Blue Ice Balls From Mars??? Maybe!!! lol
Sean Dowd, 11, (left) holds ice chunks retrieved from his family's yard overnight. At right is roof damage caused by a falling ice chunk. (Alex Garcia/Chicago Tribune)
The home -- on the 4200 block of North Wolcott Avenue -- is about 10 miles from Runway 28 at O'Hare International Airport, and lies under one of the airport's flight paths.The FAA intends to look into whether any planes approaching O'Hare at the time of the incident may have leaked water.
"We heard a big boom. The whole house shook," said Paul Dowd of the unexpected encounter with the ice chunk. "And I looked outside. I thought it was the "L," or something that, I don't know, exploded, or whatever."His family heard a bang about 7:52 p.m. and rushed out of the house, where they found remnants of a large piece of ice that had struck and damaged their roof.
"There was no one else outside and our tenant in the basement was out, and he's like, "Some ice hit the house."FAA investigators' first step will be to review radar data from the time of the impact to determine which planes were overhead. Runway 28, an east-west runway, was used for landing Wednesday night by a variety of planes from around the country.
Once those planes are identified, investigators will seek to determine if any of them reported a leak -- providing the simplest possible answer for the source of the ice.Still, it is not the only answer, Molinaro said. Though the skies over Chicago were clear Wednesday evening, airplanes that flew through damp clouds anywhere en route to the Midwest could have accumulated structural ice that gathers on surfaces and around gears, struts and tail sections of aircraft.
In either case, as aircraft descend into warmer air, the heating makes it possible for attached ice to melt loose and fall. Occasionally, even as a large chunk. "It happens every so often," Molinaro said of falling ice. "Here in the Midwest, I might deal with it three times a year." He added it was extremely unlikely such a chunk might strike a house or a person. Nevertheless, he said, the FAA does not keep detailed statistics for falling ice. The family has filed a police report and contacted their insurance company.