Sat, Dec 16, 2006
Fire Crew Accidentally Shoots Foam
What was supposed to be a salutation this week to a retiring
United Airlines captain ended with a Boeing 777 in the repair
shop... and a mess on the ramp.
Media reports state the United Airlines 777-200 had just arrived
at Washington Dulles from Paris, and was taxiing to the gate when
it took a slight detour... so fire trucks stationed on either side
of the jetway could spray the time-honored "water cannon salute"
given to retiring pilots, and sometimes aircraft. In this case, the
777's pilot was making his last flight.
United Airlines won't confirm what happened next. Sources say,
however, the fire trucks blasted foam fire retardant at the
airliner, instead of water.
For the most part, foam will sluice off the fuselage without
causing damage... but it's quite another matter when it is ingested
into the engines.
“We are conducting a full investigation and are currently
looking at the aircraft to ascertain damage," said an unidentified
The aircraft, N772UA, was delivered to United in November 1995.
It was the fifth 777 delivered to the carrier.
Both of the aircraft's Pratt & Whitney engines are now being
examined, and will likely be thoroughly overhauled before they can
be returned to service.
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