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Terrifying Ice Sound In A330-300 Cabin After T/O  
User currently offlineKellie From Australia, joined Jun 2006, 3 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 22520 times:

On an A330-300 out of Singapore Airport one humid warm evening 3 weeks ago, as we climbed out of Singapore, there was a freaky sound that lasted for 10 mins, of what seemed like hundreds of ice cube sized pieces of ice rolling from the front of the aircraft to the back, over and over again, between the cabin ceiling and the outer skin of the plane. It was loud and consistent and two passengers ignored the seatbelt sign and alerted the flight crew who said it was the air-conditioning. The passengers were all alarmed and worried until the noise ceased. What was going on? There were no clouds or rain at the time, it was a warm clear evening. Any ideas? Has anyone come across this before?

43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBD338 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 702 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 22453 times:

Can't say I've ever come across that noise on any aircraft, rule of thumb if the flight attendants aren't worried by it I tend not to worry. They fly every day and know what sounds and looks right/wrong. A330 are usually some of the quieter aircraft on take-off I find.

I did once get a good shower from the AC condensation in a QF 747 on take off from Brisbane a couple of years ago, water just poured out of the panels under the overhead lockers. A real treat for the start of a 13 hour flight  


User currently offlinejetmech From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 2684 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 22347 times:

Quoting Kellie (Thread starter):
Has anyone come across this before?

It's actually quite common from my experience. I've often heard particles of ice clunking their way down the air-conditioning ducts whilst I was fixing stuff in the cabin. The fact that it was so humid supports the notion that what you heard was indeed ice. It never ceases to amaze me how effective the air-conditioning systems are on a commercial airliners. To think they manage to cool air down so much without using any sort of refrigerant!

You often also see thick, white clouds of condensation (not ice) when you run things such as air driven pumps and starter motors. The same basic principle is at play here, the sudden expansion and cooling of the air causes water vapour to condense (and possibly form ice).

Regards, JetMech

[Edited 2010-11-09 19:44:42]


JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair.
User currently offlinepugsley From Australia, joined Jan 2010, 185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 22149 times:

Quoting BD338 (Reply 1):
A real treat for the start of a 13 hour flight

Was it actuallt from the Air Con? I regulary need to mop up mess/water coming from the overhead lockers, however it is always liquid coming from a drink/water bottle that someone has left in their bag in the overhead locker. When the pressure inside the aircraft changes, if the lid of the bottle does not seal properly or the bottle is lying on it side, they always leak all over the pax.

Quoting jetmech (Reply 2):
It's actually quite common from my experience.

While i've never heard it last for 10 min, this is a common occurance on A330's and usually happens once or twice once the aircraft has pusshed back and is during the climb phase of flight.



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User currently offlinejet-lagged From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 871 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 21854 times:

I used to experience this regularly on airbus flight out of Hong Kong. Glad to finally know what it was.

User currently offlineNASBWI From Bahamas, joined Feb 2005, 1307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 21744 times:

I don't know about the clunking noise of ice through the ducts, but I've experienced tiny pellets of ice raining down on me from the vents on the E190; very sporadic, and usually during climbout.


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User currently offlinetype-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4948 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 21697 times:

I once took an AA F100 IAH-ORD early in the am after the aircraft sat overnight at IAH in the warm very humid air. All the windows were covered in moisture until take off. About 1/2 way on the trip to ORD, the same thing you described happened. It was very loud. It sounded like a bowling ball was being rolled down the top of the fuselage from the front to the back.
The F/A's even said they haven't heard this noise before. A short time later the captain made a PA explaining what all the racket was. But it sounded like the roof was going to let go!



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User currently offlineadamblang From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 21627 times:

I heard the same thing on a DL A330-300 last weak. Scared the crap out of me but none of the cabin crew batted an eye.

I have nothing to add as to what it may be, though.

[Edited 2010-11-09 22:20:56]


The views and opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or its partners.
User currently offlinekiwimex From Mexico, joined Nov 2009, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 21578 times:

Yep. I've had this on domestic Airbus flights in Mexico.

