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Cream and sugar with your jet fuel? Plane water tanks mistakenly filled

The Local · 29 Nov 2010, 14:12

Published: 29 Nov 2010 14:12 GMT+01:00

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According to daily Bild, a 21-year-old service company employee on Saturday thought he was filling the planes at Berlin's Schönefeld airport with water, not realising the 3,000-litre tank was contaminated with fuel.

The mistake was not discovered until after the planes to Zweibrücken, Cologne and Munich took off, Germanwings spokesman Joachim Schöttes said on Sunday.

The crews all reported noticing a strange smell while preparing beverages for passengers, at which point they decided to serve juice and soft drinks instead, Bild reported.

“The passengers had to do without tea and coffee,” Schöttes said.

The plane tanks have since been cleaned and the airline is investigating the mistake, Schöttes added.

Passengers did not come in contact with the fuel, but crewmembers were examined by medical experts. They are now back on duty, the paper said.

Story continues below…

It remains unclear how many litres of jet fuel contaminated the water tank, the paper said.

The Local/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:29 November 29, 2010 by beeker
At least it wasn't water in the fuel tanks.

Low bid servicer meets low bid airline.
16:07 November 29, 2010 by auniquecorn
You get what you pay for.
16:20 November 29, 2010 by AusHessen
I always believe hiring educated people they can read and write German make a difference.

"Hello stewardess gosh the coffee taste kind like jet fuel today"? Ja, ja It is called the holiday spirit blend Sir!
16:59 November 29, 2010 by Landmine
Lucky you can't smoke on planes anymore huh?
17:20 November 29, 2010 by lordkorner
Coffee and jet fuel gives you Germanwings !
19:57 November 29, 2010 by ovalle3.14
Wasser Zeit ist über!
21:11 November 29, 2010 by mhdamro
" ....The mistake was not discovered until after the planes to Zweibrücken, Cologne and Munich took off." ...... is that proper English ...???? or someone just translated it from the German !!!!!!!! any native English speaking here who can explain this to me .....
22:52 November 29, 2010 by Joshontour
19:57 November 29, 2010 by ovalle3.14

Wasser Zeit ist über!


What are you trying to say... that doesn't make sense.
23:22 November 29, 2010 by wood artist
I am surprised that this type of error is possible. While I can't speak of airplanes, I do know from experience that in hospitals and related medical facilities, various "gas" systems utilize what is known as a Pin Index System, which has a rather unfortunate acronym. In any case, it's impossible to connect an oxygen line to anything other than an oxygen tank, etc.

I don't know what the fittings look like on a plane, but I would have assumed something similar was in place, to prevent things like this from happening. Apparently they are not, or at least not adequately.

I'm just glad no one was injured or made ill from the situation.

02:08 November 30, 2010 by l8rmt
Hi i do speak native english and do know about planes, they are saying that the tank or bowser they use to fill the aircraft from somehow got jet fuel into it, so its nothing to do with the connections which you rightly say are totally different for fuel and water, also in totally different places on the aircraft
08:03 November 30, 2010 by The-ex-pat
For what it is worth, I am a licenced aircraft engineer (and I don't work for this outfit before anyone asks). Last night at work we where discussing how you can get fuel into a water bowser. The only way we could come up with was......it was added on purpose......... There is no way it could get in by accident. Couplings that are so different in how they lock in and a huge size difference between and fuel hose and a water hose, it would take a very concerted effort and a lot of time to even get as far as it being a mistake. This was a deliberate act and the investigation that follows will come to that conclusion to.
11:58 November 30, 2010 by moistvelvet
It is clear that from some of the comments some people are not understanding the article, as l8rmt and The-ex-pat make clear this has nothing to do with wrong connections and fuel being pumped into aircraft water tanks. But it doesn't help when the article starts with the headline "Plane water tanks mistakenly filled", they were not mistakenly filled, they were filled with water exactly how they were supposed to be. However the water was contaminated, how it became to be contaminated is the real story, not how some passengers only had fruit juice to drink.
13:42 November 30, 2010 by mehta_p
Good that all passengers and crewmembers are in well condition.

And good that smoking is not allowed in plane.
14:50 November 30, 2010 by war4heels
Like the Ex Pat says the connections for water and the connection for fuel are completely different. If the planes in the pictures are actually the ones that had the issue, they are Airbus' and the only way this could have happened is that if the water truck was filled with Jet A, which would take some serious work. Something like this is ridiculous to even happen, like Pat said the investigation will reveal that someone did this deliberately and I seriously hope they pay big time.


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