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Analysis

Summary

The short taxi distance after landing limited the opportunity for the crew to investigate the origin of the contaminated air. However, only one airconditioning pack was in use and the APU was the sole source of air to that pack. The APU was found to be producing fumes during the day following the incident and it is considered that it was likely to have been producing fumes on the day of the incident.

By the time the aircraft was parked, the APU had almost certainly been passing oil fumes to the number-1 pack for about five minutes. Some of the crew felt increasingly unwell during the subsequent engine start even though no air supply source was selected. That may have been a result of residual fumes in the airconditioning ducting being circulated by the cabin fan.

There was no doubt that fumes contaminated the cabin and flight deck. The pilot in command became aware that the fumes had caused a detrimental effect to his performance and he took appropriate steps to terminate the flight. The implication that the fumes may have had a subtle but adverse affect on the pilot's decision-making process was not conclusively determined.

 
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