July 13 04:18
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- Vaping Co-Pilot Causes Safety Scare
An emergency that led to oxygen masks being deployed on an Air China flight was triggered by a co-pilot trying to conceal his use of an electronic cigarette, officials said Friday.
The co-pilot had intended to shut the air circulation system, but instead turned off the system for pumping in air from outside the plane, causing oxygen to be depleted in the cabin, China’s civil aviation authority said at a press briefing in Beijing, citing the results of a preliminary investigation.
That triggered a safety alert and the deployment of the plane’s oxygen masks, said Qiao Yibin, an official in charge of civil aviation safety at the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
Shortly after leaving Hong Kong for the northeastern port city of Dalian on Tuesday, the Boeing aircraft, which had 153 passengers and nine crew members on board, descended from an altitude of 10,000 meters to 3,000 meters in 10 minutes.
Authorities did not offer an explanation for the rapid descent.
The flight ended up landing safely in Dalian.