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The launch of a new flight is exciting for everyone involved, from the airline to the passengers to the airport involved. Today’s launch of a new Virgin Atlantic route between Atlanta, Georgia and Manchester, England was indeed one that will always be memorable, but not for what it was supposed to be remembered for.
After the Airbus A330-300 plane landed in Manchester from Atlanta for the first time, the Manchester airport fire crew gave it a salute from one of their trucks. There was only one issue with this. Instead of spraying the aircraft down with a fountain of water, they accidentally sprayed it with firefighting foam instead.
On one hand, the aircraft definitely wasn’t going to catch on fire after this, but on the other, planes are only meant to sprayed with foam when they’re actually on fire, since the foam can clog the engines and other equipment. The plane needed to be inspected and cleaned before it could be allowed to go back into service.
via Daily Mail:
Virgin Atlantic sought to ease the pain by providing stranded passengers with a glass of prosecco and cupcakes while the clean-up work was carried out. But by 3.45pm they had thrown in the towel and cancelled the flight. A Virgin Atlantic press officer in Manchester waiting to board the stranded aircraft at departure gate 202 at Manchester Airport’s Terminal 2 confirmed the sequence of events and admitted: ’Yes, you are right. Someone pressed the wrong button and foam came out instead of water. The engines were checked over as a precaution.’
Here’s what a proper water cannon salute is supposed to look like, as filmed by a member of the Virgin Atlantic flight crew on the previous day’s inaugural flight from Manchester to Atlanta.
Despite the prosecco & cupcakes, passengers were not happy, taking to Twitter to vent their frustration.
Well alright then.