For the third time this year, a US Airways plane bound for Philadelphia has diverted due to an “odor” on the plane causing nausea amongst the crew. For a change in pace, this flight originated in Tel Aviv and diverted to Rome, rather than the Venice to Dublin setup from earlier in the year.
Via the Aviation Herald:
A US Airways Airbus A330-200, registration N289AY performing flight US-797 (dep Dec 5th) from Tel Aviv (Israel) to Philadelphia,PA (USA) with 129 passengers and 14 crew (4 flight crew), was enroute at FL360 about 160nm east of Rome (Italy) when the crew decided to divert to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport declaring a medical emergency after 11 crew and 2 passenger reported feeling ill and showing red eyes, a number vomitted. The aircraft landed safely at Fiumicino Airport about 30 minutes later, all crew and the two ill passengers were taken to a hospital.
A malfunction of the aircraft’s airconditioning system is being suspected based on initial examination.
The airline reported that the aircraft made an unscheduled landing after an odour was reported in the cabin causing nausea and eye irritations. The two passengers feeling ill and all crew were taken to a hospital for medical examination, 3 flight attendants needed additional hospital care, the others were discharged after examination. All passengers were re-accomodated on other flights.
All three of these “mysterious” diversions this year have been on US Airways A330-200 aircraft. This plane (N289AY) was involved in one of the two diversions this spring, though the previous diversion was on a different aircraft, so it doesn’t seem to be an issue with the plane as such.