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14 July 2018, 09:48 | Glen Norman
Vaping co-pilot caused Air China plane to plummet officials say Vape stock
The incident, which resulted in the deployment of passenger oxygen masks, occurred Tuesday on a flight by the Chinese flag carrier from Hong Kong to the city of Dalian in northeastern China.
Passengers were forced to use air masks.
A senior official from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) told reporters Friday that, without notifying the pilot, the unnamed co-pilot was trying to turn off air recycling fans to prevent the vapor from spreading into the passenger cabin.
In reaction to an alarm triggered by the air conditioning shut off, the flight crew dropped the plane's emergency oxygen masks and initiated a descent to a lower altitude with breathable air.
"At present, we are investigating the cause in greater detail, and if the investigation proves it is true, we will handle it according to the law and regulations and deal with it seriously", said Qiao Yibin, from the aviation authority's safety office, as quoted by the South China Morning Post. Once the pilots saw the air conditioning was off, they turned it back on and regained altitude.
The CAAC said it was continuing the investigation and was analysing the aircraft's flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder.
Air China said it would terminate the contracts of the employees involved in the emergency descent incident, and suggested that the CAAC cancel their licences, it said on its official account on China's Weibo.
A clumsy co-pilot caused an Air China plane to plunge almost 20,000 feet midair when he pulled the wrong switch while trying to shut off an air recycling system - so he could vape in the cockpit.
Air China also said in a previous Weibo post on Wednesday it had a "zero tolerance" approach towards wrongdoing by any crew.
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