A Kelowna woman has conjunctivitis in both eyes, a hefty car detailing bill to pay and a lot of anger after being splattered with feces that fell from the sky.
Susan Allan was in the car with her son in the early afternoon of May 9. She was stopped at the street lights on Spall Road and Bernard Avenue when an unwelcome deluge covered her car and came through the open sunroof.
“We were parked at the lights when the ‘sky poop’ starting falling,” said Allan. “It got all over my car, it got all over (me) and got on my son, inside my vehicle. It was definitely falling from the sky.”
When they looked up they saw the bottom of an airplane as it flew overhead.
“It was just very wet and smelled terrible. I can’t really describe the feeling … it was almost like chunks of mud falling from the sky hitting you in the face,” said Allan.
“My son said that the sensation he got was a cold feeling as it hit his face, then the smell was overwhelming for him and he almost got sick as it was hitting his face.”
They got out of their car and a woman nearby pointed the plane out to them.
“I mean we were covered in it, our vehicle and their vehicle was also hit with the same poop,” said Allan.
That “sky poop” sent Allan to her doctor’s office out of fear of infection or catching something worse. Her doctor’s note shows that she was diagnosed with conjunctivitis in both eyes as a result of “…being inundated with sewerage from an overhead plane, while driving her car.”
Image: Contributed by Susan Allan
Transport Canada states that it takes all reports of possible debris coming from aircraft very seriously.
“Transport Canada is aware of the incident you describe and we are looking into it,” said spokesperson Daniel Savoie
“Each air operator is responsible for ensuring that their aircraft operate safely and in compliance with the Canadian Aviation Regulations. Section 602.23, ‘Dropping of Objects’, states “No person shall create a hazard to persons or property on the surface by dropping an object from an aircraft in flight.” Any operator found to be in contravention of the Canadian Aviation Regulations will be subject to enforcement action under Transport Canada’s mandate.”
As for Allan, she said she waited until this week to alert the media as she has hoped the airport would make it right, but after weeks of no reply she reached out to the media.
“I reported it to them hoping the airport would deal with me without having to go through the news to stop the embarrassment for both of us, but it didn’t turn out that way so I had to go to the news.”
She claims she has been getting mixed messaging from authorities
“I was told that there were three planes that flew over that area at that time, then I was told that there was one plane that flew over that area at that time and now all of a sudden no plane flew over the area at that time,” said Allan. “I believe that the airport should take responsibility for what happened to me and my son, maybe clean out my car and compensate for the infection that I got in my eyes.
“I believe that they owe me an apology for both making me feel like I did something wrong by reporting it, and for it happening in the first place.”
The Kelowna International Airport could not speak on the incident as it is being investigated by Transport Canada.
“Similar to any aviation incident, this would fall under the jurisdiction of Transport Canada. We are supporting Transport Canada’s investigation and any outcomes,” said Phillip Elchitz, Senior Airport Operations Manager.
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