- INCIDENT OF FALL OF ICE FROM AIRCRAFT AT MALWAD GAON, SHRI RAMPUR DIST. AHMADNAGAR (MAHARASHTRA), INDIA ON 12TH OCT 2018.
- News report were published in local Marathi News Papers and in Marathi TV Media in India, wherein villagers reported that a large ice block had fallen in an onion field in Malwad Gaon, Tehsil Shri Rampur Dist. Ahmadnagar (Maharashtra) on 12th Oct 2018 at around 12:00 noon (Indian Standard Time) noon.
- This appears to be a case of fall of ice from the toilets of a commercial aircraft, which was operating on the Air Route above the site of incident. Details are given below;
- As per the news reports, about 20 to 25 women were working in Tukaram Sherkar’s onion fields at Haregon Road, Malwada Gaon, Shrirampur Tehsil in Ahmednagar District, (Maharashtra), when about 8 ft long white coloured slab of ice fell at around 12:00 hrs in the afternoon. After the fall, the Ice block broke up into fragments, some of which were taken away by people. Lot of speculation was going on about its origin. Some thought that this being a draught affected area, the ice slab may be a weather phenomenon indicating possibility of rains, so some farmers are happy. At the same time they are apprehensive of the strange event. Some said that it may have dropped from an aircraft flying overhead. Eyewitnesses said it crashed with a big sound but luckily there was no one at the spot of crash else there could have been casualties. The incident has spread scare as well as curiosity, mainly among the farmers and labour working in the area. Ice chunks about 5 ft long weighing about 200 to 400 grams also fell in front of Sharad Shankar Asana’s house at Khalwadi in Mal Wad Gaon, where his son Pramod was working. There were no rains or clouds when the ice fell.
- As per my personal view as an Aviation Consultant, this appears to be a clear-cut case of fall of ice from the defective drain lines of the toilet of an aircraft (Also known as Blue Ice), which might have been overflying the area.
- The Ice from the aircraft is mostly formed as a result of leakage/ Seepage of toilet liquid from the defective drain lines of the toilets of a passenger aircraft, where some small amount of lavatory fluid comes outside and gets condensed due to low outside temperature. When the temperature rises or when the ice becomes too heavy it gets detached and falls on ground. Normally it happens during the descent phase when the aircraft encounters higher atmospheric temperatures on coming from higher altitude to lower altitude.
- Such ice falls are a common occurrence all over the world and have been reported by CAA of UK and FAA of USA. The cases of ice fall are considered a hazard to safety of the personnel and property on ground. There had been incidents where the falling block of ice caused severe damage to the property, and even injury to personnel.
- One such case of injury was reported in India also on 17 Dec 2015 in Amakhoh Village (District Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, India, Geographical Coordinates 23°14’03.39″N, 78°53’06.08″E), when a huge ice ball estimated to be of 50 Kgs of weight fell down over the roof of a house and then over the shoulder of a 60-Years old lady, who was cleaning utensils just outside her house. The lady received injury on her shoulders and was hospitalized in a Government Hospital for many days.
- Based on the news reports, I have tried to work out the Geographical Coordinates of the Site (i.e. Hare Gaon Road, Malwad Gaon), which is found as 19°39’50.63″N, 74°45’07.84″E. The place is lying precisely over the ATS Route (Air Traffic Services Route) G-450 between Aurangabad & Mumbai and is located at a distance of 208 Kms from Mumbai on a bearing of 252°. (A copy of the Google Image, showing the location of site is attached).
- Air Route G-450 connects Mumbai to the East (Like Kolkata/ Bangkok), and the incident site is the place where normally aircraft coming from East to land at Mumbai commence their descent.
- Thus, there is a strong probability that the ice might have got detached from an aircraft during its descent, which might have fallen on ground causing scare to the persons on ground. Of course, this perhaps may have to be confirmed only after a proper investigation by the concerned authority i.e. DGCA/ Accident investigation Bureau is initiated, who get the ice samples (if available) tested for presence of the traces of the urine, stool and of sanitizing liquid along with the colour and smell etc. from the sample.
- And the authorities may also like to shortlist the details of the aircraft which were flying above the site at the time of incident, by freezing the RADAR Picture of that period available with Mumbai ATC.
