Airline passenger spots jet fuel leak

May 22, 2009 2:00:03 PM PDT
An alert airline passenger may have helped avert a crisis. Bartek Bachleda was on a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Japan last month when he noticed jet fuel spraying out of the wing.

Bachleda is an Air Force refueling specialist and immediately knew the problem was serious. He took video of the leak and the flight attendant showed it to the pilot.

"I decided, if the captain doesn't know about this before we go oceanic, meaning once we fly over the ocean, and we're leaking this massive amount of fuel, this is going to be a bad day," said Bachleda.

The pilot decided to land the plane in San Francisco. Three-hundred people were on board.

United says the pilot was aware of the situation and the crew would have identified the problem.


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