The first time was certainly concerning for a few seconds until I figured out what it was.


User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5726 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks ago) and read 21233 times:

This is common only in particularly humid environments. The moisture will sometimes form ice- we have systems in the AC Packs that remove moisture, but as with all machines, they are NOT 100% efficient at their task.
So, you end up with some moisture freezing up, and then being broken loose by vibration, or melting as the pack rapidly increases its output temperature due to the quickly dropping ambient temp outside.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 6):
I once took an AA F100

The Fokkers were NOTORIOUS for this problem.


User currently offlinebill142 From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 8439 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 20581 times:

Seems to be an Airbus issue. On a recent A380 flight to LHR people were complaining of being snowed on, but were advised by the crew that it happens and that it was an 'Airbus thing'

User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5726 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 20496 times:

Quoting bill142 (Reply 10):
Seems to be an Airbus issue. On a recent A380 flight to LHR people were complaining of being snowed on, but were advised by the crew that it happens and that it was an 'Airbus thing'

It isn't.
If you've flown AA through DFW, chance are you were on an MD-80, and in the humid summers, they steam, fog, and sputter out of the vents while at the gate even.

I've been in 737s that rained on me.

And, as I pointed out above, Fokkers were well-known for blowing ice chunks down the air duct above the ceiling.


User currently offlineBD338 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 702 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 20380 times:

Quoting pugsley (Reply 3):
Quoting BD338 (Reply 1):
A real treat for the start of a 13 hour flight

Was it actuallt from the Air Con? I regulary need to mop up mess/water coming from the overhead lockers, however it is always liquid coming from a drink/water bottle that someone has left in their bag in the overhead locker.

Definitely not a bottle of water in my case, it happened in several locations around me on both sides of the aisle. Unless there happened to be several bottles of water.

Seems to be a common item depending on the humidity. Now, with the 787 promising higher humidity levels will this increase or decrease the chances of getting a quick shower or having ice rumbling in the ductwork?


User currently offlineBen175 From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 676 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 20251 times:

I had this on an SQ A330 final approach into PER only a few weeks ago. It was absolutely bizarre, clear blue skies and all of a sudden it sounded like our plane was being pelted with hail! The cabin crew told us on disembarkation it was "ice hitting the aircraft", which left everyone totally confused seeing as it was 36 degrees celsius and there wasn't a cloud in sight!

Great to finally know what it was.


User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2266 posts, RR: 13
Reply 14, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 19978 times:

This is also very common on Embraer a/c, especially the ERJs. Not only do you hear the ice rolling around, it often snows on you in the cabin as the ice makes it's way through the gasper vents. It's most often associated with humid air being super condensed and frozen, then shuffled around on/by takeoff. Inflight the humidity is gone, so the problem is only temporary.

Flight attendants sitting on the tailcone jumpseat of an MD-80 are often rained on due to moist air being condensed. The same problem also leads to what some people believe is smoke, but actually is just moisture rich air (fog) coming from the a/c system. This was especially pronounced on the A300.



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User currently offlineshankly From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 1540 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 19951 times:

Remember experiencing this on a Garuda A330 in the same region a few years ago, but in the cruise.

I satisfied my curiosity at the time by convincing myself the aircraft may have been transiting through ice /drops particles ...the aircon thing hadn't occured to me, but would perhaps offer a more rational explanation.



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User currently offlinefi642 From Monaco, joined Mar 2005, 1079 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 19431 times:

Many years ago I was flying a NW 744 from HKG. It actually "snowed' in F when they switched from APU to engine bleed during taxi out!


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User currently offlineCharlieNoble From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 19292 times:

I recall a couple of Aeroflot flights I took in 1987 where there was quite a "fog" coming out of these air vents that ran along the windows on the side of the cabin (on the ground before takeoff). It was like something out of a horror movie. Being teenage punks weak on science and indocrinated by Cold War BS we were momentarily suspicious that the Russians might be anesthetizing us for the trip  

Unfortunately I wasn't into civilian airliners at the time and didn't record which types of aircraft they were, but I do know that I flew at least one TU-154 and one IL-62 when I was over there. Couldn't possibly forget those four engines back at the tail!


