Photo © Sven De Bevere
Photo © Peter D. Baumgartner
On sunday afternoon (14:30) I saw an SV MD11 on descent heading for (I think) RWY 20 at BRU. Nothing special so far, even though the rest of the traffic was following the regular approach pattern for 25L/R. However what caught my attention about this particular plane were the two trails of "substance” coming out from two identical points somewhere near the middle of each wing. It looked like this "substance" was discarded under pressure, so I started to speculate whether this observed phenomena was just innocent condensation or whether it might be a fuel dump. But why would Saudia want to get rid of expensive kerosine above scenic villages like St. Katelijne Waver, Hofstade, Zemst,…?
I mentioned my observations to a fellow member of Airliners.net (who has the right connections at BRU) and he could get a confirmation from Saudia that last sunday one of their MD11’s (HZ-ANB) was indeed forced to return to BRU after 20 minutes in the flight. The plane had a fire in one of the engines after encountering a birdstrike. So the pilot decided to return to BRU for an emergency landing. It could be that the pilot had no time left to fly to a designated area (e.g. the North Sea or the Foret des Soignes) to go and dump the excessive amount of fuel over there. Therefore the pilot may have preferred (speculation!) to dump some of the fuel above agricultural / residential / nature area in North Brabant in order to loose weight and land as quick as possible.
Did somebody else witness what happened with this plane after it had landed at BRU?