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Students Treated for Skin Irritation After Apparent Fuel-Dump From Plane Over School

About 20 students were treated by firefighter Tuesday after a plane that was approaching Los Angeles International Airport dumped fuel over a nearby community. ( More...

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wx1996 6
Delta 89 flight track
paul trubits 12
The students now have a cool story to tell their Grandchildren some day. This is coming from a guy who used to siphon gas from the car to cut the grass.
airuphere 3
“The acrid smell lingering for 5 hours” lol, sounds like the lawyers wrote the article..
LOL, exactly my thought when I read that!
bentwing60 1
That's why we used to see so many dead garden hoses with 6 feet cut out of the middle! We seem to have shared some history.
Mike Cates 9
In other news, the Park Avenue elementary school lice outbreak has been cured....
I listened to the ATC and the pilots we asked if they wanted to dump and they replied no and then confirmed they'd be landing heavy (but presumably manageable). It's stunning they would do this over a populated area without authorization.
Paul Lupa 5
The ATC communication on youtube has the pilots saying at 2:50, '... for weight'. Possibly they changed their mind and decided to dump fuel, but ATC didn't get the message and vectored them lower to merge into the arrival stream.

If the CVR is available it would tell what was actually said. Given the earlier transmission that they were not going to dump fuel, ATC would not be concerned about having them low.

Didn't key the mike in time?
Transmission got stepped on?
Youtube didn't edit the audio?

The CVR and ATC tapes would tell the truth, but I have to admire the pilots and ATC handling an emergency returning to LAX without much of a disruption in the normal flow.
Let’s remember that a departure from an airport where the wx is below landing limits requires a take off alternate within one hour of departure airport. The FAA is saying they are satisfied with the reliability of the remaining engine, a “Sully” situation being the outlier. Unless they were on fire, take a few minutes to get over the water and dump. All that being said, that one hour trip to the take off alternate is a very LOOONG hour!
Tom Bruce 3
pilot is in charge... in an emergency pilot makes the decisions... ATC clears everything out of the way giving priority to the emergency... got no problem with this pilot's decision... until we know the scope of the emergency we can't and shouldn't judge... can fly for hours on one engine?? out over the Pacific may be necessary... dump over unpopulated area? if possible OK.... heavy airplane just after takeoff?? dump and land...
Frank Harvey 5
According to fragments of tape exchanges ATC seemed concerned about fuel (maybe concerned about/hinting at weight ?). ATC asked several times. Cockpit crew appeared primarily interested in getting back on the ground (maybe if you lose one on a heavy twin you are more worried about losing another than if you have four). Where is landing weight/fuel dump question on the 777 checklist ? CRM - Was the workload at that altitude overwhelming them. Crew also didn't immediately respond to ATC questions about Equipment roll. Maybe a 3 man cockpit provides 50 percent more in an emergency. The CVR will be interesting.
Frank Harvey 1
Towards the end of WWII there were designated areas offshore for bombers from Britain to dump their bombloads in the event of an aborted mission. (Glenn Miller's flightpath took him through one of these areas at low altitude at the same time as an aborted British raid was dumping their bombs from a higher altitude).

Maybe major airports, especially those on the coast, could have suggested fuel dumping areas offshore which take into account tides, winds etc.
Frank Harvey 7
I don't understand the Downvotes on this.

Points I was making are :
1. When dumping anything (especially ordnance) be aware of what might be below you.
2. When flight planning be aware of what areas you might be flying through.
3. It might be useful to identify "safe" areas to dump.

All pertinent to the Topic.

Originally I included military aviators pointing a cripple in a safe direction before ejecting or riding it down when this wasn't possible. But I removed that.

I've lived under two Approaches; my primary concern has been liquifying Blue Ice, not a Jet-A shower.

F A 5
Don't let the downvotes bother you.
WeatherWise 5
Not getting this one at all. Should have been put in an offshore hold until sufficient fuel was dumped, then brought in as an over ocean arrival to the runway 7L-R complex. Sure, the airport is going to be hung up for a bit until the emergency plays out but why bring him all the way around over the metro area?
wx1996 6
All depends on the reason for the emergency, many possibilities where you get in on the ground without the delay to hold and dump.
WeatherWise 3
Winds permitting on an east arrival, of course. With too strong a sea breeze, guessing that wouldn't work either.
Chris B 4
They advised no need to dump fuel in the ATC conversations. PM sounded more than stressed, making mistakes. Aircraft was safe but they rushed the return.....

