A Delta plane injured 26 people by dumping fuel over an elementary school — here’s why planes dump fuel, and how they usually try and avoid hitting people

Jet Fuel School

A Delta plane dumped jet fuel over an elementary school, causing minor injuries to children and adults on Tuesday.
Planes dump fuel when they end up making a shorter flight than expected and the plane is too heavy for a safe landing.
They are supposed to do so over unpopulated areas and at a high enough altitude for the fuel to vaporize before reaching the ground.
It is not yet clear why the plane could not fly higher while dumping the fuel, but Delta said its plane had to return to LAX “quickly” because of an “engine failure.”

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A Delta plane making an emergency landing in Los Angeles on Tuesday dumped jet fuel as it flew over an elementary school, injuring parents and children who were in the playground, authorities said.

Delta flight 89, which was travelling from LAX to Shanghai, China, suffered an “engine issue requiring the aircraft to return quickly to LAX,” releasing fuel on the way, the airline said.

17 children and nine adults at Park Avenue Elementary School got minor injuries, Reuters reported, though as many as 67 people were treated by paramedics at the scene.

The US Federal Aviation Administration said it was “thoroughly investigating” what had happened, and suggested that the airline had not followed proper procedures in dumping the fuel in the way it did.

Here’s why airlines dump fuel, and what is typically done to avoid it hitting people.

Planes dumping fuel while in the air is a typical procedure, done to reduce the plane’s weight before landing

Planes carry not only the fuel that is needed to reach its destination, but extra fuel in case the aircraft needs to divert or re-route and make the flight longer, as well as an extra fuel reserve in case of an extreme emergency.

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Source:: Business Insider


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