American Airlines Flight Evacuated Over Suspected Fuel Leak At Palm Beach Airport

Passengers of an American Airlines flight from Palm Beach, Fl to Philadelphia were forced to evacuate Thursday afternoon after the crew suspected a fuel leak.

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The aircraft was evacuated over emergency slides and passengers then shuttled to the terminal while fire services attended to the plane, later identifying the leak as hydraulic fluid.

One passenger reported that the process of leaving the plane was rather hectic and passengers were ‘not calm’ (I wonder why).

CNN (access here) reported about the incident including a video from the tarmac where passengers wandered around after leaving the aircraft.

Passengers from an American Airlines flight were forced to evacuate Thursday afternoon while on the taxiway at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The crew of American Airlines Flight 1822 reported a leak, the FAA said, and passengers used emergency slides to get off the plane. The FAA didn’t disclose what kind of leak was reported. The flight was scheduled to fly to Philadelphia.

Passenger Eric Moore said the flight crew of the Airbus 320 thought it might be a fuel leak so they ordered an evacuation. He said people were not calm as they left the plane. He said he was told later that the leak was hydraulic fluid.Passengers were taking buses to the terminal, the FAA said. Images on local television showed two airliners at the end of taxiway with emergency vehicles at the scene.

The video shows people moving around on a patch of grass and the runway where the plane sits after they went down the slides.

AA TarmacIn the middle of the video you see fire trucks driving in between the passengers. You would think after what happened at the Asiana crash in San Francisco where people were killed by emergency equipment on the ground such a situation would be better coordinated with someone from the Fire Department of the crew whisking passengers aside so the firefighters can do their job.

Conclusion

As it turned out it was ‘just’ hydraulic fluid but bad enough as it’s rare to get an orderly evacuation of an aircraft, a procedure that often causes at least some minor injuries especially when slides are deployed which is the reason pilots try to avoid ordering evacuation via slides unless absolutely necessary.

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