StevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3332 times:
USA Today runs a weekly column by United Airlines 777 Captain Meryl Getline in their travel section.
Today, one of the questions regarding fuel dumping, and Capt. Getline made the following statement:
Fuel isn't dumped the way I think many people imagine. It is sprayed through nozzles at the end of each wing and then vaporizes. When I've witnessed it, the streams appeared white. Have a look for yourself. I found this picture at airliners.net, a wonderful resource for aviation information.
I wonder if the vapor trail in the picture that's linked is of an actual fuel dump or something else. The only time I've seen a fuel dump was after taking off from Gatwick heading for Amsterdam, and the pilot pointed out a 747 that had taken off from Heathrow and was dumping fuel over the Channel. It was a vapor stream as she described, only much more brown than white. The trail distinctively looked like what we see in the movies of WWII bombers going down with smoke trailing behind them. It was that unique that I can remember it 10 years later. I wonder if different atmospheric conditions play a role in what the color is?