A new case against Boeing says that toxic fumes are leaking into passenger planes, causing sickness and potentially one death.
Toxic fumes sometimes described as smelling like dirty socks can enter the cabin through a bleed-air system, which draws outside air through the aircraft engine and pumps it into the cabin. Drawing air from the engine is not normally a problem. But sometimes, for example when certain valves and seals leak, engine oil and byproducts can mix with drawn-in air, forcing harmful fumes into the airplane cabin, according to the suit filed by four Alaska Airlines flight attendants in Cook County Circuit Court.
Experts say that these leaks happen on at least one flight a day. The case asserts that Boeing is aware of this, and has been “put on notice” over 40 times for “unreasonably dangerous” aircraft, although it has never fixed the problem.
The flight attendants who are bringing the case, who were made sick by the fumes, say they want this “very fixable, unnecessary risk” to be handled.