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bentwing60 3
What an incredibly moronic statement! If your 172 has a 'compressor stall' will the ATC tapes reveal a certain level of anxiety that comes with a 'real' oh s37t moment? The reality of an engine failure in a heavily loaded trip. 7 on takeoff is far above your CPSC pay grade, so go comment on their site where you can readily prove your metal!
The 777 can fly hours on one engine so not really sure what the issue is unless there is something not being shared with us, everything including performance assumes the engine is failed, field length/climb/return to land etc. Having a 172 compressor stall over LA however is major reason to be concerned...
bentwing60 6
So, as usual the 'sarc.' font is broken and an ATP with a type or three might indicate some vague familiarity on my part with part 25 certification requirements.

The emphatic "SouthWorst" rang the first bell with me and everything after that lead up to, "IF THE PILOT DOESN'T FREAK OUT!!! This one? He freaked out...".

My comment is a strict reminder that some here are masters of the 'keyboard', just not those of a Honeywell, Collins, Universal FMS set in a modern day jet!
Geoff Arkley 2
We saw a witness on local TV stating "I knew it was gasoline as soon as I smelled it".

Last time my nose did a sniff test Jet-A smelled VERY different from Auto Gas.

Where do I sign up for my share of the money?
James Simms 7
Personal Injury lawyers gathering like vultures for a big payday
bbabis 5
They landed safely but you can't say "all's well that ends well" because the crew really buggerd this one up. They and Delta will be answering questions for quite a while.
bentwing60 4
Bill, some might argue that there are two kinds of pilots that get to stand across the desk from their CP, and "splain it to me Lucy". one of them knows he did it right. I suspect this crew will be using their shields and not their swords at the meeting. Cheers.
btweston 1
Get ‘em, dad.
sharon bias 4
Unless there is a Santa Anna wind, planes take off toward the water and land from the east over desert and homes. Since the plane wasn't belching smoke or flames, and had time to travel inland for a normal approach, I'd say a couple of figure 8's over the ocean to dump fuel should have happened. When you dump fuel over such a populated area, you're going to have problems. Map here shows that even if the plane returned right away, it had to go over water first.
GraemeSmith 4
Lota Monday Morning Quarterbacking here about what the pilot "should" have done.

CFR 91.3 applies.

Pilot can do what he likes to ensure a successful outcome - and while he will ultimately have to explain himself - if he says he is not going to dump fuel and 5 secs later changes his mind and doesn't have time to tell anyone AND successfully lands the plane - it's a win.

Jet A evaporates. Everyone on the ground is a bit greasy feeling for a little bit. In the "nett outcome" A couple of folks have some breathing difficulty and there is some washing up to do - but 200 pax survive. It's a win.
bbabis 7
Anyone flying that route in that aircraft should have a plan for immediate return should it ever happen. The need for fuel dumping is based on takeoff weight minus max landing weight and is a quick call. You don’t think about it, say no and then say yes as you dump low altitude over major populated areas when you took off over the ocean. Yes, CFR 91.3 applies and as you say, he will ultimately have to explain his actions.
Chris B 1
More information and Video of fuel dump.
Chris B 1
ATC Communications :
My opinion is this issue is more than unapproved dumping over a populated area. Hopefully, more information on the flight will be forthcoming. I do think the crew was overwhelmed. If this was a long range overwater flight there should have been 3 or 4 pilots in the cockpit for takeoff. A report of stressed radio comm was mentioned. So who was talking to ATC? It has been almost 20 years since I retired off the 777 so I broke out my OPMAN to go over the issues for the initial problem of compressor stall on one engine and return to the airport.

I see several procedures involved...all on separate pages of the OPMAN. Likely the EiCAS system is easier to access the procedures and I understand now you can plug in your laptop to the a/c system.