- In fact, the short listing of aircraft which were flying over the site can also be done by using the plane tracking software such as Flight Radar24, Plane Finder etc., however, the positive confirmation can only be given by concerned Air Traffic Control Units through DGCA, India
(Bimal K. Srivastava),
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Ice Block weighing about 8 Kilo falls from sky in Village Rashmi, Balwas Distt Chittorgarh (Rajasthan)
Near Rashmi Village, Balwas Dist. Chittoregarh, (Rajasthan) dt of incident 04-01-2017 (Wed day) around noon, Approximate Coordinates 25°04’01.57″N, 74°21’55.55″E. The News appeared in Hindi Newspaper Rajasthan Patrika, Chittorgarh (Rajasthan Edition) Edition Dt 05-01-2017, Link http://rajasthanpatrika.patrika.com/story/chittorgarh/piece-of-ice-fell-from-the-sky-in-chittorgarh-2437203.html
- Ice block weighing about 8 Kgs fell from sky. Eye witness stated that he was working in his field located near the road to Mirch Khedi, he heard a loud noise. On investigation,he found that a block of ice had fallen in his neighbour Narayan Kumhar’s house. After the fall, the ice had brokeninto pieces. Then many villagers reached at the spot. It was a matter of surprise and the news became the talk of the town.
National Green Tribunal Dt 20th Dec 2016
Airlines to pay fine if planes drop human waste during flight”
The CPCB, after analysing the samples taken from the petitioner’s house had stated that, ‘it was indeed excreta, but its source is not known’. (Reuters)
Airlines will be penalised if they empty toilet tanks during flight, the green panel ordered on Tuesday.
National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the country’s aviation regulator – Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) – to issue instructions to all airlines, whose planes are involved, to pay Rs 50,000 as environmental compensation.
The NGT bench chaired by Swatanter Kumar passed a slew of directions to be followed by airlines while hearing a plea of a retired army officer, who claimed the terrace of his house in south Delhi’s Vasant Enclave is being repeatedly spattered with excreta falling from aeroplanes.
“DGCA shall also issue directions that aircraft on landing shall be subjected to surprise inspection to see that human waste tanks are not empty. If any aircraft is found to be violating such circular or (their) tanks are found empty on landing, they shall be subjected to environment compensation of Rs 50,000 per default,” the bench said.
The direction came on the plea of Lt Gen (Retd) Satwant Singh Dahiya who had sought action against airlines and levy of hefty fines on them for endangering the health of residents, terming their act as violation of the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’.
“For over a week now, we found that walls and floors of our terrace are splattered with large patches of excreta dumped by aircraft flying in front of Palam airport at night. The last time it happened early in October, we had to spend Rs 50,000 to get the exterior painted,” Dahiya had stated in his plea.
Earlier, the green panel had asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), to send a senior environmental engineer to inspect the petitioner’s house and if human excreta was found on its walls, sample should be collected for analysis and the report placed before the tribunal.
The CPCB, after analysing the samples taken from the petitioner’s house had stated that, ‘it was indeed excreta, but its source is not known’.While issuing directions, the green panel expressed surprise over the CPCB report, saying, “We are surprised to note the stand of CPCB to the extent of coliform and the kind of splashes created on the houses of the petitioner as well as others clearly demonstrate that it was human excreta.”
Earlier the NGT had slapped a fine of Rs 5,000 on the environment ministry and the ministry of civil aviation for failing to file inspection report on the plea.
During the hearing, the DGCA told the bench it will investigate the matter.
In his petition, Vasant Enclave resident Dahiya had sought creation of a 24-hour helpline for immediate reporting of such incidents and a monitoring mechanism to check that no aircraft drops “human soil or excreta” while landing.
The Ministry had opposed the argument and said plane toilets stored the waste in special tanks which are normally disposed of by ground crews once the plane lands. However, aviation officials acknowledge that lavatory leaks can occur in the air at times.
The green panel added that the amount collected as fine from airlines shall be used for environment protection and a quarterly report shall also be submitted by DGCA before it.
As on Oct 2016, we have collected a total of “63” cases (Many with photographs) of fall of ice from sky in India, which are based on news reports appearing in media. Our endeavour is to record as many incidents of this nature as possible in India and in other countries, so that people and aviation authorities become aware of the dangers of the fall of ice from sky, so that some methodology could be evolved for possible prevention of such incidents.
Photograph of Blue Ice Published in Sangai Express News Paper, Imphal, Manipur, India. The Ice fell inside a house near Imphal Airport on 31st Jan 2010 probaly from a scheduled airline landing at Imphal Airport in Manipur.
