Dislodged roof tiles blamed on planes

By Ted JeoryAN investigation has been launched into claims roof tiles have been dislodged from homes by the air stream created by planes using Stansted Airport.

By Ted Jeory

AN investigation has been launched into claims roof tiles have been dislodged from homes by the air stream created by planes using Stansted Airport.

Stop Stansted Expansion campaign chairman Norman Mead is investigating the problem following incidents of “aircraft vortex” sucking tiles from roofs of homes near the airport.

Mr Mead said he feared this was a taste of things to come if a major expansion plan at the airport gets the green light.


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The Government is currently consulting on a number of options to expand airports in the South-East, which could see up to three more runways built at Stansted Airport.

The Essex airport has twice repaired tiles free of charge on one elderly woman's roof in Great Hallingbury after they were dislodged, apparently by aircraft vortex.

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Her neighbour Andrew Noble, of Tile Kiln Green, said he had no doubt the cause was aircraft vortex.

“People living near Heathrow have had this problem for years, but they live in modern houses where tiles can be wired down. Around here, many buildings are listed and have peg-tiles. It is much more dangerous,” he said.

Malcom Field, of Copthall Close, Great Hallingbury, returned home from shopping with his wife in January and noticed 12 tiles had slid away.

“I have no idea how that happened, but my roofer said the only possible reason was the aircraft,” he said.

Aircraft vortex is the technical term for the airstream created by planes coming in to land and, according to Mr Mead, sounds like “a rocket rushing through the air”.

He added: “As the plane flies over, the trees will suddenly shake and occasionally tiles will be dislodged.

“It seems to happen more in warmer weather and with people sitting in their gardens, they will wonder whether tiles will fall on their heads.”

A spokesman for Stansted Airport said: “We do not deny there is something called aircraft vortex, but we have to investigate each incident on its merits.

“We repaired the tiles in Great Hallingbury free of charge purely as a gesture of goodwill.”

ted.jeory@eadt.co.uk

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