Fwd = Mysterious Blocks Of Ice Falls From Airplanes
- Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
Original Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 04:57:11 -0500
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Mysterious Blocks Of Ice Falls From Airplanes
Chunks Of Ice The Size Of Bowling Balls Have Fallen From Airplanes
POSTED: 11:02 p.m. PST February 19, 2003
UPDATED: 4:39 p.m. PST February 20, 2003
A freak accident that almost killed a Santa Cruz mother and daughter
turns out to be more common than you might think.
NBC11's Brad Hicks has been investigating the mysterious "ice from
above" that falls from the sky without warning.
Ice From Above
You need a ladder to see how close Gus Zesati's wife and daughter came
to being killed in their Santa Cruz home, Hicks said.
Zesati said he and his daughter were hanging out in her bedroom
talking to each other when suddenly something fell through their
ceiling that sounded like a bomb.
A bowling ball sized block of ice had fallen from the sky from an
airplane. It had that telltale color of "toilet bowl blue".
"And if that chunk of ice had landed on one of my kids or me or my
wife -- instant death," Zesati said.
The FAA says it rarely happens. But just a month later, just a mile
away another person heard a big loud bang that was described "like
somebody shot a shotgun."
Ray Erickson's boat got hit by a chunk of ice. "Had I been sitting
there, it wouldn't have been too good," Erickson said.
Santa Cruz is not the only part of the Bay Area to have experienced
the falling blue ice.
Arlene Lawson in Menlo Park can tell you about the time an icy blue
missile just missed the man in a chair.
"It came all the way from the top of the roof, through the second
floor, and down through here," Lawson said.
Scott relic with San Jose State's Aviation Department points to the
access panel where the toilet tank valve can leak.
"The blue ice liquid will form here and begin to seep out of the panel
and build up, and you get a pretty good slug of ice here," Yelich
And when that slug of ice breaks off -- look out below, Hicks said.
The airplane manufacturers know about the problem.
A Boeing report says "severe damage may occur"-- not just to people on
the ground, but also to the plane itself if the ice hits an engine.
It's up to the ground crews to find the problem and fix it.
The FAA tries to find out which plane the ice came from, but really
has no idea how often it happens because usually the ice lands in
places where it's never reported.
The airlines are slowly changing over to toilet valves that don't leak
as often, Hicks reported.
Copyright 2003 by NBC11.com. All rights reserved.
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