SWISS has discovered issues with certain protective breathing equipment (PBE) used by its crew members. This equipment is designed to safeguard against smoke and vapors in the unlikely event of a smoke incident on board. As a result, SWISS has notified the appropriate authorities and is gradually replacing the affected equipment. Additionally, SWISS has implemented an updated training program to ensure crew safety throughout the replacement process.
On SWISS flights, the crew members have access to various safety equipment. This includes protective breathing hoods, crucial for their protection during smoke incidents. These hoods are equipped with oxygen generators, enabling crew members to breathe and act comfortably in smoky conditions. Currently, SWISS utilizes two types of internationally certified PBE across its aircraft fleet.
In-Flight Faults Caused No Imminent Dangers to Crew or Passengers
During two recent flights, crew members detected an unusual odor and, as a precautionary measure, utilized the PBE. However, they encountered issues with some breathing hoods, either due to malfunctions or difficulties in removing them from their packaging. It is important to note that at no point were the crew or passengers in danger. Both flights successfully landed safely.
SWISS promptly reported these incidents to the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) and the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board (STSB). The airline has taken immediate measures to address the concerns and ensure the appropriate handling of the affected equipment.
SWISS Will Replace PBE Over Several Months
Experts from various SWISS departments conducted a detailed examination. They found the PBE (Protective Breathing Equipment) functionality is partially limited on one of the two PBE types the airline uses. Although not all hoods of this type were affected, SWISS has decided to replace all the PBE units as a precautionary measure. The process of procuring the new replacement models has already begun. SWISS aims to complete the replacement program as quickly as possible.
SWISS has nearly 1,000 PBE hoods of the affected type across its aircraft fleet. The replacement program will span several months. To ensure the safe use of the replacement equipment, the company has also initiated additional training for all crew members. This training will enhance their awareness of the precautions when using the affected hoods.
“For SWISS, striving continually to identify any weaknesses in its daily operations and proactively seeking improvements are part and parcel of its business and activities,” the airline states.
FlightChic has reached out to SWISS for details on the make and model of the PBE affected.