FAA: Sorry That Holes In Your Roof Are Maybe From Frozen Waste Falling From The Sky

Blue ice or frozen airplane waste? Potato, pot-ah-to but for two homeowners on Long Island, it all boils down to the same result — gaping holes in the roof. The Federal Aviation Administration is trying to figure out how the homes got damaged and whether or not homeowners are correct in thinking that something super gross fell from a plane passing overhead.

The hole in one roof is about the size of a basketball and was caused by something rocketing through singles, plywood and insulation early on Sunday morning, reports CBS New York.

“We both woke up to a very loud bang. I looked around — no breeze, no rain, nothing,” that homeowner said.

Meanwhile next door in another Donnie Darkoesque moment, another hole was punched through that roof at the same time.

“It’s a very huge hole. It did a lot of damage through heavy wood. I can’t imagine if it hit a person,” said the other homeowner. Her roofer found a “brown, wet stain” in the attic and said it had to be from an airplane.

“It’s hard to understand what could have done this. It had to have come from a plane. A bird couldn’t have done it.”

The FAA is used to this happening once in awhile, as airplane toilets leak, the waste freezes at high altitudes and then breaks off in  chunks that are known by a decidedly less gross name than “frozen airplane waste” — “blue ice.” Almost sounds like something you’d buy from the ice cream man.

Inspectors from the FAA are going to check into the situation and see what could’ve been flying overhead at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, and ask any airlines that were in the sky to check for toilet leaks.

In the meantime, the homeowners could be on the hook for some pretty expensive repairs, if it can’t be proved that a specific airline caused the blue ice to rain down. A very stinky situation, to say the least.

FAA: Falling Frozen Waste From Plane Possibly Caused Holes In Long Island Roofs [CBS New York]


Edit Your Comment

  1. aaronx says:

    Ah, Joe Dirt. You were years ahead of your time.

  2. dush says:

    If they can design a plane to not lose cabin pressure at high altitudes why can’t they design a plane that doesn’t have a leaky toilet?

    • Quirk Sugarplum says:

      Oh, that’s expensive and will cause ticket costs to rise. The root problem is that pampered passengers relieve themselves while onboard. I shouldn’t have to pay for that!

      • euroae says:

        Add to that the fact that aircraft aren’t airtight. There is a constant and slow leakage of air. If a planes toilet system was as leaky as the cabin, this would be an hourly occurrence.

  3. deathbecomesme says:

    Insurance adjuster : “Acts of God are not covered”

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Prove that God exists and just did that, and I’ll be OK with it.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      While I’m sure God would flush, I don’t think he poops on people’s houses.

      At least not like that.

    • ninabi says:

      Dave Barry discreetly referred to solid matter in the toilet as “Acts of Congress”. Hopefully the
      insurance adjuster will be able to discern that the matter was the result of an “Act of Congress” and not an “Act of God”.

  4. StarKillerX says:

    Is this what they mean by a “shit storm?”

  5. madcatcasey says:

    Didn’t Mythbusters disprove the whole blue ice thing?

    • RandomLetters says:

      I was thinking about that episode to and I thought they confirmed it.

    • elangomatt says:

      Quite the opposite, I believe they proved it to be plausable. I think at least two separate sealing systems would have to fail on the plane, but if both systems failed then blue ice was possible.

    • MrEvil says:

      What the Mythbusters disproved was the hypothesis that the chunks of ice come from a sudden release of the holding tanks. Rather, the large chunks of ice probably originate from a slow leak of the fitting used to drain the holding tanks. This slow leak allows ice to build up on the airplane’s skin in the boundary layer. The ice chunk can become large enough to break off and possibly cause damage to property below.

      • Zyada says:

        Notably, they showed that in at cruising altitudes, it was cold enough that the liquid would freeze on the fuselage, rather than being blown off. Then when the plane came in for a landing, the ice would warm up enough that it could be blown off the fuselage. And most airports plenty of construction in flight paths.

        I bet if you could get data on damage caused by basketball sized hail, it would all be within a couple of miles of an airport.

  6. MPD01605 says:

    Blue ice falling from the sky?
    Call Walt and Jesse.

  7. Tunnen says:

    If it was sludge that leaked from the waste water aboard an aircraft, wouldn’t a quick sniff test be able to answer the question. The article said there was a brown, wet stain but even when some wood gets normal water poured on it it will form a brown stain. Also, I’m assuming by the “blue ice” name that they also use the chemical they add to RVs, portable toilets and other concentrated waste water tanks that has a very blue tint. If that is the case, wouldn’t the stain also have that blue tint if it was from an aircraft? Any weather patterns in the area that might have contributed to freak hail or high winds that may have thrown some debris airborne? Any chance it was a meteor? (I’m assuming the damage would have been greater, but I’m not an expert)

  8. keith4298 says:

    The FAA is used to this happening once in awhile, as airplane toilets leak, the waste freezes at high altitudes and then breaks off in chunks that are known by a decidedly less gross name than “frozen airplane waste” — “blue ice.”

    “I don’t know what’s scarier, losing nuclear weapons, or that it happens so often there’s actually a term for it.” – Broken Arrow

  9. JustJayce says:

    This story is full of crap.

  10. Invader Zim says:

    Flying cows?

  11. Press1forDialTone says:

    Why is this a Consumist issue?
    Sh*t falls from the sky, we’ve all known this since we were kids.
    News fail.

  12. baristabrawl says:

    Potato, potato. It has nothing to do with the way you spell it, it has to do with the way you say it. That’s where the saying comes from. Please make a note of it.

  13. eturowski says:

    That sh*t wouldn’t fly here.

  14. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:


    Mile-high Blue Sherbet