View Full Version : Passengers keep flight from taking off

16th Aug 2001, 01:36
Have just seen a video on the news, shot by a passenger, of a fuel leak during taxiing with which an Air Plus Comet plane from Spain to the Dominican Republic would have been quite happy to take off last monday night. The captain, alerted by his passengers, announced that the immense stream of fuel was a normal occurrence and continued taxiing. It wasn’t until the passengers rebelled that the aircraft returned to the gate.

Here’s the stor y in Spanish (http://www.elpais.es/articulo.html?anchor=elpepinac&xref=20010815elpepinac_12&type=Tes&d_date=20010815), and a picture taken from the french tv channel TF1.


Let’s take our passenger’s remarks seriously!!! (One of mine once told me of a bird that was sitting on a flap, and sure enough, there it was, frozen solid, on the inside. No way to see it once the flaps were retracted… ;)

edited because of a UBB code slip up

[ 15 August 2001: Message edited by: Gantenbein ]

16th Aug 2001, 02:18
Ignorance is obviously not bliss !
Next time you walk around an aeroplane you will see that there is a scoop underneath the wing near to the tip (naca duct)
Those of us who remember Tridents, 1-11'S
Etc would be familiar with seeing fuel streaming out of wing tips exactly the same as in this photo.
The duct is used to provide a positive pressure on top of the fuel tank (to prevent cavitation) and is protected by a float valve to prevent fuel spilling out, when the valve sticks open and the tanks are exceedingly full, it is normal to see fuel spilling out of the vent.
Ihave seen a/c take off with fuel streaming out of both wings !
The vent pipes are situated at the very top of the tank, and a change of attitude or small burn off either reseats the float valve or reduces the level below the stack pipe.
100 squids says that was the case here !


16th Aug 2001, 05:52
Same thing happened on the 727.200 after refuelling to full tanks on a hot day. If the volumetric topoff didn't close the fuelling valve, the overflow would fill the vent surge tanks & overflow on taxi out.

compressor stall
16th Aug 2001, 06:31
On a smaller scale I as part of my preflight brief for pax in a C210 warn them that they will see fuel pouring our the overflow vent on taxi.

Not knowing a thing about the aircraft in the picture above, is that normal?

16th Aug 2001, 06:42
We used to see venting on Take Off a lot with the B-747. We had to start inspecting the valves more frequently and still sump the surge tanks prior to every departure. Ground staff doesn't care for it, but it works. Some countries, such as Australia, prohibit venting.

16th Aug 2001, 08:29
WIHIH here then ?

A7E Driver
16th Aug 2001, 20:34
Great picture PaperTiger!

16th Aug 2001, 21:01
Was the Air Comet captain's remark true? Is that a normal occurrance in an A310 - fuel spewing from the wing?

If it isn't normal, should that captain be fired for misleading and possibly endangering the lives of the customers?

Air Comet already has a bad reputation - this only adds to it...

16th Aug 2001, 22:35
in my opinion the captain should have returned to the gate, or had a ground engineer inspection regardless. complacency, no matter how well known the floor may be, should never be allowed to settle in. :rolleyes:

17th Aug 2001, 00:54
The thing is, the aircraft had already returned to the gate once to have a fuel valve replaced, according to the newspapers. The passengers all got up when, during taxi out, the same fuel leak occurred and the captain did not want to take further acction.

Can't blame the passengers for not understanding this.

I have seen fuel spilling from a wing before, but never on this scale.

17th Aug 2001, 16:44
Just saw the video of it in TV.
But there must have been another incident, where on an spanair aircraft the toilet spillt and the whole plane smelt badly of urin. passengers had many flea bites!!
i know that itīs not influenzing flight safty,but would you still take off?? :confused:

17th Aug 2001, 18:11

Excellent photo :D. Reminds me of the Candid Camera sketch years ago when they took a Mini equipped with a massive tank to a garage and had the attendant (yes, it was a long time ago) fill it up. He could not understand why it was taking so much petrol and kept looking underneath to see if there was a leak!

18th Aug 2001, 23:34
Comet. The second incident you're talking about (the smelly one) was not on board a Spanair a/c. It was on board an EURO Atlantic (Portuguese) a/c hired by the travel agency Pullmantur.

Fly Safe ;)

18th Aug 2001, 23:55
The toilet-and-fleas plane was a Tristar, Guvnor.

Few Cloudy
19th Aug 2001, 14:28
In Spring this year we had to wait at LGW while a Pully 747 taxied out. My FO spotted an even larger fuel spillage than that shown here from the Rt wingtip. Told ATC and it took a bit of convincing to get the Pully crew to get ground assistance to check the leak.

Finally they had to taxy back in. You could smell the fumes through the Aircon from fifty meters.

19th Aug 2001, 22:21
Even the C-172 leaks fuel through the fuel vent whith full tanks...


[ 19 August 2001: Message edited by: DeltaTango ]

20th Aug 2001, 11:28
Saw this footage on TV. Also remember the footage taken by a pax of a 767 running off the end of the runway in S. America a couple of years ago.

What's the story with pax using video cameras during taxi, T/O, landing etc? Thought that was a no-no. Do different airlines have differing policies or are these people being naughty?

21st Aug 2001, 22:59
Funny that I had the same experience on an AWAir A310 last year (PK-AWA). After take off, a very very heavy spill started. I asked the cabin crew only to be told that "it will get worse as we go faster". This was added with an engine failure on descent. Moral of the story: Don't fly A310s with dodgy airlines.