Inaugural flight from Manchester to Atlanta grounded after plane sprayed with foam

Virgin Atlantic flight delay after water salute goes wrong

Updated: 
Inaugural flight from Manchester to Atlanta grounded after plane sprayed with foam

The inaugural Virgin Atlantic flight from Manchester to Atlanta was grounded on Monday after a water cannon salute accidentally used foam instead.

The salute is often carried out by airport fire engines to celebrate a new flight, but it went wrong when foam instead of water shot out of one of the cannons.

The flight had been due to take off at 10.35am on Monday from Manchester Airport bound for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

But the foam reportedly clogged up the jet engines and turbine blades, and the aircraft had to undergo a safety check.

Pictures of the incident have been uploaded to Twitter:

The incident led to an overnight delay, with holidaymakers being told they would have to wait until Tuesday morning to fly.

According to the Daily Telegraph, passenger Derek Lawrenson, a sports journalist from London, was stranded in Manchester while on his way to the US for golf's Masters championship.

He said: "The pilot explained that the plane was being given a water cannon salute. Unfortunately someone had pressed the button for foam, instead of water. It clogged up the engines.

"There's a big queue of people trying to get taxis and hotels."

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, a Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman said: "Unfortunately the VS109 from Manchester to Atlanta on 30 March has been delayed overnight.

"All customers have been offered meals and overnight accommodation and will continue their journey tomorrow.

"We would like to thank customers for their patience and look forward to welcoming them back on board."

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