User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 810 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 18852 times:

I have heard it but imagined it was simply rats running overhead.

User currently offlineetops1 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 1069 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 18100 times:

I hear it a lot on our A330's at USAirways. Happens when its a hot day outside. It's very normal. No need to worry .

User currently offlinesolnabo From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 850 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 17866 times:

.
When I was on A319 and the plane backed out from gate I heard the famous "barking dog" under the cabin (cargo bay)
What the hell was that sound, but reading on A.net I got it explained to me...kinda scary first time   
Now the 330 have iceboxes above pax....*brrrrrr*

Cheers   



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User currently offlineA320boy From UK - England, joined Jun 2010, 35 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 17864 times:

Happens all the time on Airbus..

We often get chunks of ice flying at us in the galley from the AC vents in there


User currently offlineflaps30 From United States of America, joined May 2009, 283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 17307 times:

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 9):
The Fokkers were NOTORIOUS for this problem.

Those damn little Fokkers!!!



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User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6530 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 16516 times:

About the fog thing, there are examples in the DB.

On an Il-62 :


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On an A320 :


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User currently offlineJCS From Netherlands, joined Jun 2004, 210 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 16209 times:

Yes, I heard this for the first time on a KL A332 t/o from DXB some weeks ago. It did scare me, even though when asking later on a f/a did explain.

25 Post contains images LTC8K6 : I've had it "snow" out of the air vents. Once it went on for quite a while.
26 ZKEOJ : I remember on a flight FRA-BKK-SYD on LH when the B744 was very new (1990) in the fleet, the window seats in business were left empty. After take-off
27 Post contains images KHPN : Happened to me on an LO 767 as well. You know its going to be a great flight when this happens
28 crjfixer : crj's do this as well, very common in hot and humid conditions
29 AirlineEcon : I noticed this sound on an SQ A330 during approach into the maldives (MLE). It was quite scary as the pilot was dodging thunderstorm cells that we cou
30 Post contains images virginson937 : I also noticed this sound on a VS A343 after takeoff from LHR. Crew also believed it to be the Air Con. Will
31 Eagleboy : A regular occurance on the A330s I work on. You also get lots of condensation clouds in hot weather when the A/C starts up. Then coming into land in
32 rolypolyman : Where does all this water go? Does this accumulate somewhere at the bottom of the fuselage and cause corrosion? (if not on the aluminum, on any steel
33 johnkrist : Similar thing happened on a BA 747 flight from IAH to LHR in summertime, when we landed at LHR water started pouring down between the panels and near
34 agent99nzboi : I have heard of crew putting ice cubes down the front toilet to feek passangers out. apparently when you flush the ice gets sucked down to the back of
35 474218 : There small holes in the aircraft structure (frames/stringers/etc) that allow fluids to drain until it is at the very bottom of the fuselage. In the
36 Post contains images rolfen : Yeah, rats... nothing to worry about
37 soon7x7 : To add to explanation...the Airbus A/C ducts are extremely lightweight fibre glass tunnels mated to aluminum connections which tend to amplify the "s
38 okie : That is your take. Okie will say if you see the fog/condensation from the vents on an AA MD-80 at DFW then you are lucky. It has been my experience o
39 type-rated : I've seen condensation fog lots of time on a/c arriving in Houston when it's raining outside and the flight just came in. It seems as soon as the pop
40 Post contains images Severnaya : I actually found the fog refreshing on a real hot summer evening A319 flight out of terminal F at SVO.
41 oldtimer : Its not an Airbus thing, it happens on all aircraft, the worse I have had it on is a VS744 coming out of MCO. I have had it on all Boeing models inclu
42 Eagleboy : THIS makes sense as to why it 'seems' to be an Airbus thing.
43 NYCFlyer : This happened to me (more to my seat-mate) back in June, on an Aerosvit Airlines An-148, from VKO (Moscow-Vnukovo) to KBP. He was drenched. For a goo
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