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Vaping Pilot Has Passengers Scrambling for Oxygen Masks

Image: Vaping Pilot Has Passengers Scrambling for Oxygen Masks
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By    |   Friday, 13 July 2018 12:51 PM

A vaping pilot taking an electronic cigarette break was blamed for sending passengers scrambling for oxygen masks when their flight from Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland lost cabin pressure on Tuesday and had to drop 19,600 feet in nine minutes.

The Air China jetliner was carrying 153 passengers and nine crew members to the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian when it went from above 32,800 feet to below 13,100 feet, triggering the release of oxygen masks from the cabin ceiling, CNN reported.

Air China said the incident occurred when the co-pilot smoking an e-cigarette in the cockpit accidently hit the wrong switches while trying to clear the air, causing the cabin to lose pressure.

Once the air crew overcame what had happened, they got the plane to around 24,600 feet and flew on to the destination, but with less-than-adequate oxygen in the cabin.

The country's civil aviation regulator said Thursday the plane landed safely in Dalian.

Passengers have since posted photos and videos of the incident to social media.

One Waibo user noted that “the announcement from the cockpit said the ability to increase oxygen in the cabin malfunctioned so the plane lost pressure,” The South China Morning Post reported.

Another passenger, Hoby Sun, told CNN he did not think too much of it at the time, when the oxygen masks were released, but the ordeal was traumatizing.

“We didn't know what was going on, nor did the flight attendants it seemed,” he said. “I'm not physically hurt, but the psychological impact lingers. When I close my eyes, I see the oxygen masks dangling in front of me.”

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A vaping pilot taking an electronic cigarette break was blamed for sending passengers scrambling for oxygen masks when their flight from Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland lost cabin pressure on Tuesday and had to drop 19,600 feet in nine minutes.
pilot, vaping
271
2018-51-13
Friday, 13 July 2018 12:51 PM
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