Saturday, Delta Flight 159, a Boeing 747-400, departed Detroit on it's way to South Korea, with 375 passengers on board. According to the Detroit Free Press, thirty minutes after takeoff, the pilots got a cockpit warning that warned about a POSSIBLE "open maintenance panel on the outside of the aircraft" (gas cap lid?), so they decided to cancel the flight and return to Detroit. Here's the problem: the max takeoff weight of a 747-400 is substantially higher than the max landing weight. What to do? Dump, by my calculations - (hello? 747 pilots?) about 30,00 gallons of fuel over Lake Michigan. (I'm thinking I might be a little high on that number, but I bet I'm in the ballpark) They had to do it to safely land the airplane - and at over $4 a gallon..ouch.

My guess is they were far enough up when they dumped the fuel (for an hour), that the wind carried it back over Michigan and most of it evaporated, so I bet none of it made it into the lake.

But your friends at the lake don't know that. (*wink* *wink)

BTW  - FLT 159 got back and landed in Detroit without incident. Don't know if their gas cap lid was really open or not.


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