This is as shown on TV news this week.
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What follows here is the "full story".
On monday, an A310 of Air Plus Comet, a spanish charter company, was to depart from Madrid (MAD) to Punta Cana (PUJ), in the Dominican Republic. As EC-GOT was taxying to MAD 36R for T/O, a tourist was videoing a leak from the left wing. As he shouted about that, the rest of the passengers went on panic, started to shout "DO NOT TAKE OFF" (clearly understandable in the video footage), stood up and yelled at the captain, so the 310 went back to the platform. There, the captain calmed down the passengers and told them that there was no danger at all, that the leak was very far away from the engine, and that was a normal leak when "wheather is hot and tanks are overfilled", for safety.
It seems, according to different sources, that what the captain said is not "absolutely false", since, in very hot conditions, the expansion of the querosene in completely full tanks causes the liberation of some safety valve and some fuel is "naturally" (due to the vapours pressure) thrown away. But this would be a small amount in a few seconds.
The case, anyhow, was that the "leak" poured about 1000 litres of querosene in a few minutes, according to the fire department. Even this could have maybe passed unadverted to the passengers if it wasn't because the fire group sprayed lots of extinguishing foam onto and around the "leak".
After a second try, another riot took place. This time the passengers disembarked and went to complain to the operator's offices.
They were threatened with loosing thier money, because, the regulations and the "agreement" (unilateral, however) printed on the tickets, say that passengers loose all rights if do not show around or refuse to fly...
Finally, after a long night at Barajas Airport, and 19 hours delay, those passengers were finally flown to PUJ, not knowing, still now, if it was on board EC-GOT or another aircraft.
Even though, they'll report the company in demand of compensations for one day lost of holidays and other concepts having to do with service, information and safety.
But his is only THE FIRST PART OF THE HISTORY!!!!
The second part came the day after, as both a sequel and a "PRE-quel" of what happened at MAD. The Madrid incident was shown directly on TV because it happened in Spain (the home of the charter company) and journalists went there "to see". Thus, when on TV, some "special people" saw it, and went also to TV stations to explain "their history".
These "special people" were the "previous day passengers". They had flown from La Habana (Cuba) to Madrid, on an Air Plus Comet's charter. The airplane was... an A310
The "procedures" were the same: taxi to rwy, huge leak from the left wing, riot, taxi back to the terminal. It seems, though, that the "previous day captain" was a little more "clever" (
) than the second one, (if we can call it cleverness
) and told the passengers that there was a mechanism that allows "fuel dumping". This operation is under some circumstances executed if necessary. In this case, the mentioned mechanism was damaged. As dumping fuel is somehow "usual" and is of no danger because is prefectly previewed in some procedures, it represented no risk for the integrity of anybody and anything. Thus, they would be able to fly "normally", quotating this "normally" because, instead of flying directly to Madrid, they'd need to do a stopover at Madeira for refueling, since they would not have enough fuel left, due to the "leak". It seems that the flight was operated this way, because the following day, EC-GOT still had the same problem...
Of course the passengers of the HAV-MAD flight will hand a second report against Air Plus Comet.
Can we say here that of "real life goes beyond fiction"?
Best (but safe) turbulences