FAA Investigating Blue Ice Incident in Stephens Co.

November 15, 2012

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a case of blue ice hitting a home in Stephens County last week.

Reports indicate it occurred in the Scenic Drive area during the early morning hours last Thursday.

According to the FAA, it was called to the scene on Friday and confirmed that in fact it was “blue ice” that hit the home.

According to the FAA, blue disinfecting chemicals are added to aircraft lavatory holding tanks to deodorize the water and break down solid waste.

Occasionally, the FAA says the holding tank or drain tube develops a leak. If this happens at high altitudes, the water will freeze once it hits frigid outside air.

Occasionally, frozen chunks of the resulting “blue ice” can escape through the drain tube, and fall to the ground.
The FAA goes on to say that if the ice doesn’t fall off, it will melt as the airplane descends for landing and then it usually dissipates into small droplets.

According to FAA, many people assume that aircraft lavatories dump overboard when they are flushed, but they do not.

The FAA explains that the aircrew cannot dump the wastewater in flight because the waste valve is located on the exterior of the aircraft and only ground crew can operate the valve.

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