Metal Object Crashes Through Roof of House near Dulles Airport…

…and FAA is not sure it is an airplane part!

Here’s three pictures from the newscast. First shows the burst drywall in the ceiling of the homeowner’s dining room.

Second is a closeup of the homeowner holding the metal object, said to be four inches long and weigh roughly two pounds. It appears to be bolt-like, with a diameter at least one inch.

Third picture shows the object. Note that it is threaded, and on one end appears to have broken free from a larger metal object. The rough surface suggests fatigued metal and/or a porous casting.

Any object can eventually fail, so it is not surprising that an aircraft part might dislodge during a flight and come crashing through shingles and plywood and drywall into someone’s dining room. But, the real shocker watching this news story is the comment by the FAA inspector. The FAA Inspector said, “We have no idea if it’s an aircraft part or where it came from, and we have to investigate it.”

Earlier in the day, a gas company employee, who probably makes half or less what the FAA employee earns, assessed the damage and told the homeowner straight up: it appears to be an aircraft part.

The part has reportedly been sent to NTSB for analysis. The FAA inspector said they will go to the airport and see if any airlines reported any incidents. If that turns up no confessions, perhaps NTSB can come up with an explanation:

Is there any way (other than falling from an aircraft) that this potentially lethal object could have the energy to crash through a roof and a ceiling and end up on a dining room floor?

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UPDATE:  2-5-2014 — FAA did a good job of quickly investigating and providing an explanation. This excerpt from the short news article: “On Wednesday, the FAA reported that the piece actually came from a nearby industrial-strength woodchipper. WJLA-TV reported (http://wj.la/1kUXfJY ) that the piece, called a grinding tooth, came off a chipper about a block away from the Herndon home.” (…Note to self: stay far away from noisy wood chippers!…)