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Tribute paid to BA Valencia incident pilots and crew

BALPA has praised the professional job done by the pilots and crew of BA 422 which was involved in the incident in Valencia yesterday. The aircraft cabin filled with smoke, but the plane landed safely and all the passengers were successfully evacuated.

Clearly this aircraft suffered a technical problem which led to smoke entering the cabin and cockpit, the cause of which will need to be investigated.

Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary said,

“Pilots are highly-trained and ready to handle emergencies of all kinds, but when one happens, the only thing that matters is whether the job gets done. In this case, the pilots and crew appear to have done an excellent and highly-professional job of getting this aircraft safely onto the ground in very difficult circumstances, and safely evacuating all the passengers with no reported serious injuries. We believe the pilots landed this aircraft wearing full oxygen masks and goggles which is extremely challenging.

“We will await the accident report, but this looks to have been a very well-managed emergency situation, and overall a good outcome, and I pay tribute to the pilots and crew for a job very well done.”

Media reports include reference to the fact that passenger oxygen masks did not deploy. This is because they, unlike pilot and cabin crew oxygen systems, are not designed to be used in smoke events as they mix the oxygen supply with the ambient air. Passenger oxygen masks are for use during decompression events.