Horsham movie exposing air travel safety to hit the big screen

A thriller filmed around Horsham, which sought to expose the practice of using toxic air in aircraft cabins, will be in cinemas nationwide next month.

Saturday, 17th January 2015, 5:00 am
A Dark Reflection, a film made and filmed in and around the Horsham district screens at Cannes. L-R Sarah Holloway, Senior assistant producer; Abramo Di Licio, Steadicam Operator; Tristan Loraine: Producer/Director - picture submitted SUS-140206-121017001

A Dark Reflection, produced by Southwater based company Fact Not Fiction Films, is based on the real-life issue of bleed air - the air in cabins, which is passed through the compression section of an aircraft engine.

Experts say it can be toxic because it gets contaminated by engine oil and goes into the cabin area unfiltered.

Founder of Fact Not Fiction Films, former British Airways captain Tristan Loraine, decided to make the film after he was forced to retire on ill health grounds - something he says was caused by bleed air.

JPCT 310713 S13311777x Horsham. On set during filming of A Dark Reflection. Paul Antony-Barber -photo by Steve Cobb ENGSUS00120130731151029

A Dark Reflection, which is based on his real-life experiences as a pilot, recounts the story of a journalist who must face the consequences of exposing a scandal in the aviation industry.

Last year it had success at the Cannes Film Festival and next month Mr Loraine will see his creation screened across the UK, including a week at The Capitol, Horsham.

Mr Loraine said: “We set the film story in Horsham as we are based in Horsham and we are very grateful to everyone in the community that helped make the film possible.

“This investigative thriller film is based on actual events.

JPCT 280114 S14050141x A Dark reflection. Filming in Horsham, Piries Place car park -photo by Steve Cobb ENGSUS00120140128122256

“The film was extensively funded by the Aerotoxic Association along with many pilot and cabin crew unions, why?

“To raise awareness of an important health and flight safety issue that everyone who flies should know about.”

At the time of filming Mr Loraine explained, from his own experience, how serious it was.

He said: “I lost my medical certificate to fly as an airline captain due to exposure to contaminated air on commercial aircraft in 2006.

“I am not alone - passengers and crew around the world have suffered like me.

“Some are no longer with us. This is a scandal of epic proportions.

“I want to ensure the solutions that exist and which could protect everyone who flies become reality, not just dreams.”

Ahead of the filming in summer 2013 extras were recruited from the Horsham area.

Sites including Piries Place can be seen in shot. A local newspaper, The Sussex Standard, was published especially for the film by the County Times’ owners Johnston Press.

Even before its release the film has helped transform air travel safety. Last summer Boeing announced it was to build the first plane to feed its cabins with clean air.

It was not only welcomed by Mr Loraine and his colleagues.

The Global Cabin Air Quality Executive (GCAQE), which represents more than 800,000 airline staff and consumers, called on all airframe and engine manufacturers, to only use the Boeing 787 ‘bleed-free’ technology on all newly-manufactured or new type aircraft to protect crews and passengers.

It also asked airlines to introduce engineering air filtration solutions for all non-Boeing 787 aircraft.

At the time a GCAQE spokesman said: “It is unsafe to breathe aviation engine oil fumes that contaminate the ventilation air on ‘bleed air’ equipped aircraft.

“The European Commission has recently classified one of the organophosphates present in some major engine oils as a ‘Substance of Very High Concern’ (SVHC) because it may cause harm to the unborn and impair fertility.

“A wide range of United Nations and REACH hazard classifications exist for the chemical constituents in engine oils.

“Thus, it is unacceptable for the industry to continue to supply unfiltered engine bleed air knowing that no engine seal can exclude all oil, and that varying amounts of oil will leak into the system and be supplied directly to the cabin and flight deck for passengers and crew to breathe.”

A Dark Relfection, which has a 15 certificate, will be at the Capitol, Horsham from February 27 to March 6. Tickets are on sale now. It will also be showing at The Hawth in Crawley on March 7.

For more information about the film and bleed air go to www.adarkreflection.com