Plymouth man escapes plane ice windscreen crash

Image caption,
Mr Hendy and his daughter had just left the car when the ice block struck

A lump of ice, believed to have fallen from a passing plane, has smashed through the windscreen of a car in Devon.

Kenneth Hendy's car was parked near his home in Mount Gould Avenue, Plymouth, when the incident happened.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said ice can gather on aircraft flying at altitude then drop off as the plane descends.

Mr Hendy said it was a "miracle" he was not killed.

The 71-year-old had just gone into his house after picking up his daughter when the block of ice - about the size of a rugby ball - crashed through the windscreen of his Volvo.

'Not common'

A neighbour who witnessed the incident said the noise of the ice hitting the car sounded like a clap of thunder.

"If I'd have been there a couple of seconds later it would have killed me," Mr Hendy told BBC News.

The CAA said although it was not a particularly common occurrence, it could happen if there has been a leak from a faulty seal or hose.

Image caption,
The accident has been reported to police

The leaking fluid will then freeze at altitude, then thaw and fall from the fuselage as the plane descends into warmer air.

Most reports of ice fall come from people who live under the approach paths to major airports.

All ice falls should be reported to the CAA, but a spokesperson said it was rare for the authority to be able to link it back to a specific aircraft.

She said the advice is not to handle the ice as it could contain hydraulic fluid.

Last July a man from Bristol was sitting in his garden when a lump of ice the size of a grapefruit fell from the sky and struck him on the leg.

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