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Starfuryt
Topic Author
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Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Tue Aug 16, 2022 12:33 pm

CNN claims that this fell somewhere around Augusta, Maine around 12:30 pm on Monday. There is an image in the article.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/16/us/maine ... index.html

Can anyone ID this part? I tried to look back on FR24 and I can't find any large aircraft over Augusta in the given time frame
 
SoCalPilot
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Tue Aug 16, 2022 4:19 pm

Not sure what date/time you used but Emirates #232, an A380 from IAD to Dubai flew right over Augusta at that time.
 
Starfuryt
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Tue Aug 16, 2022 4:32 pm

Yup, my bad I thought it was Monday for some reason, if this came off of A380 can anyone ID the part?
Also EK 232 really didn't overfly the state house, at least according to FR24 it flew about 7km west of it.

AUG runway 17 however, points basically straight towards the state house, probably a much more likely culprit is local GA traffic that's not showing up on FR24
 
hpff
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Tue Aug 16, 2022 6:09 pm

Starfuryt wrote:
Yup, my bad I thought it was Monday for some reason, if this came off of A380 can anyone ID the part?
Also EK 232 really didn't overfly the state house, at least according to FR24 it flew about 7km west of it.

AUG runway 17 however, points basically straight towards the state house, probably a much more likely culprit is local GA traffic that's not showing up on FR24


The quote in the article said they suspected it was from an international airliner. The international bit probably makes sense because there ain't much domestic traffic heading up that way.
 
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airportugal310
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Tue Aug 16, 2022 6:47 pm

hpff wrote:
Starfuryt wrote:
Yup, my bad I thought it was Monday for some reason, if this came off of A380 can anyone ID the part?
Also EK 232 really didn't overfly the state house, at least according to FR24 it flew about 7km west of it.

AUG runway 17 however, points basically straight towards the state house, probably a much more likely culprit is local GA traffic that's not showing up on FR24


The quote in the article said they suspected it was from an international airliner. The international bit probably makes sense because there ain't much domestic traffic heading up that way.


I think the article makes a lot of assumptions out of nowhere, too. How did they rule out it wasn't space junk? Lord knows there's plenty of that around
 
se210
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Tue Aug 16, 2022 7:24 pm

Here is the ADS-B Exchange replay log over Augusta, ME on 08/12/2022 starting at 12:20 EDT (16:20Z). The falling object was at ~12:30 EDT according to the article.
https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?replay=2022-08-12-16:20&lat=44.196&lon=-69.795&zoom=10.0

Here is the exact track of EK232/UAE232 IAD-DXB (A6-EVH) flying just west of Augusta (~580Kt at ~35000ft) from 12:24:34 EDT to 12:24:54 EDT: https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=8964b6&lat=44.314&lon=-69.823&zoom=13.0&showTrace=2022-08-12&trackLabels. The Capital is just to left of the green patch below the word Augusta and just above the sign for US 201/ME 27. According the Weather Underground website for Augusta, ME on 08/12/2022, winds were 6mph from NNW at 11:53 and 9 mph from N at 12:53.
 
amstone17
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Tue Aug 16, 2022 7:38 pm

Looking at the picture, it doesn't look like anything that could just magically fall off a plane that's been cruising for hours already.

Maybe something with the gear down, or something that had an uncontained engine failure, but there are no reports of anything like that.


Planes don't just shed parts while cruising around, and that piece looks rather heavy.

The only picture of the object posted anywhere shows no identifying serial numbers. If it has no tag or numbers stamped on it, it's not an aircraft part.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Tue Aug 16, 2022 8:52 pm

amstone17 wrote:
Looking at the picture, it doesn't look like anything that could just magically fall off a plane that's been cruising for hours already.

Maybe something with the gear down, or something that had an uncontained engine failure, but there are no reports of anything like that.


Planes don't just shed parts while cruising around, and that piece looks rather heavy.

The only picture of the object posted anywhere shows no identifying serial numbers. If it has no tag or numbers stamped on it, it's not an aircraft part.

Not every aircraft part has a number on it; but this doesn't look like an aircraft part that I can think of.
 
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CrimsonNL
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Tue Aug 16, 2022 10:00 pm

I'm not an expert, but that hardly looks like a precision machined aircraft part to me. More like a piece of steel you would see on the ramp somewhere. I wonder if it's possibly a piece of ground equipment that somehow got lodged in the landing gear?
 
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admanager
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 12:30 am

Pretty sure it’s from a chemtrail aircraft secretly flying over Maine. Here is the evidence we’re looking for!
/s
 
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LaunchDetected
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 12:46 am

A lot of assumptions, it does not looks like an aircraft part to me (maybe it is).
A friend of mine found metal parts in its garden once, the cause was a cheap compressor that exploded several blocks away.
 
