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Dumping Fuel - But Where Does It Go?

Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:17 pm

I'm sure somebody has asked this same question here before - but I'll ask it anyway: I was just looking at a photo here on A.net of a CX A340-600 dumping fuel because of an unexpected landing.

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What happens to the fuel when they dump it. Does it disappear in the air or does it come down?

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RE: Dumping Fuel - But Where Does It Go?

Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:19 pm

My assumption would be: It will simply evaporate to thin air, as with automobile fuel and alcohol. I'm not a chemistry expert, I hope someone else can expand this and give a further explanation  Smile

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RE: Dumping Fuel - But Where Does It Go?

Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:29 pm

Most of the fuel would evaporate before it hit the ground because of the fine dispersion of the droplets. Most of the evaporated fuel would not condense, but be broken down by various chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere.

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RE: Dumping Fuel - But Where Does It Go?

Sat Oct 16, 2004 12:32 am

If dumping occurs at the usual altitudes it's supposed to, it dissipates, but that's not necessarily the case down low. AA had a widebody takeoff a few years ago from DFW (heading north) and had a problem that necessitated an immediate return. They started dumping on the climbout, and some suburbs to the N-NW (Lewisville and Flower Mound) had neighborhoods where parked cars and other surfaces had a thin coating of fuel residue on them.
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