|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : maf|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Medium Large Transport, Low Wing, 2 Turbojet Eng|
|Navigation In Use||Other|
|Flight Phase||ground : preflight|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : atp
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 120|
flight time total : 9000
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
non adherence other
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
After landing at midland a baggage handler reported that a substance that looked like mercury was spilled in the forward cargo bin. I looked at the substance and agreed that it appeared to be mercury and I and the baggage handler discussed whether or not it was mercury and where it might have come from. Operations personnel at midland were aware of the spill, but nobody seemed to know for sure if it was mercury or not. The baggage handler reported before takeoff that, whatever it was, he cleaned it up as well as possible. Upon arrival at iah we reported the spill to company maintenance and entered it in the logbook. Maintenance identified the spill as mercury and were quite excited about it immediately. They stated that the aircraft would be grounded for about 1 week while the mercury was thoroughly cleaned up. They were also much concerned that the aircraft had flown from midland to iah after the spill was discovered. Considerations: the spill was discovered at midland, but not identified since no one was that familiar with mercury. Also, we were not aware that mercury required extensive cleanup. Suggestions: educate crews and baggage handlers as to the properties of mercury, ie, identification and toxic corrosive properties and requirement for immediate and extensive cleanup.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ACR MLG DEPARTED WITHOUT PROPER CLEANUP OF A HAZARDOUS CARGO SPILL.
Narrative: AFTER LNDG AT MIDLAND A BAGGAGE HANDLER RPTED THAT A SUBSTANCE THAT LOOKED LIKE MERCURY WAS SPILLED IN THE FORWARD CARGO BIN. I LOOKED AT THE SUBSTANCE AND AGREED THAT IT APPEARED TO BE MERCURY AND I AND THE BAGGAGE HANDLER DISCUSSED WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS MERCURY AND WHERE IT MIGHT HAVE COME FROM. OPS PERSONNEL AT MIDLAND WERE AWARE OF THE SPILL, BUT NOBODY SEEMED TO KNOW FOR SURE IF IT WAS MERCURY OR NOT. THE BAGGAGE HANDLER RPTED BEFORE TKOF THAT, WHATEVER IT WAS, HE CLEANED IT UP AS WELL AS POSSIBLE. UPON ARR AT IAH WE RPTED THE SPILL TO COMPANY MAINT AND ENTERED IT IN THE LOGBOOK. MAINT IDENTIFIED THE SPILL AS MERCURY AND WERE QUITE EXCITED ABOUT IT IMMEDIATELY. THEY STATED THAT THE ACFT WOULD BE GNDED FOR ABOUT 1 WK WHILE THE MERCURY WAS THOROUGHLY CLEANED UP. THEY WERE ALSO MUCH CONCERNED THAT THE ACFT HAD FLOWN FROM MIDLAND TO IAH AFTER THE SPILL WAS DISCOVERED. CONSIDERATIONS: THE SPILL WAS DISCOVERED AT MIDLAND, BUT NOT IDENTIFIED SINCE NO ONE WAS THAT FAMILIAR WITH MERCURY. ALSO, WE WERE NOT AWARE THAT MERCURY REQUIRED EXTENSIVE CLEANUP. SUGGESTIONS: EDUCATE CREWS AND BAGGAGE HANDLERS AS TO THE PROPERTIES OF MERCURY, IE, IDENTIFICATION AND TOXIC CORROSIVE PROPERTIES AND REQUIREMENT FOR IMMEDIATE AND EXTENSIVE CLEANUP.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.