ABpositive
Posts: 276
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 1:11 am

CrimsonNL wrote:
I'm not an expert, but that hardly looks like a precision machined aircraft part to me. More like a piece of steel you would see on the ramp somewhere. I wonder if it's possibly a piece of ground equipment that somehow got lodged in the landing gear?

Or part of the bogey, which has a number of cylindrical, heavy, worn parts.
 
F9Animal
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 1:49 am

CrimsonNL wrote:
I'm not an expert, but that hardly looks like a precision machined aircraft part to me. More like a piece of steel you would see on the ramp somewhere. I wonder if it's possibly a piece of ground equipment that somehow got lodged in the landing gear?


As much space junk and missile tests, I agree it doesn't look like any part of a commercial aircraft.
 
AntonioMartin
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 1:57 am

That could be anything.....
 
randomdude83
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 2:42 am

it looks more like a rubber bushing of sort
 
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airportugal310
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 3:04 am

In this article, the FAA thinks it’s came from a flap…

https://whdh.com/news/airplane-part-fal ... -in-maine/

Who knows…
 
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Nomadd
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 4:03 am

It almost looks like a rubber bushing or bumper.
 
joeycapps
Posts: 127
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:16 am

Is it possible that this part came from some sort of ground handling equipment, i.e water or lav service? Perhaps the door was open or came off and it worked itself loose? What's getting me is that the picture seems to be deceiving in its size, I haven't been able to find a picture with any sort of frame of reference - other than one photo where it appears to be on a paper towel, telling me it's pretty small.

Also, are there any tall buildings in the area where this could have fallen from? I'm not familiar with Maine, but if it's anything like any other city, there's a good chance that something fell off of a building?

Just throwing ideas out there.
 
SEAorPWM
Posts: 407
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 7:34 am

joeycapps wrote:
Is it possible that this part came from some sort of ground handling equipment, i.e water or lav service? Perhaps the door was open or came off and it worked itself loose? What's getting me is that the picture seems to be deceiving in its size, I haven't been able to find a picture with any sort of frame of reference - other than one photo where it appears to be on a paper towel, telling me it's pretty small.

Also, are there any tall buildings in the area where this could have fallen from? I'm not familiar with Maine, but if it's anything like any other city, there's a good chance that something fell off of a building?

Just throwing ideas out there.


I'm from there, and the tallest buildings in the state are only about 20 stories and not in Augusta (which is a tiny city).
 
HonoriaGlossop
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 9:04 am

That item looks way too sloppily engineered and machined to have fallen from any commercial aircraft. Is the guy sure someone just didn't throw it over the wall? :lol:
 
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FredrikHAD
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 10:37 am

According to CNN, it happened on Friday: "An earlier version of this story gave the wrong day for when the object fell out of a plane. It was Friday."
The witness says it was 7 x 5 inches and all greasy. He noted it was heavy when he picked it up and it sounded like metal when it rolled after the impact. He didn't mention that it was hot, cold or anything else, nor was the impact anything but a thud and rolling metal, so not too high velocity. This leads me to a few conclusions (yes, arm chair investigator, have fun...):

The object was not from a space station or satellite (would have been hot and grease would have been burnt off during the fall, also impact velocity would have been much greater).
The object might have fallen from an aircraft, but such a dense object (steel?) would have picked up lots of speed and would have made a more dramatic impact if it had fallen from more than a few hundred feet.

I'd say this object is not from an airliner (at least not at high altitude) but from some machine on the ground within the city limits. Something like a compressor, gearbox (heavy machinery, not an ordinary car) has "exploded" and ejected this part into the air and it has then fallen down max a few hundred feet from where it was ejected.

Will a steel object like this that falls several thousand feet reach supersonic speeds? If so, the "thud" heard on touchdown would have been a THUD^10
 
HonoriaGlossop
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 10:54 am

FredrikHAD wrote:
Will a steel object like this that falls several thousand feet reach supersonic speeds? If so, the "thud" heard on touchdown would have been a THUD^10


No, the terminal velocity of any free-falling object, especially one not designed with aerodynamics in mind, will be significantly less than the speed of sound.
 
DH106
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 10:59 am

airportugal310 wrote:
In this article, the FAA thinks it’s came from a flap…

https://whdh.com/news/airplane-part-fal ... -in-maine/

Who knows…


Flap roller bearing?
 
LucaDiMontanari
Posts: 92
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 12:43 pm

FredrikHAD wrote:
According to CNN, it happened on Friday: "An earlier version of this story gave the wrong day for when the object fell out of a plane. It was Friday."
The witness says it was 7 x 5 inches and all greasy.


