Massive Chunk of Ice Falls Through Roof of Windsor Home

March 17, 2017 by

Structural damage

A Windsor resident has expressed his horror after a massive chunk of ice, which is believed to have fallen from a plane, smashed through the roof of his house.

Mr. Wahram Manoukian came home from the gym to find huge pieces of ice scattered around his driveway. He commented that it was through sheer luck that no one was standing in the vicinity when the ice fell. Pictures of the incident show debris and smashed roof tiles, but it is not yet clear if any structural damage has been caused by the impact.


Mr Manoukian and his wife have been living under the Heathrow flightpath for 28 years and worry that the risk of falling ice will increase when a third runway is constructed at Heathrow.

Mr Manoukian has kept the ice, hoping that the Civil Aviation Authority might investigate the incident. Every year 25 incidents of falling ice are reported to the CAA, which says that it requires aircraft operators to reduce the risk of falling ice by carrying out regular maintenance to stop leaks from occurring and take rapid action if a defect is located. The CAA is unable to investigate the source of any fallen ice, but records incidents like the one that occurred at Mr Manoukian’s property.

Although there are close to 2.5 million flights going through UK airspace each year, the low number of ice fall reports indicate that the chance of falling ice damaging property is very low. The overall assumption is that ice falling from the sky has come out of planes, but there have been reports all over the world of megacryometeors, or giant chunks of ice, falling from the sky despite the absence of clouds or aviation activity in the area. The origins of this ice are unknown, although scientists continue to investigate the phenomenon.

While it is rare for ice to actually fall from an airplane, it can form on the outside of the aircraft when it is flying at high altitude. When it descends into warmer temperatures, this ice can break away in chunks and fall to the earth.

Although falling ice has been popularly attributed to toilet waste, the reality is that modern airplanes cannot eject waste while in flight. However, there have been reports of hose valves that are used to empty the planes being faulty and leaking fluid which has subsequently frozen in the air. When this happens, the ice is discoloured and usually referred to as ‘blue ice’.

The airline bears responsibility for repairing any damage from falling ice. However, identifying the responsible aircraft can be problematic, so Heathrow has a vortex repair scheme that carries out such repairs free of charge.

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