For more information on the topic of fall of Blue Ice from aircraft, please contact us on our mail id; email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobile No. +91 9810604778
A huge Blue coloured ice block weighing about 8 to 10 Kg fell in a house in ‘Pakdaha’, under Sashan Police Station, Distt. ’24 Pargana’ (West Bengal), on 13th Oct 2016 (Thurs Day) at around 0730 Hrs. Indian Standard Time.
• After fall, the ice piece broke into pieces and started melting. A big crowd gathered to watch the incident and many people took photographs from their mobiles. The ice block melt after some time. Many people collected ice sample and the liquid from the molten ice.
• Suspecting the source from an aircraft, the officials from Geological Survey of India, collected the ice/ liquid samples for the purpose of getting them tested.
In this context, news items have appeared in many newspapers, including Bangla News Papers “Dainik Bhaskar” dt 14-10-2016 [http://www.anandabazar.com/…/mystical-blue-ice-from-sky-vil…] and in English News Paper “The Tribune“dt 14-10-2016 (Refhttp://www.tribuneindia.com/…/it-rains-poop-on-…/309918.html)
The site of incident (Coordinates 22°40’55″N, 088°34’12″E) is located just 10 Kms East of Netaji Subhash Chandra International Airport, Kolkata.
The Colour and other evidences confirm the source of ice from the leaking toilet lines of a commercial aircraft.
SUITABLE GUIDANCE CAN BE PROVIDED BY US TO ANY ONE WHO DESIRES TO SEEK ADVICE IN THE MATTER PERTAINING TO FALL OF ICE FROM SKY
Are you a victim of fall of ice from sky? This ice is also known as Blue Ice and sometimes drops from sky (Even in Dry Weather) resulting into damage to an individual or property or just creates a scare / terror in the area of fall. This ice may be of any colour, shape & size.
We can convey our suitable Technical advice . If possible we may also be able assist you to identify the aircraft which were flying over the area at the time of the incident.
For more information on the topic of fall of Blue Ice from aircraft, please contact us on our mail id; email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobile No. +91 9810604778, Website: https://aerosurvey.in
List of Articles pertaining to “Cases of Blue Ice in India” published in Various Journals & Magazines
- “When the Blue Ice Falls from the Sky” published in the ‘Science Reporter” [National Institute of Science Communication & Information Resources, New Delhi] in July 2011 issue-Page 19-23 (Volume 48, Number 7)-ISSN: 0036-8512]. For More information please click the link;
- Article Published in Science Reporter-July 2011
SR 48(7) 19-23
- Article Published in Journal of Aerospace Sciences & Technologies May 2011-CASES OF FALL OF BLUE AIRCRAFT ICE FROM SKY IN INDIA
[“Published as a ‘Case Study’ in the ‘Journal of Aerospace Sciences and Technologies’[Aeronautical Society of India] in May 2011 issue (Volume 63, Number 2)-ISSN 0972-950x”]
- A paper by Bimal K Srivastava on the topic “Case Study of Incidents of Fall of Non-Meteorological Ice from Sky Reported through Indian News Media” has appeared on 08th April 2015 in the “Journal of Environment Protection and Sustainable Development”, (Vol. 1, No.2, 2015, pp. 29-53) through Public Science Framework (PSF), American Institute of Science (AIS). Anyone interested may see the available Link: 70140004 or http://www.publicscienceframework.org/journal/paperInfo/jepsd?paperId=295
From time to time cases of fall of aircraft ice (Which is normally blue in colour), have been recorded all across the world. Strangely enough, the origin of such ice is from a commercial aircraft carrying passengers and flying high in sky, and that too from the most unexpected place, from its toilets. The occurrences of fall of ice from the aircraft are treated as extremely rarest of the rare case, yet there are many such cases world-wide on records.
Even Federal Aviation Administration Aviation (FAA) in USA, has issued a fact sheet on 1st Jan. 2005, for consumption of general public clarifying the common myths on the subject that not every strange looking & smelly object found around their neighbourhood was from the lavatories of the airliners. However, they also advised public that if something is suspected to have come from the sky, the matter should be immediately brought to the notice of FAA for further investigation.
How it happens?
In the Toilet System of modern commercial airliners, the waste gets sucked out through Vacuum suction. Use of vacuum, requires very little use of water (Mixed with blue sanitizing liquid). The lavatory waste is then stored in a storage tank inside the aircraft and on landing, the toilet cleaning vehicles are used to remove the waste.
