Lavatory waste from a flying plane rained down on a man and his garden in Windsor in a “one in a billion” episode, a council meeting has heard.
Speaking to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s aviation forum, Cllr Karen Davies explained how a constituent who contacted her was covered in the sewage, along with his whole garden and garden umbrellas.
The Liberal Democrat official said that the dumping happened “fairly centrally” to Windsor in mid-July and described how “horrified” she was to hear of the incident.
Cllr Davies told the meeting that the constituent contacted her about the “dreadful” episode, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
An ‘unpleasant’ experience
Plane toilets usually store sewage in special tanks that are normally emptied once the plane has landed.
“I know a number of incidents happen every year with frozen sewage from planes, but this wasn't frozen and his whole garden was splattered in a very unpleasant way,” Cllr Davies said. “Hopefully it never happens again to any of our residents.”
Cllr John Bowden, Conservative, called it a “one in a billion chance” and suggested that the warm weather meant the sewage could have “come out as a more ‘fluidy’ item”.
The resident decided not to pursue an insurance claim after he was able to identify the aircraft via a route tracking app.
“Obviously he wasn’t going to do that for the sake of a couple of garden umbrellas, in terms of bumping up his premium, so he’s just sort of had to take it on the chin,” added Cllr Davies.
The name of the airline was not revealed, however she added it was “based a very long way away from here”.
A ‘very rare’ incident
Geoff Paxton, a Winkfield Parish councillor who has worked at airports for 40 years, called the incident “very rare” and one he had not seen in a long time.
“We used to have problems with blue ice [frozen human waste and disinfectant] on arrivals but that was because those toilets used to leak.”
Vacuum toilets in modern aircraft are much more secure, he explained.
However, if planes are flying below 6,000ft, as they would be when landing and taking off, the air pressure is less and “it could well be that something came out of the vent at low altitude”.