Thursday, November 26, 2009

Will chemically treated, frozen human waste from LCY aircraft be dropping in on you?

In the minutes of the LCACC quarterly meetings are the lists of complaints that London City Airport have received in the 3 previous months to each meeting. As you will remember, FTF has questioned just how accurate the numbers of complaints are, and with good cause.

You may recall that residents spotted that their own complaints had not been listed on meeting minutes in the past and it led us, to not unfairly, question the accuracy and efficiency of London City Airports competency to log complaints. One resident for example had made several complaints, and not one had been responded to, neither had they been included on the complaints list in the minutes.

Newham Council are now apparently helping with this, London City Airport needs help with the process of recording a complaint, and being able to identify what a complaint is.

In the most recent set of LCACC minutes, 6 October 2009, we came across an intriguing complaint from a resident in Thamesmead, Greenwich, an area which is partially covered by the crash zone and under the low level flight path:

Tuesday 11 August 2009, 15:00, Thamesmead
Alleged dumping of toilet waste
Response [from LCY]: Letter - aircraft technically unable to 'dump'. Likely 'blue ice' syndrome.

Blue Ice syndrome? That sounds rather glamorous until you realise it is an 'aviation fluffy term' for when commercial jets leak toilet waste through poorly maintained seals.

The human waste, mixed with liquid disinfectant can, and has been frequently reported as leaking through seals, freezing at altitude, and then as the aircraft descends, begins to thaw and if you are really very unlucky you can end up with a block of varying sizes, of human waste landing on you, your home or car. And you thought the negative impact of larger and more frequent jets was limited to noise and air pollution, now it appears to be expanding to the possibility of frozen human waste dropping in on you.

Cases of 'blue ice' have been well covered in the press too:

Date : 01.11.06

A Block of ice fell from the sky, narrowly missing a grandmother and her granddaughter yesterday.Valerie Allcock was getting out of her car on the drive of her Chaddesden home when the ice, weighing about 5lbs, came crashing through a tree in her garden.Mrs Allcock, who was with her seven-year-old granddaughter, Emily Allcock, believes it fell from an aeroplane.

She said: "It landed about 7ft away. It was very scary."It would certainly have killed us if it had hit us. Also, my house backs on to a school. It doesn't bear thinking about what could have happened."

Mrs Allcock, of Parkside Road, said she had contacted the Civil Aviation Authority and was told blocks of ice do sometimes fall from aircraft.

Ice-falls are reported 20 or 30 times a year on average in the UK.

and there's more:,falling-ice-home-north-side-airplane-110509.article

It is unfortunate that LCY fails to put more details of the incident in their report, but it appears that full details will be required by the CAA. But regardless of what those details were this clearly would not have been a pleasant experience for the resident concerned and we hope that no damage was caused to them, or their property.

Blue Ice along with wake turbulence is just another sacrifice and cost that residents have to pick up, all due to the ridiculous expansion of London City Airport in the most densely populated area of the country where incidents like these have a higher chance of affecting humans, and property.