Mostly a chemical (Sanitizing liquid), dark blue in colour (It could be of some other colour also depending on the type of sanitizing liquid used by the airliner) is mixed with cleaning water inside the aircraft lavatory holding tanks to deodorize the waste and to break down any solids. The blue chemical serves another purpose. In the event of any leakage from the drain pipes, the ground engineers are able to detect the leakage by observing the presence of blue colour on the exterior of the aircraft and thus would be able to repair it.
However in case of any leakage or seepage from the toilet drain lines, small amount of lavatory fluid comes outside and is condensed into ice due to low outside temperature. When the ice becomes too heavy it gets detached and falls on ground, normally during descent when the aircraft encounters higher atmospheric temperatures on coming from higher altitude to lower altitude or during cruise when the ice weight becomes too heavy.
The colour of such ice is normally blue (Due to presence of blue sanitizing liquid). However in certain cases it could be green, blackish, yellow, muddy or even grey, depending upon the type of sanitizing liquid used.
Cases in India?
A large number of such cases have been observed in India also.
Let us take the case of a heavy lump of ice block weighing about 10 Kgs which fell from sky in the village of Hajibas located at a distance of about two Kms from Pinangwan in the State of Haryana on 18th May 2008. The above mentioned incident was reported in form of an odd & mystic occurrence in a Hindi News Paper the very next day, but the mystery remained unsolved.
The ice block created a hole about half a feet deep on ground. Fortunately, there was no injury to any person or damage to any property. The ice block melted after about two to two and a half hours.
The Blue colour of Ice, which changed to bluish liquid on melting, dry weather, summer season, no rains and isolated occurrence, ruled out any weather related event. Could it then be a part of global warming? May not be possible, as the global warming or other such occurrences normally affect the complete area and they do not occur at a single isolated place. Could the ice might have fallen off from some flying object such as a satellite or an aeroplane? Yes, that appeared most likely. In all probability the above incident also appeared as a case of aircraft ice.
It so happened that the incident had occurred near a village by name Hajibas near Pinangwan (Approximate Geographical Coordinates Latitude 27053’37”N, Longitude 77007’30”E.), which is located in District Gurgaon (Haryana) at a distance of about 75 Kms (Aerial distance) from Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, Delhi exactly towards south (On a bearing of 180o). This place lies below the Air Traffic Services (ATS) route known as W-20N (Chennai-Bangalore-Hyderabad-Nagpur-Bhopal-Delhi).
And when over this place, the aircraft are approximately 15 to 20 minutes to land at IGI airport, where the commercial airliners are descending from their cruising level of about 30,000 feet down to 15,000 feet, where temperatures are comparatively higher than the cruising level. By combining all the facts and figures, the incident definitely deserved the credit to get categorized as one of the rarest phenomenon of blue aircraft ice or “Non-Meteorological Ice” falling on ground in India.
The matter was also reported to the Director General of Civil Aviation (Which is the regulatory authority for Civil Aviation matters), New Delhi the very next day by the author. It is understood from DGCA that though there had been many incidents of leakage from toilet drains, however it was the first time when a report of fall of blue ice in India had been made to DGCA.
And then there was another notable Incident of fall of Blue Ice that had occurred near Mt. Abu (Distt Sirohi, Rajashthan) on 06th Oct 2009, when a large lump of blue Ice weighing about 25 Kgs fell from the sky in a farmhouse in Tokra village near Mount Abu (Approximate Geographical Coordinates 24040’25” N, 72042’40” E) at around 0515 Hrs IST. There were no rains and sky was clear with Temperature touching around 380 C. The ice had melted down to about 4-Kgs and tuned into a liquid deep blue in colour and sticky.
The case was examined by Dr. (Prof) K. K. Sharma, Head of the Deptt of Geology at the Government College, Sirohi, alongwith the team of Professors Dr. Ritesh Purohit (Lecturer, Geology) and Dr. Sanjay Purohit (Lecturer, Bio Technology). The team also consulted Jesus Martinez-Frias, a planetary geologist at the Center for Astrobiology in Madrid, and a pioneer researcher of large sized Ice lumps (Known as Megacryometeors). And then the case was declared as the ice from the lavatories of an aircraft. It may be mentioned that the an International ATS Route “A-791W (Westbound)” from Kolkata to Karachi passes through that area. It is possible that an airliner cruising at an high altitude over the route might have dropped the ice lump due to heavy weight of the same.
