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November 1, 2000


The Unseen Health Dangers
of the Conventional Jetliner


On October 21, 2000, Emma Christofferson collapsed and died within a few minutes after getting off the airliner that carried her from the Australian Olympic Games to London. According to ITN, "she was fit, active and a non-smoker with no history of DVT."1 [DVT= Deep Vein Thrombosis]

A weak fuselage isn't the only danger to your safetyEmma Christofferson died from DVT2 or a clot, which formed during the long flight due to sardine seating and insufficient oxygen. Upon arrival, when she moved, it caused the clot to dislodge. The autopsy determined that it entered her brain and killed her. 3

Miss Christofferson's death is not an exception, but it is unusual. It is unusual because it happened so soon after arrival. According to Aviation Health Institute, DVT is responsible for about 30,000 British cases each year, and out of those 30,000 cases, about 6,000 die. However, most of these deaths occur up to a month after flying, and, therefore, are seldom reported as such.

There are three factors which affect your health in jetliners:

  1. Cramped seating,
  2. Low oxygen in the cabin
  3. Recycled cabin air.

  1. Cramped seating

    Cramped seating and lack of space to loiter away from one's seat are major contributors to DVT. Remaining seated for long periods of time without much possibility for movement causes blood flow to slow down, particularly in the lower legs (calf) and can cause blood to clot. We at personally know two people who have suffered strokes (blood clotting). It happened to one during a trans-Atlantic flight. The other suffered a stroke within twelve hours after a Miami to San Francisco flight; the Doctor could find no reason for his having a stroke.

  2. Low oxygen.

    In the beginning of the 1970s, the price of oil went up. To save fuel, airlines started reducing the air-conditioning capacity by as much as 50%. "To save fuel, airlines now pump less fresh air into planes than they once did." 4 The result: low oxygen levels. Fainting due to low-oxygen levels is the most common medical incident on flights.5 The International Herald Tribune reports that one traveler who was "a former pilot and former medical examiner for Britain's Civil Aviation Authority … told the newspaper that a lack of air made him feel 'slightly hallucinatory' on a flight from San Diego to London."6

  3. Recycled cabin air

Recycled air means a better environment for the spread of disease. Aviation Health Institute, a British non-profit, reports that tuberculosis cases are rising and cites "two Scottish businesswomen … contracted the disease while flying from Brussels to New York."7 Aviation Health cites aircraft as being excellent breeding grounds for the following: abscesses, sinusitis, bronchitis, colds, flu, pneumonia, conditions such as ear infections, headaches, allergies, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness and irritation / inflammation of the eye, skin, nose and respiratory tract and, in rarer cases, tuberculosis and legionnaires disease. But they also cite a recent study, which found memory loss among UK flight attendants. (For a more in-depth treatment of this subject, please go to: Every year 6000 people die of air travel related DVT in the UK

In other words, a crammed cabin with little space to walk around and poor ventilation is the perfect place for clot development without mentioning the myriad other diseases that thrive in such an environment. If the situation were such that no other option existed, we might excuse those responsible and accept some stopgap measures. This is, however, not the case.

A comfortable cabin with enough space to stretch one's legs is feasible and can be economical with the right aircraft technology. Current aircraft manufacturers, government agencies, the media, non-profit "safety" organizations and international "regulatory" agencies have known for decades that such a technology exists, but they have either taken active steps to prevent its use or remained silent, despite having been placed on notice numerous times. These acts and omissions constitute nothing less than crimes against humanity.

The technology discussed here is the Burnelli Lifting Body principle of design. The Burnelli airliner configuration provides more comfortable and spacious accommodations because, for a given engine power, it provides approximately double the internal volume and double the usable floor area. This is achieved along with approximately twice the payload of a conventional aircraft and is free from the fundamental safety flaws inherent in the conventional jetliners. These benefits are accompanied by much improved operational economy.

Wouldn't you prefer flying like a human being rather than like a canned fish? Why hasn't this superior Burnelli technology been implemented? Visit to learn why you have been forced to fly in fundamentally unsafe airliners.

The airline industry has known about the DVT problem for at least twenty-five years. Why has it failed to address it?


What you can do to protect yourself:


Short Term:

  • "Taking aspirin before a flight can thin the blood to help prevent clotting, some health experts say." 8 Also, eating garlic not only thins the blood (and distances the other sardines who are close by) but also boosts the immune system.
  • "Walk around the plane every hour or so. Movement keeps the blood flowing and helps prevent it from thickening."9
  • "Those most at risk are elderly people, women who are pregnant or are taking birth control pills and people with varicose veins, cancer or obesity." 10 But people of all ages can be affected as the case mentioned above demonstrates.
  • Use a mask to filter your own air (see and do something on the Long-term list:

Long Term:

  • Visit and learn more about the deplorable lack of aircraft safety and the obvious solution.
  • Tell your friends
  • Write to Congress and to the so-called regulatory agencies who haven't brought this problem to the attention of the public and have failed to protect you (NTSB, FAA, Flight Safety Foundation, IAPA etc…) - see for more information and for addresses.
  • Ask the airlines you use why they don't fly aircraft embracing Burnelli Lifting-Body technology?



3. International Herald Tribune (IHT) 10/27/2000, p.12
4. ibid.
5. Source: BA, US Air Transport Assoc. 1996
6. International Herald Tribune 10/27/ 2000, p.12
8. International Herald Tribune 10/27/ 2000, p.12
9. ibid.
10. ibid.


See also:



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