A Long Island couple claims that they were showered with human waste. They say, it came from the skies. So apparently their karma is seriously imbalanced, or, as they guessed, they were the victims of airplane lavatory evacuation.
The husband initially believed the blackish-green fluid to be oil, but a police officer on the scene disagreed, saying: “Yeah, it looks like there was an incident …. Some lavatory excrement had leaked out.”
The couple is demanding an investigation, but it does beg the question: do airplanes really dump human waste mid-flight? Not intentionally. Airliner toilets use a “closed waste system”, meaning that the contents of the bowl are moved to an on-board sewage tank (like what we all have at home). Either that, or they use a “vacuum waste system”, which is why you get that high-powered vacuum sucking sound when you flush. That system merely “sucks” the waste into the on-board sewage tank to be emptied later, after landing.
Even if the pilot or crew were feeling mischievous and wanted to dump waste on innocent passers-by, they couldn’t. The valve is located on the outside of the plane and can’t be opened mid-flight.
So how can this kind of thing happen mid-flight? Waste actually can leak out of a malfunctioning aircraft, and it has happened before. This kind of leakage is actually a serious safety concern for the airplane. The ice created by the leakage can damage the plane, and in one case, even knocked an engine off the wing.
People always wonder what happens to their waste on an airplane. Well, now you know. As for other modes of transportation, cruise ships do dump your nasty into the water as they’re going, and trains dump it right on the tracks.
And now you have something to talk about on your next flight. You’re welcome.