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United Airlines grounded a flight after passengers witness jet fuel gushing from the wing

Clearer video of the #united #gasleak. How not one crew member saw this is beyond me. Thank god we were lookin out the window at take off. United Airlines was forced to cancel a Venice, Italy-bound flight after the plane suffered a massive fuel leak while waiting to take off at Newark Liberty International Airport. Video captured by a passenger on board the Boeing 767-300 shows fuel gushing from its left wing. ( More...

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mike SUT 12
Looks to be coming from overfill (pressure relief) vent located on the underside of the wing...that's why no crew member saw it, can't be seen from the cockpit, however...what caused the overpressure is something to be looked at.
Matt LaMay 1
It coming from the dump valve. The overfill vents are located further outboard and in the middle of the wing.
FlyYX 0
I checked the dump valve this morning Ops check good.
Nico Arreman 6
The leak is the valve to discharge fuel at a premature landing. Mayby a rubber seal that is broken. Rarely occurs.
Now, United has gone the right way to pick up their passengers in a hotel and to book over for later flights. After the incident with Dr. David Dao has taught United something.
npog99 3
Except for the fact that ground personnel treated the couple who first reported the incident like crap. They claim they received no hotel.
Yazoo 2
Hard to tell if it's the fuel dump or the wing tank vent/overflow. They are both in the same area. The vent/overflow is under the wing, the dump nozzle sticks out of the trailing edge. If the right wing was at full taking a hard turn while taxing can cause the wing tank fuel to surge out the vent/overflow. And yes the right tank vents out the left and vice versa.
Chris Trott 2
Actually, that's only true for the DC-9/MD-80 series of airplanes. All Boeing prodcuts (sans the 717) are direct vent (same wing as tank) and is more traditional method of overflow. Fuelers are specifically trained on this for the DC-9/MD-80 series becuase it is non-standard.
Yazoo 2
Chris Trott - Thanks but I think that we are both a little wrong. I could find the fuel vent diagram for the 767-300. I did find a 777 diagram. I THINK that the 727, 73 and 76 vent systemas are similar. The 777 actually does both. They vent from the inner tank across to the other surge tank and the outer portion vents into that respective side surge tank. I THINK that the vent line is tied into the fueling manifold. I believe that it was designed that way and severed to cover both over fueling and a surge due to aircraft attitude change. Thanks for keeping me straight.
FlyYX 0
Sorry cannot upload a picture here. Without getting the fish tape reader out this is the only thing I could find on the dc9/md80 in the stuff I have from my old work. It is in my pictures
Passengers should always speak up if they see something "funny". Even if it's nothing 99% of the time. I once informed a flight crew of residual snow/ice on the wing after they announced we'd be taking off without de-icing and they agreed to de-ice.

