It is a bit of a tradition to give a water cannon salute to a newly acquired aircraft when it is departing for a destination for the first time. It has been done several times over the past years where the aircraft basically is sprayed with jets of water by fire trucks on its two sides forming an arc around them as a gesture of best wishes. It was a rather uneventful morning at the Manchester airport when the inaugural Airbus 330 flight from Manchester to Atalanta was set to take off. The events took a rapid turn when the aircraft was given a foam cannon salute rather than a water cannon salute.
The chain of events saw someone on the firetruck by mistake press on the Foam shower button rather than the plain water button which saw the firetrucks throw up foam rather than water which was expected from the cannons. This foam is used to subsidise the fire and obviously lead to clogging of the engines of the aircraft.
The passengers, 252 of them were initially told that the delay would be only of about 5 hours, though obviously declining took longer and the passengers were taken to hotels for an overnight stay in Manchester before departing next morning on their flight to Atalanta. In an official statement, Virgin said, “We needed to give the aircraft a thorough check over. The initial delay was whilst our teams carried out the inspection. It was then delayed overnight as the crew ran out of hours. Our crew are legally required a minimum rest time between flights”.
Image: Daily Mail