First: good post! No highly speculative assumptions, but rather some basic logical thinking!

Looks like a bit too large for me, more like 3x5 inch. Have a look at the paper below and think of a tin can of tomato soup... What do you think? Also it has a dirty, rusty appearance, more like from a machine found on a construction worksite, than something aviation grade.

FredrikHAD wrote:
The object was not from a space station or satellite (would have been hot and grease would have been burnt off during the fall, also impact velocity would have been much greater).
The object might have fallen from an aircraft, but such a dense object (steel?) would have picked up lots of speed and would have made a more dramatic impact if it had fallen from more than a few hundred feet.


First part about space debris: was also my thought. Such a part may survive more or less unharmed if it is contained in an assembly that broke up after the "hot" section of the re-entry. However this would come with with more debris. It must not necessarily be much faster than any other free falling objects. Depending on size, shape, etc. (basically Reynold's number) and density, the part may hit the equilibrium between gravity and aerodynamic drag way up in the atmosphere. On the other side: parts that are fast enough to punch through the whole shell of air around our globe, would not survive without severe burns, which proofs your first assumption. Yet at 250mph I'd expect a steel part of this size and mass to punch a proper dent into a concrete street surface... Kinetic energy of such an object (8 pound mass, 250mph) must be in the ballpark of 50 kJ.

The second part about the speed is closely related to your final lines:

FredrikHAD wrote:
Will a steel object like this that falls several thousand feet reach supersonic speeds? If so, the "thud" heard on touchdown would have been a THUD^10


Nope, definitively not. The terminal velocity of free falling objects rarely exceeds 250mph/400km/h in the dense part of the lower atmosphere, until it's lengthy and pointy and aerodynamically stabilizing itself. For example, the British 'Grand Slam' 10-ton bomb from WWII was able to reach supersonic speeds. Our "can" here in contrast has the aerodynamics comparable to a piano.

FredrikHAD wrote:
I'd say this object is not from an airliner (at least not at high altitude) but from some machine on the ground within the city limits. Something like a compressor, gearbox (heavy machinery, not an ordinary car) has "exploded" and ejected this part into the air and it has then fallen down max a few hundred feet from where it was ejected.


So this would also be my expectation (would not call it conclusion yet).
 
11C
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 1:50 pm

DH106 wrote:
airportugal310 wrote:
In this article, the FAA thinks it’s came from a flap…

https://whdh.com/news/airplane-part-fal ... -in-maine/

Who knows…


Flap roller bearing?


That would be one heavy airplane if it’s flap roller bearings were constructed like the object in the photo.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 2:13 pm

LucaDiMontanari wrote:
FredrikHAD wrote:
The object was not from a space station or satellite (would have been hot and grease would have been burnt off during the fall, also impact velocity would have been much greater).
The object might have fallen from an aircraft, but such a dense object (steel?) would have picked up lots of speed and would have made a more dramatic impact if it had fallen from more than a few hundred feet.


First part about space debris: was also my thought. Such a part may survive more or less unharmed if it is contained in an assembly that broke up after the "hot" section of the re-entry. However this would come with with more debris. It must not necessarily be much faster than any other free falling objects. Depending on size, shape, etc. (basically Reynold's number) and density, the part may hit the equilibrium between gravity and aerodynamic drag way up in the atmosphere. On the other side: parts that are fast enough to punch through the whole shell of air around our globe, would not survive without severe burns, which proofs your first assumption. Yet at 250mph I'd expect a steel part of this size and mass to punch a proper dent into a concrete street surface... Kinetic energy of such an object (8 pound mass, 250mph) must be in the ballpark of 50 kJ.

8 lbs @ 250 MPH is 22.6 kJ; that's 5 grams of TNT, much less than I expected. Would still have made a big dent in concrete, given what a sledgehammer swung by a human can do.
 
zuckie13
Posts: 583
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Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 2:17 pm

I kind of want to say it looks like a wheel/roller off one of those big dumpsters.
 
iamlucky13
Posts: 1580
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:35 pm

Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:08 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
amstone17 wrote:
Looking at the picture, it doesn't look like anything that could just magically fall off a plane that's been cruising for hours already.

Maybe something with the gear down, or something that had an uncontained engine failure, but there are no reports of anything like that.


Planes don't just shed parts while cruising around, and that piece looks rather heavy.

The only picture of the object posted anywhere shows no identifying serial numbers. If it has no tag or numbers stamped on it, it's not an aircraft part.

Not every aircraft part has a number on it; but this doesn't look like an aircraft part that I can think of.


