It’s pretty common to see special flights get water salutes. This can be done for many reasons — to celebrate a new route, to honor military members, to commemorate a pilot’s retirement, etc.
Well, to celebrate the 88th birthday of Saudi Arabia, Dubai Airport decided to prepare a special water salute for a Saudia Airlines flight upon landing a couple of weeks ago (I have no clue how I missed this at the time).
Unfortunately that didn’t go quite as planned, and there’s video of it. You can see the two fire trucks lined up, and the truck on one side sprays water correctly, while the truck on the other side can’t seem to control the flow of water, causing it to spray all over the place.
Apparently the way it sprayed water caused the emergency slide of the plane to deploy. How could that happen? I’m not sure exactly, but my guess is that the pressure of the water triggered some sensor on the door, causing this to happen.
Here’s the video:
I obviously feel terribly for the person who caused this (though I guess we don’t know if it was user error or if the jet was malfunctioning), and for any delay this caused for passengers, though I also have to admit that I laughed out loud when I saw this.
For what it’s worth, many airlines and airports have stopped doing water salutes. Some have stopped them due to water shortages, while others have stopped them due to the mishaps that have occurred as a result of them. It will be interesting to see if Dubai Airport has a new policy on water salutes after this incident…