personnel did not initially find any evidence of contamination. However, the co-pilot reported that subsequent replacement of the aircraft auxiliary power unit appeared to have rectified the air contamination problem.

General details
Date: 30 April 2000 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1650 hours WST  
Location   (show map):56 km N Perth, Aero. Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Air/pressurisation 
Release date: 20 November 2000 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: British Aerospace PLC 
Aircraft model: BAe 146 
Aircraft registration: VH-NJL 
Serial number: E3213 
Type of operation: Air Transport High Capacity 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Perth, WA
Departure time:1645 hours WST
Destination:Paraburdoo, WA
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Last update 13 May 2014