The Exploding Toilet

Plumbing accidents are mortifying enough. But when an airplane toilet starts gushing out like some kind of magical volcano at 35,000 feet or higher in a cold-war era cargo plane in the dead of night: that becomes nightmare incarnate.

Sadly, I didn’t make any of this up. In a tale of danger, bravado, and ace airmanship, pilot Patrick Smith recounts his brush with a crappy situation.

Jens steps into the entryway and is greeted not by any of a thousand different training scenarios, but by a psychedelic fantasy of color and smoke, a wall of white fog and the fuming blue witch’s cauldron, the outfall from which now covers the entire floor, from the entrance of the cockpit to the enormous nylon safety net that separates the crew from its load of pineapples.

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