Several passengers on Aloha Airlines Flight 243 reported that they noticed cracks in the aircraft skin around the door when boarding, but didn't speak up because they felt they didn't have the "expertise" to know if it was unusual or not. If one of them had, the flight attendant's life would have been saved.
I've read multiple incident and accident reports where passengers tried to say something only to have fought attendants tell them it's normal and ignore them.
The most recent one I read had an outboard cowling break a fuel line and caused a massive leak and eventually fire. FAs said it's normal and didn't pass it on to someone that actually has the knowledge to make that call. By the time the crew noticed, so much fuel had departed that the right engine died on approach.
So I'm not sure telling the FAs will result in anything happening.
Steve Ascher 3
I notified a flight attendant on a Delta flight a couple of years ago that the engine cowling had a ragged piece of sheet metal protruding from it. After lending my phone to the crew in the cockpit so they could look at my pictures, they consulted with people on the ground and chose to continue with the flight. I emailed photos I took to ops after landing--they gave me 5000 miles for my trouble. Good deal.
Kyle Johnson 2
That's funny, I know a ramp rat that noticed sparks coming from the rudder of a Delta md-88 when the crew put it in full deflection during their runup and all he got was a $5 coupon to McDonald's
kyle..are you being sarcastic? most airline employees,ramp or otherwise gladly give safety or other information to whomever with the airline,or even tell someone to contact the tower to tell the captain..most don't expect anything in return as thats a part of their job-to see passengers,crew and ground personnel don't have any safety issues..passenger loyalty is important to most airlines,so a reward of miles to a passenger is not so unusual...
Did you even understand what he said???
Kyle Johnson 0
No I'm serious. You must be living in the clouds
Erik Bruner 4
Surge Tank... Move on!
Kyle Johnson 4
Surge tanks are funny things, you can have a little fuel in them without​ a problem while the plane is at the gate, but after the plane starts taxiing it will slosh about and pour out the overfill.
Also it's been hot, fuel density is low so tank capacity may be less than published.
Highflyer1950 1
Possibly, but that is a lot of fuel from expansion coming out. I wonder if (not knowing the fuel load/distribution) if the crew were transferring fuel to balance wing tanks ( long apu run time since refuelling) and forgot. I also don't know if the fuel dump switch activated both L & R fuel dump valves or have separate switches. Quite a mess anyway.
Kyle Johnson 1
Definately messy. I think the surge tank holds 50 gallons, which is more than enough to make a puddle that size.
Standard distribution for transatlantic trips are full wings and a bit in the belly. So I'd blame the fueler for overfilling the wing before the pilots. Although United fuel loads only allow 75 gallon varience from planned to actual, instead of 150 like most airlines.
Highflyer1950 1
Weird that the -300 series dos not have an auto fuel shutoff at the fuel panel when full! and yes, 50 gal makes quite a mess.
Kyle Johnson 1
It does, but you can always hold the reset button down to override it😉
Chris Trott 1
I've had an A300, DC-10, and 767 vent out the wing when topping them off. It depends on how quickly the tank is being fueled and whether there's a good fueling valve or not. A worn out valve closes slower and can allow more excess fuel in without the fueler knowing immediately. That's also why a lot of airlines (including United) specify a fuel quantity less than the actual max capacity (and volumetric top off setting) for the tank. It's not always because the fueler did something that is grounds for immediate termination.
Doreen Moisey 2
👍🏻👏🏻🙌🏻Saved lives.
Almost positive there was no threat to lives...
toolguy105 2
The 767 is equipped with a fuel dump valve in each wing. It appears the valve in the left wing has malfunctioned and is not fully closed. The danger level on this incident on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most dangerous IO would rate at 2 even if the plane had taken off.

What surprises me more than a crew member not seeing this, pilots cannot view the wing from the flight deck, is the pilot of the plane to the rear not seeing it and saying something.
Chris B 3
The presence of ground equipment suggests that this occurred close to the terminal possibly even while still at the gate. Flight crew ay not have been seated for take off so its a little much to expect them to see this. Pilots should have had an alert. Shame the video is so short.
dbkoob 1
Yep exactly someone other than the passenger should have seen it. It's pretty obvious when you got a waterfall of fuel coming out of the plane. And that is what bothers me and that is why I posted this in the first place.
Victor Engel 2
I reported a fuel leak on the wing of a 737 once (while in flight). The captain came to my seat to do an inspection. It was not a large leak like in the article. It appeared to be a compromised seal at the top of the wing. The captain thanked me for reporting it, made some comment that it didn't look dangerous but that he'd have it looked at upon landing.
Gary J 2
"Clearer video of the #united #gasleak. How not one crew member saw this is beyond me. Thank god we were lookin out the window at take off."

