A former airline captain is filming a conspiracy thriller which he hopes will lift the lid on little-known aerotoxic syndrome.
Filmmaker Tristan Loraine, of Horsham, is producing the Erin Brokovich-style investigative feature about a quest to uncover the scandal of contaminated cabin air.
A Dark Reflection tells how passengers and cabin crew are being exposed to toxic engine fumes and its director hopes it could help change industry practices.
The former British Airways pilot said: “I’ve been campaigning on this issue for years and nothing has changed.
“Now we’re taking it to the public I think they will be outraged for being kept in the dark for all these years.
“The industry needs to wake up and deal with the issue.
“I’ve watched elderly and pregnant people walk off an aircraft and thought it’s a breach of their human rights that they haven’t been told they could be at risk.”
The fictional but fact-based film is being co-operatively made by volunteers with funding from unions, passenger groups and concerned aviation figures.
With impressive backdrops like the South Lodge Hotel and Shoreham Airport and props such as a helicopter and Boeing 737 all donated free, Tristan believes the real value of the film is close to £10 million.
He explained how cabin air on most aircraft is taken directly from engines and this unfiltered ‘bleed air’ can become contaminated with engine oils.
No aircraft has any form of detection system fitted and health effects of exposure to oil fumes can include blurred vision, loss of consciousness, vomiting, breathing difficulties and irritation.
British Airways pilots Karen Lysa-kowska and Richard Westgate died within days of each other in January after complaining they had been poisoned by contaminated cockpit air.
Australian airline cabin attendant Joanne Turner was awarded substantial damages for respiratory illness attributed to toxic fumes in cabin air.
Former Qantas regional pilot Susan Michaelis, who has a PhD in air cabin contamination, said: “This is very real. The public need to be told about it. I would put the corporate bad behaviour on a par with smoking and asbestos. It’s gross misconduct by an entire industry.”
The Department for Transport said links between aircraft ‘fume events’ and ill health were unsubstantiated.
It said pilots had reported a variety of health symptoms but they could not be linked to aircraft contamination.
To invest see adarkreflection.com.
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