On 31.01.2010, there was one case in Mongshangei Maning Leika area in Imphal regarding the fall of a block of ice, blue in colour weighing about 5 Kgs on the roof of a house creating a hole in the tin-roofed kitchen. After melting it turned into bluish liquid with strange smell. The place is located just 1.5 Km away from Imphal Airport. It may possible that an aircraft approaching to land on “Runway 22” might have been responsible for the drop of Ice Lump.
Type of Aircraft Involved and Phases of flight
Other important conditions for formation of ice from aircraft could be as given below;
- Only medium & large passenger airliners with full-fledged passenger toilets operating commercial flights are involved. Some kind of leakage or seepage from the aircraft toilet drains is necessary.
- The place of incident should be located below an established ATS air-route meant for civil airliners or alternatively it should be close to an airport where passenger airliners are landing & taking off.
- This ice will however fall on ground only under two conditions;
- When the airliner is descending, or,
- During cruise when the ice lump becomes too heavy (Of the order of 50 to 100 Kgs or more),
Due to that reason while analysing the cases of ice fall, the above important aspects have been taken into consideration.
Author has made efforts to collect a total of 24 available reports for the last four to five years from the authentic media reports and analyse them by examining the published photographs and videos, type of ice lump, its colour, shape, smell and location of incident in relation to the nearby airports and air routes. The location of the incident site was examined vis-à-vis the established ATS Routes (Air Traffic Services Routes) passing over the area and with reference to the nearby airports where civil flights are operating. The details can be found on Internet Link
- A paper by Bimal K Srivastava on the topic “Case Study of Incidents of Fall of Non-Meteorological Ice from Sky Reported through Indian News Media” has appeared on 08th April 2015 in the “Journal of Environment Protection and Sustainable Development”, (Vol. 1, No.2, 2015, pp. 29-53) through Public Science Framework (PSF), American Institute of Science (AIS). Anyone interested may see the available Link: http://www.publicscienceframework.org/journal/paperInfo/jepsd?paperId=295 70140004
On 07th Jan 2016, the Times of India published a case of fall of ice from sky in a village in Dist Sagar (M.P.) India, (Geographical Coordinates 23°14’03.39″N, 78°53’06.08″E) that had occurred on 17th Dec 2015, resulting into injury to an old woman. Possibly the ice was from the leakage of liquids from toilets of defective pipe lines of an aircraft. Perhaps this is the first case in India where some one suffered personal injury due ice from sky. Times of India News Report ft 07-01-2016 is attached.
Another incident of District Harda (M.P.), India on 04th April 2016.
A cool surprise for heatwave-hit MP: 30 kg of ice falls from the sky
- Neeraj Santoshi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal/Harda
- Updated: Apr 07, 2016 11:34 IST
Reeling under an early heat wave, people in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh received a cool surprise — an ice chunk weighing about 30kg falling from the sky.
The chunk, believed to be a megacryometeor (ice-stone) or blue ice, came crashing down in a field on Monday, creating a three-foot-deep crater upon impact. This comes nearly three months after a similar incident in Sagar district in which a 60-year-old woman was injured.
The latest incident occurred at Nousar village in Timarini, 40km from Harda district headquarters. The field belonged to Raj Kumar Patil, whose younger brother Jitendra Patil was irrigating it at the time. On hearing the thundering sound, locals came running to the field to find the chunk had broken into three.
Jitendra said another chunk came crashing down in a field nearby. “I was very scared. Nearly 14 seconds after the first chunk of ice fell, another smaller chunk fell in a nearby field. We informed other villagers who came rushing,” he said.
Harda collector Srikant Banot said he will inspect the site and also rope in geologists and other experts. He said in all probability, it was blue ice from a plane flying overhead at a great height. He said he had sent the sub-divisional magistrate to the spot to submit a report.
According to a research paper, ‘Isotopic studies of megacryometeors in western India’ published in March 2013, ice-stones or megacryometeors form suddenly even during non-cloudy, clear sky when there is no thunderstorm activity.
“Although their formation is not clearly understood, they are considered to have an origin different from large hailstones. The research paper is based on four unusually large ice-stones weighing several kilograms which fell in western India (Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra ) during October–November 2010.
According to authors of the research paper, many causal mechanisms have been hypothesized for the formation and fall of megacryometeors that include aircraft icing, blue ice or waste water released from aircraft lavatories, leakage from aircraft water tanks, condensation trails of jet planes and extraterrestrial origin.
They also pointed out that, according to Martinez-Frias who has collected data on ice-stones falls across the world, “megacryometeor fall frequency has increased since 1950 and that 46 fall events have been recorded between 2001 and 2006 alone”.