A Sunday afternoon chat outside a neighbor’s home took a terrifying turn on Sunday for Milton resident Stephanie Leguia when a Delta airplane dropped a massive evacuation slide onto her neighbor’s yard, feet from where they were standing.
“If it had hit us, we would have been dead — it’s that heavy,” she said. “And if we didn’t die — I hate to think of the alternative.”
Leguia was standing her neighbor’s Adams Street yard when the 6-foot silver evacuation slide fell from the sky with such force it took down four tree branches as is slammed to the ground. No one was injured.
Leguia said her and her neighbor’s backs were turned when what looked like a “giant silver tarp” landed. Upon inspection they found a “Boeing” label on it and called police, who eventually figured out the tarp was actually an un-inflated emergency evacuation slide.
A Delta spokeswoman confirmed the inflatable slide fell from the wing of a Delta flight traveling from Paris to Logan International Airport. The flight landed at 12:01 p.m. without incident.
Delta and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident, the spokeswoman said.
Milton sits in the flight path of more than 70,000 planes making their approach into Logan International Airport and the town has a storied history of standing up aviation officials and Massport, which runs Boston’s airport.
In 2010, the body of 16-year-old stowaway fell from a plane into a Milton neighborhood, shocking the community.
Leguia said the planes fly so low over her home they wake her up at night and leave a dusting of ash and soot in their wake that has left a film on her home. A committee of residents fed up with the noise and pollution of planes flying overhead just last week brought their complaints to the town’s select board.
“Incidents like this one are extremely rare and we are thankful that no one was injured. Delta, in conjunction with the FAA, will be doing a full investigation into what happened,” Jennifer Mehigan of Massport said in a statement.
The Federal Aviation Administration does not appear to keep records on the instances of the parts falling from airplanes — an occurrence so common the industry even has an acronym for it: PDA or parts department from aircraft. An October paper from the International Civil Aviation Organization suggested the phenomenon is on the rise — especially in the United States and Europe — and concluded global measures to stop it were “insufficient.”
The FAA did not immediately return a request for comment Sunday night.