A LUMP of ice caused significant damage to a Basildon golf club’s putting green after falling from an aeroplane flying overhead.
The ice block was found embedded in the eighth green of Langdon Hills Golf Club on 3 March, having penetrated about four inches deep into the turf.
Measuring about five inches by three inches when it was discovered, the ice is believed to have fallen off a London City Airport plane.
Golf course manager at Langdon Hills Golf Club, Tony Dunston, 55, said that in a lifelong career of working on golf courses, including 14 years at Langdon Hills, he had never seen anything like this before.
Tony said: “It’s a really crazy thing to happen. It was discovered at about eight o’clock in the morning by two of my greens staff, who then called me to come out and have a look.
“It was clearly a block of ice. The temperatures hadn’t been that bad in the night, so we knew it hadn’t just formed on the golf course, so it must have come from out of the sky somewhere.
“You wouldn’t think something that small could cause so much damage and for it to fall on the green, where people would most likely congregate to putt out, means if it had been at the wrong time of the day during daylight hours it could have hit someone.”
The course was repaired shortly after the damage was discovered, but Tony later looked up similar incidents online and found they should be reported.
He called up Airportwatch, who told Tony that ice generally builds up on long-haul flights and normally falls off when planes descend into warmer air.
Sarah Clayton of Airportwatch said: “People need to be aware that ice does fall off planes, and though nobody has yet been injured, it is perhaps a matter of time before someone is.
“The way the ice penetrated four inches into the turf means it would have done considerable damage if it had hit a car, or a house roof. Or worse.”