The procedures that needed to be completed seem to include COMPRESSOR STALL, 1 ENG APPROACH AND LANDING, OVER WT LANDING, FUEL DUMP, FA BRIEF. These are not Red Box items in the 20 year old manual I have.

Where was #1 FA during this time and did the Cabin have enough time to prepare for landing?

Fuel dump seemed to be rushed for landing and over a populated area.

During 35 years my flights only had 3 engine shutdowns. Two were no engine oil and one fire warning (high pressure, High Temp bleed leak). Aircraft are reliable even on one engine. No big rush unless you are burning or pieces are departing the a/c.

Could automation and less than routine manual flying be an issue that added to this flight event?

Likely, #1 FA got her brief on the flight deck. That gets into being careful with the brief. Returning from HNL on a 747 we lost oil in an engine and shut it down. We had 3 pilots and one FE plus #1 on the flight deck. I turned to the CA and said we had to go down (decend due to high fuel flow and Mach). #1 left the flight deck. A few minutes later the back cabin called up and wanted to know about the impending ditching.

Anyway, this flight could be more than just dumping fuel over LA schools.
Carl Rosen 1
LUCKY COINCIDENCE-no one on the ground who got sprayed was lighting a cigarette at the time...
Silent Bob 3
Not sure if this is humor or not.

Jet fuel does not vaporize like gasoline and will not ignite even if a match is thrown right on it. Probably don't want to be breathing it in though.
bbabis 1
In liquid form, yes hard to ignite. As a vapor, at the right fuel to air ratio, boom!
Geoff Arkley 1
That's KA-BOOM!!! (at least in the best comics it is.
Or if it's hot. Will touch off just like gasoline if you hold a match or torch near it, if hot enough.
Jamar Jackson 1
Many schools like 20 different schools. Kids on the play ground for lunch. That entire path is over hundred of schools
Jim Quinn 2
btweston 6
Thousands. Millions.
Mark Weiser 1
When I was in flight school the IP always told us "....just try not to crash into a kindergarten..." guess that in modern day California all those thousands of square miles of empty desert, 5 minutes to the east are verboten and the grade school will just have to do, forget the ocean, the CA hand wringing society is already protesting about the grunion....
chalet 1
To me this was an example of glaring poor airmanship. The pilots got unjustifiedly nervous, instead of requesting vectors for runway 25R and rushing to the airport (I listened the recordings and they were doing 350 knots on downwind leg) they should have requested permission for dumping fuel and vectors to the appropriate área but they never told ATC about fuel dumping over a heavily populated área for they would have been denied to do that. The crew must be doing the sombrero dance before their superiors shortly as this was a violation of existing rules and bad publicity for Delta.
Viv Pike -7
I believe you cannot dump over the ocean.
bentwing60 11
Uhhh, wrong. Would that be more egregious than over a school yard or two? As a seasoned captain, when and 'where' to dump the fuel is a matter of the necessity of expediency to land the aircraft, as my truck learned when it was dumped on south of DFW many moons ago when a 74 busted one and it was august and they were goin a long way.

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OnTheAve -5
Actually, the community there -- Cudahy, is 97% Hispanic.
airuphere 5
Lol yup.. they factor in the ethnicity of the neighborhood below, not proximity to airport, flight path, or ease for the flight in the emergency.. duh duh duhhhhh
OnTheAve -9
So, if this was actually Simi Valley (probably 97% white), or an affluent part of L.A., you don't think the pilots would have thought twice? Let's be real here.

What I would like to know is why did the pilots change their minds about a fuel dump? What facts appear they did not have before when they wave the request from ATC? Unless another emergency had developed why not request a go-around which would take them back over the ocean for the fuel dump, and do another circle back?
simple question from a simple mind. You really think that the pilots are looking down to insure they are not over an affluent area......jeez disappointing that you state "which we need to do" I am going to go deeper. You are the reason why we need to put baby monitors in our cars

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DaQi 8
There is another way to think about this question - affluent neighborhoods TEND not to be in flight landing paths.

I highly doubt the thought of the racial mix of the neighborhood enters the pilots consciousness or if they are even aware of it when a situation like this happens.
OnTheAve 1
Have you ever heard of John Wayne Airport or National Airport in D.C. plus countless others.


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