I had the privilege of cruising once with a Chicago O’Hare based firefighter last year on the Norwegian Epic. It was fascinating to learn about his job and the events he has seen over the years – some of them really terrifying. I truly respect these fine men and women that rush into danger under incredible conditions (think a burning jet).
One of the fun things these folks get to do, now and then, is to salute a special event for an airline or someone who works for an airline. Take for example the inaugural Delta A350 flight I was on.
When we landed in Narita, Japan we were given a water cannon salute (from both sides) as we taxied to the gate. It was my first time to experience this and I have to tell you it was great. Everyone on-board started clapping.
But sometimes one of these celebrations can go horribly wrong and it is not at all the joyous event it was intended to be. Take a look at what happened on DL425 a few weeks ago per Flyer talker “Flying Chef“.
“A truly historical flight. Last Friday, I was on DL 425 (ATL-JAX). Prior to the flight we were informed that this was the Captain’s last flight after 32 years of service. We were told that as a salute, the plane would be sprayed by the water cannons on 2 fire trucks. Sounds like a plan, except one of the trucks used fire retardant foam instead of water, clogging a engine.. As a result, we had to go back to the gate, deplane and wait for a new plane. We arrived in JAX two hours later and we met by 2 fire trucks with water cannons. At least they got it right in JAX. Someone in ATL has a lot of explaining to do! ” – Flying Chef from Flyertalk.com
OUCH! Not good. Really not good.
Believe it or not this kind of mistake happens from time to time. A few years ago a Delta partner Virgin Atlantic inaugural flight was forced to cancel for this same foam vs. water mistake (happy that did not happen to me on the A350)!
Going back a few years more I found a Chinese airline Fujian Airlines 737 was mistakenly foamed and it resulted in not flying for a week.
— ???? (@MSDAR_NEWS) September 20, 2018
But it is not just accidental foam salutes that can go horribly wrong. OMAAT here at BoardingArea posted about the fact that rather than creating an arch with water they hit the side of the plane and caused the emergency slide over the wing to deploy!
So just what does an airline have to do to get the jet back up in the air after a miss-foam event? I talked to a retired pilot on this topic and what would have to happen to the jet and was told it depends. Most likely the jet would not fly the scheduled flight until a thorough inspection of the engines had been done and possibly even an overhaul of the engine worst case. I am no aircraft mechanic so I can not tell you for sure.
Have you ever been on a flight where they did a water cannon salute? – René
Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.