BA jet forced to make emergency landing at Heathrow after pilots smell 'foul odour' and fall ill

BA plane

The pair smelt a 'foul odour' before falling ill

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 19/10/2023

- 20:48

Updated: 19/10/2023

- 22:26

The captain and co-pilot both fell sick whilst in the cockpit

A BA plane has been forced to make an emergency landing at Heathrow after the captain and co-pilot fell ill.

The pair smelled a “foul odour” in the cockpit which caused them to feel sick, whilst at 30,000ft in the air.

The two put on their emergency oxygen masks, before contacting emergency services on the ground.

The aircraft was able to safely land at Heathrow Airport this morning, after taking off from Newcastle.

WATCH NOW: BA update uniforms to accommodate non-binary crew

Both captain and co-pilot were quickly rushed to hospital, after suffering from “smoke inhalation”.

It was feared that they had been exposed to toxic chemicals.

One source told The Sun: “This was a shocking incident. The immediate concern is obviously for the two pilots.

“But also striking is the worry about what could have happened had these two cockpit crew been intoxicated when they were still at the controls of a crowded jet at 25,000ft. It doesn't bear thinking about.


“Investigations have started into this alarming incident.”

A British Airways spokesperson said: “The flight landed safely and customers disembarked normally following a minor technical issue with the aircraft.”

The London Ambulance Service said of the Heathrow drama: “We were called at 10.39am on 19 October to reports of an incident at Terminal 5 Heathrow Airport, Hounslow.

“We sent an ambulance crew, an incident response officer and members of our hazardous area response team to the scene.

“We treated two patients at the scene for smoke inhalation and took them to a local hospital.”

\u200bThe flight landed safely at Heathrow

The flight landed safely at Heathrow


The aircraft took off from Newcastle this morning at 7.41am and landed at Heathrow at 9.14am.

The flight took off almost two hours after it was meant to depart.

Earlier this month, British Airways made headlines after it unveiled brand new uniforms that have been designed with non-binary crew in mind.

The revamped uniforms were released in a bid to “take the airline into the next chapter”.

The new look consisted of a ‘modern jumpsuit’, along with skirt and trouser options for women and a tailored three-piece suit for men with regular and slim-fit trousers.

Staff at the airline criticised the move, instead preferring a separate uniform for those identifying as non-binary, rather than altering the existing male and female uniforms.

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