It is a sleeve bushing, which is a common part in pivot joints. I think similar size bushings get used on landing gear joints and inboard flaps, but the ones I've seen are typically bronze. The pictured item looks like steel, and it has thicker walls than I would expect for an aircraft part. Maybe the main pivot bushing on a landing gear could be that heavy, though.

If it were a landing gear part, I can't imagine one falling off without there also being a report of a gear collapse on landing.

It appears to have a couple marks that could come from hitting the ground, and an overall slightly rough appearance that could be grease or material from the bore it was pressed in that galled to the surface.
 
btfarrwm
Posts: 218
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 5:50 am

Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 6:10 pm

It is a sleeve bushing, which is a common part in pivot joints. I think similar size bushings get used on landing gear joints and inboard flaps, but the ones I've seen are typically bronze. The pictured item looks like steel, and it has thicker walls than I would expect for an aircraft part. Maybe the main pivot bushing on a landing gear could be that heavy, though.

If it were a landing gear part, I can't imagine one falling off without there also being a report of a gear collapse on landing.

It appears to have a couple marks that could come from hitting the ground, and an overall slightly rough appearance that could be grease or material from the bore it was pressed in that galled to the surface.


It's a pretty beefy part. Unless there was an airliner overhead descending into Boston that would have had it's flaps or gear out, I don't know how it could have fallen off an airliner in a clean configuration in cruise flight. It also looks too big to have fallen off of a GA aircraft. Maybe it was from a helicopter or military plane?
 
johns624
Posts: 5731
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:09 pm

Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 7:25 pm

Starfuryt wrote:
Yup, my bad I thought it was Monday for some reason, if this came off of A380 can anyone ID the part?
Also EK 232 really didn't overfly the state house, at least according to FR24 it flew about 7km west of it.

AUG runway 17 however, points basically straight towards the state house, probably a much more likely culprit is local GA traffic that's not showing up on FR24

You're confusing capital with capitol The first is the city while the second is the building that the legislature meets in.
 
jetblueguy22
Posts: 3571
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:26 am

Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Wed Aug 17, 2022 10:08 pm

Looks like a wheel from a reach truck (forklift)
 
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AAlaxfan
Posts: 740
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:08 am

Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Thu Aug 18, 2022 3:17 am

Looks like it came off a 03-K64-Firefly Mid-bulk transport (Class B).
 
MainePlaneGuy
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2022 5:41 am

Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Thu Aug 18, 2022 5:45 am

There was a B-52 flying up to Loring Air Force Base at about that time for a special event. Anyone have the flightpath? Was it being photographed over the State Capital or something?
 
LucaDiMontanari
Posts: 92
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:37 am

Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Thu Aug 18, 2022 11:31 am

WayexTDI wrote:
LucaDiMontanari wrote:
FredrikHAD wrote:
The object was not from a space station or satellite (would have been hot and grease would have been burnt off during the fall, also impact velocity would have been much greater).
The object might have fallen from an aircraft, but such a dense object (steel?) would have picked up lots of speed and would have made a more dramatic impact if it had fallen from more than a few hundred feet.


First part about space debris: was also my thought. Such a part may survive more or less unharmed if it is contained in an assembly that broke up after the "hot" section of the re-entry. However this would come with with more debris. It must not necessarily be much faster than any other free falling objects. Depending on size, shape, etc. (basically Reynold's number) and density, the part may hit the equilibrium between gravity and aerodynamic drag way up in the atmosphere. On the other side: parts that are fast enough to punch through the whole shell of air around our globe, would not survive without severe burns, which proofs your first assumption. Yet at 250mph I'd expect a steel part of this size and mass to punch a proper dent into a concrete street surface... Kinetic energy of such an object (8 pound mass, 250mph) must be in the ballpark of 50 kJ.

8 lbs @ 250 MPH is 22.6 kJ; that's 5 grams of TNT, much less than I expected. Would still have made a big dent in concrete, given what a sledgehammer swung by a human can do.


I stand corrected - seems like I mixed up pounds and kilograms, that's why I came out with roughly the double amount of energy :white:
 
iamlucky13
Posts: 1580
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:35 pm

Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Thu Aug 18, 2022 4:30 pm

AAlaxfan wrote:
Looks like it came off a 03-K64-Firefly Mid-bulk transport (Class B).


"You told me those entry couplings would hold for another week!"

"That was six months ago, Cap'n."
 
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AAlaxfan
Posts: 740
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:08 am

Re: Object apparently fell from an aircraft over Maine capital Monday

Thu Aug 18, 2022 10:33 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
AAlaxfan wrote:
Looks like it came off a 03-K64-Firefly Mid-bulk transport (Class B).


"You told me those entry couplings would hold for another week!"

"That was six months ago, Cap'n."

:bigthumbsup:

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