Prince William’s fellow RAF Sea King aviator wins payout after cancer is linked to helicopter gunships

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Prince William’s fellow RAF Sea King aviator has received a payout from the Department of Defense after his rare cancer was linked to toxic fumes from the helicopter.

Flight Sergeant Zach Stubbings, 42, from Cardiff, spent his 15-year RAF career inhaling the fumes from the now-retired aircraft’s powerful twin engines.

The Department of Defense has had to admit that Flight Sergeant Stubbings’ fumes caused bone marrow cancer, multiple myeloma, after a six-year legal battle.

Prince William also piloted the aircraft for three years while serving in the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force at RAF Valley, Anglesey.

He conducted 156 search and rescue operations – rescuing 149 people – during his stay there.

The dangers of smoke highlighted by Flight Sergeant Stubbings’ legal bid will no doubt be a matter of concern within the royal family.

RAF Sea King has also been linked to asbestos poisoning after it was feared that thousands of military engineers might have inhaled the potentially fatal chemicals.

Flight Sergeant Zach Stubbings, 42, (right) from Cardiff, spent his 15-year RAF career inhaling the fumes from the now-retired aircraft's powerful twin engines

Flight Sergeant Zach Stubbings, 42, (right) of Cardiff, spent his 15-year RAF career inhaling the fumes from the now-retired aircraft’s powerful twin engines

Prince William also piloted the aircraft (pictured at Sea King’s controls) for three years while serving in the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force in RAF Valley, Anglesey.

Sea King helicopters linked to deadly asbestos issues

It was feared that thousands of military engineers might have inhaled potentially fatal asbestos chemicals while working on Britain’s Sea King helicopters.

In 2018, chiefs of defense confirmed they had issued an alarm in a desperate attempt to alert Royal Navy and RAF personnel who have serviced the Sea King since it entered service in 1969.

In an unprecedented move, the Department of Defense has also contacted foreign governments who bought the helicopter and civilian contractors flying ex-British military Sea Kings.

Service personnel or veterans with health problems caused by asbestos exposure on Sea Kings could sue the Department of Defense for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Flight Sergeant Stubbings discovered documents from 1999 showing that the Department of Defense was being warned by experts about potential problems caused by Sea King fumes.

But nothing has been done to fix the problem, The sun reports.

Flight Sergeant Stubbings told the newspaper, “The government chose to ignore it. It’s a scandal. ‘

A Defense Department spokesperson said: “The health and safety of our personnel is of the utmost importance and we are committed to providing a safe work environment.

Three studies from the RAF Center of Aviation Medicine at Sea King found that there were no definitive conclusions in terms of health risks.

“RAF Sea King reached the end of service in 2016.”

In 2018, it was feared that thousands of military engineers might have inhaled potentially fatal asbestos chemicals while working on Britain’s Sea King helicopters.

Chiefs of Defense confirmed they had raised an alarm in a desperate attempt to alert Royal Navy and RAF personnel who have serviced the Sea King since it entered service in 1969.

In an unprecedented move, the Department of Defense has also contacted foreign governments who bought the helicopter and civilian contractors flying ex-British military Sea Kings.

Service personnel or veterans with health problems caused by asbestos exposure on Sea Kings could sue the Department of Defense for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The Department of Defense has been forced to admit that the fumes caused Flight Sergeant Stubbings' bone marrow cancer and multiple myeloma (pictured) after a six-year legal battle.

The Department of Defense has been forced to admit that the fumes caused Flight Sergeant Stubbings’ bone marrow cancer and multiple myeloma (pictured) after a six-year legal battle.

The dangers of smoke highlighted by Flight Sergeant Stubbings' legal bid will no doubt be a matter of concern within the royal family.  Pictured: Prince William, Sea King's controls

The dangers of smoke highlighted by Flight Sergeant Stubbings’ legal bid will no doubt be a matter of concern within the royal family. Pictured: Prince William, Sea King’s controls

Sea King crews are ‘often’ exposed to engine exhaust, research shows

Crews of Sea King Rescue helicopters are often exposed to engine exhaust, a 2018 study found.

Scientists investigated how much carbon monoxide (CO) pilots are exposed to – and whether they show symptoms.

The research – conducted by University of California Professor Michael Busch – found that exposure to engine fumes is common, especially when crews are working near the open cargo doors. But the symptoms are unusual and mild.

The study looked at the CO levels of 37 crew members over a two-week period. It found that 64 percent were exposed to engine exhaust during training, but symptoms were seen in only 8.6 percent.

These include exhaustion, headaches, and nausea.

About 29 percent had CO levels outside the normal range after their flight – with the highest recording at 7 percent.

The normal range is less than 4 percent.

A 2018 study found that crews of Sea King Rescue helicopters are often exposed to engine exhaust.

Scientists investigated how much carbon monoxide (CO) pilots are exposed to – and whether they show symptoms.

The research – conducted by University of California Professor Michael Busch – found that exposure to engine fumes is common, especially when crews are working near the open cargo doors.

But the symptoms are unusual and mild.

The study looked at the CO levels of 37 crew members over a two-week period. It found that 64 percent were exposed to engine exhaust during training, but symptoms were seen in only 8.6 percent.

These include exhaustion, headaches, and nausea.

About 29 percent had CO levels outside the normal range after their flight – with the highest recording at 7 percent.

The normal range is less than 4 percent.

The study concluded: ‘Exposure to engine fumes is common, especially during open cargo doors.

However, clinical symptoms are rare and mild.

“Toxic SpCO levels were not achieved in this study, but about a third of post-flight SpCO levels were outside the normal range.”

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