Ice block (presumably off plane approaching Heathrow) damages roof just west of Windsor

There have been a number of incidents, at many airports, of lumps of ice falling off planes overhead, coming in to land. Ice can form naturally on aircraft flying at high altitudes, and this can break away and fall off when the plane comes down through warmer air. There is another recent incident of this, to someone under the approach path into Heathrow, just west of Windsor.  On 10th February (some time between 7 am and 8.30am) some ice crashed through the roof of a house in Oakley Green Road near Windsor. The owners of the house were not hurt, though there is substantial damage to the roof. This is another incident where it is fortunate the ice fell onto a roof, and not onto people. Such a large object falling onto someone would kill or seriously injure them.  Builders secured the property before the weekend and repairs were set to begin the next week. The CAA says this sort of incident is “‘relatively rare” and the CAA website says: “As the safety regulator for UK civil aviation, the CAA requires UK aircraft operators to minimise the risk of ice falls by performing regular maintenance to prevent leaks and take prompt corrective action if a defect is found. The CAA is unable to investigate the potential origin of an ice fall, but does record reports of this nature.”
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Kew ice block fall – 7th February 2018.

Block of ice from a plane smashes onto a road in Kew, captured by a taxi firm camera. No more than 25 feet from a street cleaner and a pedestrian, and perhaps 18 seconds before a car goes past.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-london-43006699/block-of-ice-crashes-to-earth-near-kew-gardens

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Oakley Green man ‘lucky to be alive’ after ice block smashes through roof

By Will Taylor (Maidenhead Advertiser)

16 February 2017

See link for photos  

A business owner from Oakley Green has been left feeling lucky to be alive after a block of ice fell from the sky and smashed a hole into the roof of his house.

Wahram Manoukian, 69, left his home at 7am on Friday morning to use the gym at Oakley Court in Windsor Road, but returned at about 8.30am to find a hole in his roof with tiles and bits of ice strewn around his grounds.

Mr Manoukian, who lives in Oakley Green Road, and his wife, 66-year-old Beverley, have stored the chunks of ice in a freezer in anticipation of an investigation.

He believed it could have fallen from a plane, though this has not been confirmed.

Mr Manoukian, who works in the property industry, said he worried about what could have happened if it had fallen when he had been leaving the house an hour earlier.

“I could have been killed,” he said. “It could have been anyone.

“It must have been a big chunk that has hit the roof.”

He was concerned that, if it had fallen at a different time, his grandchildren could have been harmed.

“They come around after school and during the weekends they come around to us,” he said. “I was fuming.”

Builders secured the property before the weekend and repairs were set to begin this week.

Mr Manoukian has contacted the Civil Aviation Authority, which says ice can form on aeroplanes at high altitudes and fall off when it descends to a warmer height, but is ‘relatively rare’.

A spokesman for the CAA directed the Advertiser to its website, which states: “As the safety regulator for UK civil aviation, the CAA requires UK aircraft operators to minimise the risk of ice falls by performing regular maintenance to prevent leaks and take prompt corrective action if a defect is found.

“The CAA is unable to investigate the potential origin of an ice fall, but does record reports of this nature.

[The location of the ice fall, directly under the Heathrow approach path, makes it look very unlikely the source is anything other than a plane. The CAA seems keen to suggest the ice might have come from somewhere else …..?  where …?  And it is not clear whether Heathrow pays for the damage, or if householders have to get their insurance company to pay. Can they reclaim from the airport?  AW comment]

“Falling ice which is clear and uncontaminated may not have originated from aviation activity.

“Indeed there have been reports of falling chunks of ice which date back to before the existence of aircraft.

“Research into the phenomena is ongoing by scientists across the world but is controversial.”

http://www.maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk/gallery/maidenhead/111295/oakley-green-man-lucky-to-be-alive-after-ice-block-smashes-through-roof.html
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See a year earlier:

Block of ice from a passing plane crashes through roof of home in Twyford

An elderly couple, in Twyford, Berkshire (under a Heathrow flight path) had the unpleasant experience of a block of ice, which appeared to have fallen from a passing plane, crash through their roof.  The two foot long block cracked the ceiling. Luckily it hit the roof in a different part of the house from where the couple were. They said they were lucky not to have been injured. There have been many other incidents over the years of blocks of ice falling – associated with frozen water from aircraft lavatories.  Had the ice block fallen onto the road, it could have hit a car or a passer-by.  Had it fallen onto a busy road like a motorway, it could have caused a serious accident.  The elderly couple had to be assisted by their son in sorting out insurance, and getting the roof repaired. As the insurance company was slow, being a Sunday morning, the local fire brigade helped to patch up the damage and confirm the water and electricity supplies to their house were undamaged. Water (from a lavatory?) from the ice block was dripping through the (now sagging) damaged ceiling. The couple have kept a sample of water, so it can be tested, to identify if it is from a lavatory.  Other reports of earlier incidents of items falling from planes can be seen here.  Twyford is about 30 km west of Heathrow, on the landing flight path during easterly operations.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/01/block-of-ice-from-a-passing-plane-crashes-through-roof-of-home-in-twyford/

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and

Block of ice (from plane?) crashes through edge of roof of family home in Chelmsford

People living under flight paths not infrequently suffer from objects that fall from planes, the most common of which appears to be lumps of ice. Now (on 4th March) there has been yet another incident where a block of ice has landed on a house, narrowly missing people.  The house is under a Stansted flight path, in Chelmsford, Essex and is the home of a couple and their two teenage children. The ice block, described as perhaps football size, crashed through the overhang of their roof, missing going through the bedroom ceiling by just a few feet. That part of the bedroom is where the couple sleep.  The ice block left a gaping hole in the roof. Members of the family were asleep at the time, and were woken by a noise they thought was a bomb going off.  The couple now face a repair bill of thousands of pounds.  Had the block been only a few inches closer to the window, the couple fear it would have impacted the window, which would have shattered it – with the bed just feet away. The CAA have been contacted, to ascertain if the ice is indeed from a plane. Ice can form naturally on aircraft flying at high altitudes which falls when the plane descends into warmer air and the ice breaks away. The CAA says it is not liable for damage due to an ice fall.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/03/block-of-ice-from-plane-crashes-through-edge-of-roof-of-family-home-in-chelmsford/

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and

Other incidents of objects, including ice, falling from planes.

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