I don't remember flight crews head height also being window height..... muppet
waldo kitty 2
so the outside crew doesn't count? like those in that van that eased by pretty slowly??
Chris Trott 1
Maybe because the video was taken after the issue had been reported and the vans were there because of it?
waldo kitty 1
yeah, we don't know... that's plausible but there's no time information given for proper timeline evaluation...
Stan Brubaker 1
Hey folks, anybody one who sees something questionable on my bird, bring attention to the issue. All occuments can be crew members.
Victor Engel 1
What is an occument?
How about if anybody one didn't see anything, but anybody two did?
It's just fuel venting from the vents during fueling ops. It's more common than most people realize. The amounts of the vents however, aren't that common. That one looks pretty large. Could be a number of reasons that happened, one very common one is summer heat. We had one a week during the summer. You can't always fuel to wing capacity during the summer due to expansion. We usually stopped 300-400 lbs short of known capacity. Can always make up the difference in the center tank or an aux tank (if equipped).
b oloughlin 1
What about the van in the background, who slows down, stops, and then drives away quickly?
brock55 1
Something very similar happened to a Valujet DC9 in Atlanta many years ago. When taxiing out as the aircraft turned left fuel came flowing out of the right overflow. I believe a valve was the issue.
united seems to be having a "rough patch" on just about everything from aircraft to customer service these days!possibly new management and better oversight might improve what is happening in all areas of their company..when they were continental airlines,you never heard of the incidents that are some cases (not frequent) the fuelers "overfuel" the aircraft, just as you might with your car, and the fuel spews out..i have seen that any case, the safety of the passengers and crew should be the first concern...
fuel spills are very common its not a United thing
Where do you get this info. from???
Mosquito abatement.
Alan Cordery 0
Why did instruments show the leak?
Alan Cordery 0
Meant NOT show the leak..
HuffTheWeevil 2
That's not enough fuel to show up on any fuel gauges. And I'm not aware of any aircraft that gives an indication that you're venting fuel (unless you actually turned fuel dumping on).
Where are the fire engines?
they'll be there you can count on it
My Theory: Pilot told fueler it's going to Venice. Disable fueling system Auto-Shutoff, fill it up beyond normal. Oooops.
Do you have any idea what you are talking about or implying? Why bother posting such drivel or do you need attention that badly that you'll post anything?
Kyle Johnson 1
I like that theory! Screw the volumetric top off, I said more fuel!!!
gary mitchell 0
Time to mount go pros on airliners for the cockpit.
Jim DeTour 0
I'd bet a fuel transfer was going on forgotten or fouled up changing the settings. Hope the transfer pump setting was part of their precheck and they didnt skip it rushing. Might be time for eye exams. The dreaded onset of needing glasses is cruel especially when it comes to setting switches or picking menu selections.
tony evans -2
Last I checked Jet fuel is explosive Immediate evac should have been done and not return to the gate. A single spark could ignite the fuel and then it would travel along the vapor trail into the aircraft. I remebr all to well the incident with Concord in Paris a few years ago..
HuffTheWeevil 6
Jet fuel is not "explosive", it is flammable. Quite different. Concord never exploded - it was on fire.

In the vid it looks like they were still on the ramp. And it sounds like that engine isn't even started yet. These may have been factors that determined a return to gate instead of evac.
Highflyer1950 -1
Correct, but fuel vapour is?
Jim Nasby 5
Jet-A doesn't produce much in the way of flammable vapors. It's nothing at all like gasoline.
terry gersdorf -6
I could show you several videos of jetA exploding next time know the facts
Last time I checked it's actually known for low volatility.
npog99 0
I totally agree. The article I read on the news, yesterday, mentioned that they were ready to take off, and that engines were shut down at the gate. As a former flight attendant, I would most likely have initiated an evacuation. The issue is to prevent the loss of life. Once fire starts, it is too late to start evacuation. In my opinion.
Highflyer1950 3
As a former f/a, you would know that the Captain would initiate an evac if requ'd. The cockpit is in contact with ATC and ground equipment and can make the best decision. The last thing you need is a bunch of idiots sliding into venting jet fuel on the ground!
Ed Merriam 1
and check the wind angle or you'll incinerate the cabin like British Airtours 28M
Mike Williams 0
Has anyone seen the Die Hard movie Bruce Willis burned the Washington DC jet on the runway? I know it is a drama / action movie.
terry gersdorf -2
why was this person's tweet even used? Or doesn't this editor know where the cockpit is either.??? Just goes to show you how the so-called internet media loves its fake news
npog99 -9
That is what you get when you merge with Continental. United once was one of the safest airlines. It only took 6 years to turn it into crap.
Really that's your comment about a fuel spill...Geez some people shouldn't be allowed to have a computer ;)
I think it was the reverse...


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